Who deserves the credit for Miami Dolphins’ 43-17 win over 49ers?
Waking up on Monday this week is a lot easier than last week if you're a fan of the Miami Dolphins. Miami dropped another excruciatingly close soccer game against the (still) undefeated Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, and a road trip to San Francisco was on the horizon in Week 5. This road trip? It went as well as everyone had hoped it would.
The Dolphins defeated the 49ers with a score of 43-17, crushing San Francisco's defenses and terrorizing the 49ers quarterbacks along the way. And now, after some changes to the NFL schedule, the Dolphins are set to return home unplanned to play against the New York Jets in Week 6. The Jets, without a 5-0 win, feel like a strong replacement for Miami ahead of their week 7 departure.
But who had the biggest hand in Miami before putting week 5 in the rearview mirror for his second win of the season against San Francisco?
October 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, 14, celebrates after a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitztragic swung the pendulum back to Fitzmagic. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise - this is the book about Ryan Fitzpatrick for over a decade and a half in football. But boy, if it clicks it sure looks pretty. Fitzpatrick channeled his game from Miami's 2019 win over Philadelphia - he threw up throws and let his receivers play the games in the air.
They did. And of course Fitzpatrick thrived. Fitzpatrick's performance was the third highest quarterback rating by any Dolphins passer in a game in team history: better than any mark Dan Marino left in a single game.
Needless to say, Fitzpatrick was very successful in week 5.
October 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; The defensive end of the Miami Dolphins Emmanuel Ogbah (91) deflects the football in the second quarter at Levi Stadium against the quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) of San Francisco 49. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The pass is racing
The Dolphins logged 5 sacks on 49ers quarterbacks and messed up Jimmy Garoppolo's cage in the first half. It got so bad that Garoppolo threw his back foot off the field to avoid pressure and gift wrapped two interceptions for the Dolphins. One choice came through Bobby McCain in safety and the other came from Xavien Howard (his third in three games). With Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts roaming through internal gaps, the Dolphins took advantage of the erratic protection to defeat both Garoppolo and his second-half replacement, C.J. Beathard, pressurize.
As a result, San Francisco never found its rhythm.
October 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Miami Dolphins' head coach Brian Flores looks on against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in the fourth quarter. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Head Coach Brian Flores
This was more of the performance we expected from Brian Flores after the 2019 season. Flores frustrated many with the management of the Seattle game in Week 4, but returned to his aggressive approach in Week 5. Miami relentlessly attacked San Francisco's training team cornerback and refused to take their foot off the gas against the 49ers - a fake punt in the middle of the third quarter to extend a ride, score a touchdown and put the Dolphins on 23rd increase, with about 20 minutes left in the game.
Amid the pre-game planning changes, Flores did a great job keeping his team focused on the task at hand: beating San Francisco.
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
The offensive line
Ryan Fitzpatrick was laid off twice that day, one of which came through a rollout moving the bag and was carefully brought into the red zone by Fitzpatrick. While Miami's quick stats may not indicate a lot of on-site success, it should not be overlooked that Miami, who replaced injured Austin Jackson with Robert Hunt in a tackle, went through 36 minutes of possession against the 49ers.
They ran the ball in the second half. Miami ran seven times in eight offensive games during a 62-yard 9-game possession that ended in a field goal and lasted 7:06 between the third and fourth quarters. The kick pushed the lead to 40-17 and slammed the door on a comeback.
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K Jason Sanders
Jason Sanders starts week 6 of the NFL season averaging over 10 points per game for the Dolphins. He kicked off the season perfectly and was 5v5 when he kicked the ball against the 49ers - including a 50-yarder. Sanders has become a weapon for Miami. If the dolphins cross the 40 yard line, the chances are good that they will score points.
Sanders' game earned a reputation amid a string of strong performances for the Dolphins in Week 5.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Who should be thanked most for the Dolphins' 43:17 win over the San Francisco 49ers? Here is our best loan allocation:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
The pass ru -
Wait a minute. The Miami Dolphins deserve credit for this win. All of them. This was about as complete as it was in the NFL - between attack, defense, special teams and coaching, the Dolphins should be applauded for being ready to work and achieve a victory.
Who deserves the credit for Miami's dominant Week 5 win? Everyone.
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