305 Sports’ Dolphins writers gave their analysis on the matchup and provided insight on what to look out for against the 49ers.
Jamie Bahamas, Dolphins Lead Writer (Season Record: 1-3)
27-21 Miami: I didn’t think that Cam Newton and the New England Patriots would have things figured out by week 1.
I was wrong.
No one expected Josh Allen to torch Miami’s revamped and expensive defense. Also didn’t count on Byron Jones getting hurt.
I was wrong.
And I was pretty much spot on about the Seattle game, except the Dolphins decided to pay tribute to Tony Sparano by kicking five field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. If half of those drives finish in the end zone, the Dolphins would have won the game.
I was wrong.
I made picks with an optimistic view instead of what was most likely to happen. I picked based on how I wanted it to play out and not reality.
So did I learn my lesson this week?
Coming into this game, the (2-2) San Francisco 49ers are ranked No. 12 on offense and No. 3 on defense. That should indicate that the 49ers should make easy work of the Dolphins, especially with starting quarterback Jimmy Garrapolo returning to the lineup.
I say not so fast. The 49ers wins came against the Jets and the Giants. I am willing to bet that Miami’s stats and win record would be better with those opponents also.
I know we never know which version of Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to show up, but old habits die hard. These two teams are evenly matched for the moment. With that, I give the edge to the Dolphins because they are a young team that doesn’t know to fear a team just because. Also, the 49ers might be looking at the Dolphins as just another game against a team like the Jets or Giants.
Another close game but this time Miami wins by one score.
Anthony Yero, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 4-0)
30-24 49ers: The 49ers head into this matchup banged up and unlike the team that was a possession away from winning Super Bowl LIV. However, their opponent isn’t any better. Miami has been able to compete but not get over the hump against teams with more talented rosters. And this week, I don’t expect anything to be different.
San Fransisco gets their starting quarterback Jimmy Garappolo back for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2, and he’s expected to lead them to a victory. This is also the first time a lot of these players, including coach Brian Flores, will head to another coast and play in the Pacific Time Zone.
Michael Yero, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 4-0)
17-13 49ers: Suiting up versus a 49ers team that ranks second in pass defense (184.0 yards per game) and 14th in rush defense (110.8 yards per game), it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dolphins drop game No. 4 of the season.
With Jimmy Garoppolo back from injury, I see a tough day incoming for cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, who’s back from injury. Still, it’ll be a low-scoring affair, but the game will fall in the hands of San Francisco.
Scott Cusick, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 3-1)
27-20 49ers: Given Miami’s efforts through the first month of the NFL season, this is as very winnable game as all have been. With Byron Jones scheduled to be back in action, that will help counter the return of starting 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Between the travel and youth of Miami, however, I still think it slips away late again.
Austin Ramos, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 2-2)
27-13 Miami: Following last Sunday’s 31-23 loss, Miami will face another NFC west opponent in the San Francisco 49ers. This time they’ll be the team traveling coast to coast. The 49ers have gotten hit with the injury bug early in the season. The defending NFC champions have had some key players go down like Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman and more. But Jimmy Garoppolo returns from an ankle injury this week against the Dolphins.
Miami will have to have successful drives in offense to win games. Yes, getting field goals are good but touchdowns are better. That is what Miami lacked last week that will need to be a point of emphasis this week. Having Byron Jones join the defense this week will be big for the secondary after having some difficulty stopping Russell Wilson. Though Garoppolo is not the same player, stopping his connection to George Kittle will be key for winning the game defensively.
Kyle Murphy, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 3-1)
28-24 Miami: The Dolphins should face a healthier 49ers in week’s past, but I still think they pull the upset this afternoon. Raheem Mostert and Jimmy Garrapolo are expected to play for San Fransisco, but so is Byron Jones for the Dolphins defense. The Niners are going to try and establish the run early but I expect when they go to play action for Xavien Howard and Jones to make plays against their receiving core.
While the offense is getting healthy for the 49ers the defense is not. The defense still has looked decent in the last few weeks but they’ve gotten to play the Giants, Jets and Eagles. Miami is better than those three teams and will put up a different challenge for the 49ers. The Dolphins have also had to play a tougher schedule and they know how well they have to play to get a win against tough opponent.