SAN FRANCISCO -- In a matchup of two of the league’s best pass-rushers, Cameron Wake might have won the battle, but Aldon Smith won the war.
Wake, the Dolphins’ dangerous defensive end, had three quarterback sacks in the first half alone Sunday. San Francisco’s Smith, meanwhile, had two of his own, giving him 19 1/2 for the season — a franchise record and most in the NFL.
But most importantly, Wake would later say, Smith also got the win, a 27-13 triumph that all but ended Miami’s postseason hopes.
“Doing it for 90 percent of the time, and then not doing it when you need it, it’s not going to get where you want to be,” Wake said.
Wake did his part.
In addition to his three sacks — giving him 14 for the year, tied for most in his career — Wake also dropped back in coverage, tackling Niners receiver Michael Crabtree short of the sticks on third-and-5 late in regulation. He also forced a fumble and tallied six solo tackles.
But while Wake has been consistently great, Smith has been otherworldly this season, a trend that continued Sunday. He’s now just three sacks shy of Michael Strahan’s single season record with three games to play.
“Right now, he’s No. 1, isn’t he?” teammate Justin Smith said. “I mean, nobody has been on pace for that. So right now, he is the guy.”
Reggie Bush got reacquainted with the slot Sunday. And by doing so, he allowed Lamar Miller to get reacquainted with the offensive backfield.
The Dolphins split Bush out early and often Sunday, the most action he’s seen at receiver all year. In the process, he caught five passes for 38 yards to go along with his 65 rushing yards.
“It’s something that’s always available to us, and our offense,” Bush said. “It’s something we always have in our package. I think it’s just something more that [offensive coordinator Mike Sherman] called [Sunday].”
Miller, meanwhile, acted as the team’s third-down back for much of Sunday after having his offensive role all but eliminated over the past month.
Miller’s three carries (for 1 combined yard) were his first touches since Nov. 11. His reps came at the expense of Daniel Thomas.
THIS AND THAT
• Dolphins inactives: quarterback Pat Devlin, cornerback Jimmy Wilson, cornerback Michael Coe, linebacker Josh Kaddu, offensive tackle Patrick Brown, tight end Michael Egnew and tight end Kyle Miller.
• With Wilson inactive because of an injured hip, R.J. Stanford acted as the team’s nickel cornerback. As a team, the Dolphins didn’t force a turnover or even deflect a pass.
• Anthony Fasano’s touchdown reception was his 22nd in a Dolphins uniform — third-most by a Dolphins tight end and just one behind the late Jim Mandich.
• With his 28-yard catch Sunday, Brian Hartline now has 26 career receptions for 25 or more yards — which ranks fifth-most in franchise history.
• The Dolphins lost despite stopping the Niners on 8 of 10 third-down situations.
• Niners running back Frank Gore (Coral Gables High, University of Miami) had 63 yards on 12 carries Sunday. As a team, San Francisco rushed for 155.
• Linebacker Koa Misi left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
• Miami’s captains were Davone Bess, Reshad Jones and Marlon Moore.
• Former American Idol champion Jordin Sparks performed at halftime.