Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins’ defense, QB play key in victory

adiaz@miamiherald.com

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill vs. 49ers defense

Who won: Tannehill.

The impact: Tannehill thrived despite playing behind a depleted offensive line for the second consecutive week. Tannehill completed 20 of 30 passes for 285 yards and threw three touchdown passes with no interceptions as he continued his improved play during the Dolphins’ winning streak. And he did this remarkably while the Dolphins did not run the ball effectively and Jay Ajayi was limited to 45 yards overall. Tannehill was effective both in the pocket and made multiple solid throws scrambling for big plays. Tannehill was sacked twice, but neither ended up being too costly for the Dolphins.

Dolphins depleted OL vs. 49ers run defense

Who won: 49ers.

The impact: While Tannehill had another solid overall performance, the Dolphins struggled to run the ball. Jay Ajayi was held to 45 yards – his lowest total since the Dolphins began their current six-game winning streak. Although he didn’t go over 100 yards in either of the Dolphins’ previous two wins, Ajayi had at least one breakaway rush of 36 yards or more in each game. On Sunday, Miami rushed for 95 yards overall, but 34 of those came on designed runs by Tannehill. On the plus-side, the Dolphins only allowed two sacks and the offense did not turn the ball over.

Dolphins linebackers vs. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick

Who won: Dolphins

The impact: Statistically, Kaepernick had an overall good game. He nearly had a 300-yard passing game, threw three touchdown passes and only one interception. And he ran for 113 yards on 10 rushes, converting key first downs with his ability to execute read option plays effectively. But the Dolphins were able to corral the 49ers quarterback twice in the second half. And with the game on the line on the final play, Kaepernick dashed for the end zone, but came up short when a Kiko Alonso-led unit met him head on and dropped him at the 2-yard line.

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