A mediocre Miami Dolphins team led by the Harvard Beard, came into an empty Levi’s Stadium and proceeded to lay a smack-down on the defending NFC Champs. With all that went wrong today for the 49ers, it’s hard to find anything that went right.
After Saleh struggled to make adjustments and limit the Dolphins air-raid, Fitzpatrick led his offense out to an early lead. As newly signed CB Brian Allen let up an atrocious 48-yard play, he gave the Faithful just a sneak peak of an awful day that would come. A forgettable first series, Saleh chose to keep Allen in at corner, as all hell would continue to break loose.
Here’s a list of Brian Allen’s lowlights that would continue to increase the deficit:
Horse-collar penalty (sets up first-and-goal)
22-yard catch TD allowed
49ers fans were appalled as Robert Saleh continued to keep the struggling CB in the game, as Allen gave Miami’s offense life in the red-zone to set up a 21-7 lead. After a coaching malpractice, the 49ers finally pulled the plug. Of Fitzpatricks 168 passing yards at the time, 124 yards of those were led up by Allen. Following Brian Allen’s melt-down, old-reliable Ahkello Witherspoon would take over as RCB. This absolute nightmare of a game would continue, and the secondary would continue to fold as Ryan Fitzpatrick would finish with 350 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 22 completions on 28 attempts.
Saleh electing to start Brian Allen was absolutely comical. A player who was just called up from the practice squad the day before the game and was thrown into the starting lineup? Of course the Dolphins are going to target a practice squad corner, and Robert Saleh starting the inexperienced corner completely falls on him.
The 49ers secondary wasn’t only a major part of today’s loss, as the 49ers offensive-line has continued to regress as a unit. As the Dolphins pass-rush tallied 5 sacks total on Jimmy Garoppolo/CJ Beathard. Constant miscommunication, and their incapability to hold onto blocks limited the 49ers offense to creating plays down-field. Not sticking to the run-game does fall on Coach Shanahan, but both Garoppolo and CJ had to force throws in-order to avoid getting their clocks-cleaned. Trent Williams and Laken Tomlinson seemed to be chirping at each other at the end of the third quarter as the two left-side guys had forgettable afternoons. All was a wreck for the 49ers upfront, as they have continued to show that protection is one of the weakest parts about this 49ers team.
Jimmy Garoppolo has been recovering from a high ankle-sprain, and today’s constant pressure forced on the Disney Prince resulted in two over-thrown balls that resulted in interceptions. Garoppolo’s return was much anticipated after an awful performance last week from backup Nick Mullens. Although Jimmy G had very little time to make throws, and find guys wideopen downfield, it was clear Garoppolo could not put pressure on his right foot. Coach Shannahan set it himself following yesterday’s blowout, “Way the game was going, you could tell he was affected by his ankle. I know he doesn’t normally throw the ball that way, and he was struggling because of it.” Garoppolo also admitted after the game he clearly felt it.
It was clear the 49ers should not have started Garoppolo in the first place. If he can’t make throws and protect himself in the pocket, why play him? Why was he out there? Some may look at the benching of Garoppolo as the end of the Jimmy G era – but that is completely foolish considering the fact he is still hurt. Garoppolo was limited in both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice this week, and rushing him back into the starting lineup was poor judgement by Shannahan. With the way the 49ers o-line has performed through the first few weeks of this season, there is no evident reason to rush back your starting QB, as he continues to treat an ankle injury. The two overthrown interceptions were unacceptable plays by Garoppolo, however, down two scores made it reasonable to make plays downfield.
From all aspects of yesterday’s game San Francisco was a total mess. Unprepared, unwilling, and abstracted, the 49ers 40-17 loss to the Dolphins yesterday was one of the most embarrassing games in recent memory. Both Kyle Shannahan and Robert Saleh’s game plan, scheming made no-sense – resulting in the 49ers worst loss in the Shannahan/Lynch era.
The 49ers schedule only gets more difficult in the next 8 weeks, and if things continue to go the way they have, this team could very well be on the Highway to Hell.
Photo: USA TODAY Sports