49ers fall 43-17 to Dolphins in 'embarrassing' fashion
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Jimmy Garoppolo fell back to fit and was unable to push off his injured right ankle. The ball soared for the second time in the final minutes of the first half and was just one of many memorable games for the San Francisco 49ers.
The offensive line fought in protection and allowed five sacks. The battered defense, which started the day with a practice player on the corner, was injured by Ryan Fitzpatrick for 350 yards. Garoppolo played his worst game as a professional before hitting the bench.
All of this contributed to a 43:17 loss on Sunday that led the defending NFC Champion 49ers to his third straight home defeat earlier this season.
"Obviously the mood is pretty bad right now, we're pretty bad," said defender Kyle Juszczyk. "It's really embarrassing what we've done out there. Everyone sets standards here and it wasn't even close."
It started with Garoppolo, who returned to the line-up with a sprained ankle after missing two games. He didn't look like him from the start and was drawn at halftime.
Garoppolo finished 7 for 17 for 77 yards, two interceptions, and a rating of 15.7. In the last two minutes of the first half, he threw two interceptions to score two field goals in Miami that blown the Dolphins.
"I felt it," said Garoppolo of the ankle he injured against the Jets in Week 2. "I wouldn't say it affected everything. It's one of those things that you have to deal with. Tough today. I wanted to be with the guys out there and I wanted to win today. A lot of things didn't go well for us . "
Bad as Garoppolo was, he had plenty of company on a day that began with the Niners having all of the attacking players available for the first time in the entire season.
The line struggled for a second straight week, letting in too much pressure and being unable to move the defense on a failed fourth and first try in the first quarter.
The passing game averaged 3.2 yards per dropback in its second worst performance since coach Kyle Shanahan's arrival in 2017.
"Our vets need to play better," said George Kittle. “It starts with me. It's just that our whole unit doesn't play very well together. We have the people fixing the ship. Nobody jumps off, nobody points their fingers. "
The defense had their own problems on a day when the three starting cornerbacks were all injured. The top backup, Ahkello Witherspoon, also had a thigh injury and should only be used in an emergency.
That emergency came after four possessions when Fitzpatrick repeatedly selected Brian Allen, who was called to the practice group on Saturday.
A 22-yard TD pass to DeVante Parker, who scored 21-7, was the final straw, and Witherspoon told the coaches he could play and went in after that.
By then it was too late to do much. C.J. Beathard led two scoring drives in the third quarter before the Niners stumbled across the finish line
"Nobody likes to be ashamed, and that's how I said it at half-time," Shanahan said. "If you're embarrassed, you go out and fight and I thought we started. But we made too many mistakes for it to obviously not look like a fight."
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