Don't let the final score fool you. This was a close, winnable game for the Dolphins where they weren't outplayed as a whole, but instead lost due to special teams mistakes, stupid penalties, bad play-calling and Ryan Tannehill not doing a good job throwing the football.
With Tannehill, I know I will get some grief for pointing out his mistakes, but they were on full display. The Dolphins receivers might not be great, but Tannehill was still fairly inaccurate, showing terrible timing with his receivers.
As for the coaching, it was inconsistent and almost brutal to watch. The game plans would look good at one point, but then on the very next play they would call something terrible. They don't adapt to the talent (or lack thereof) on the roster, they call plays as if this was an all-pro offense at each position.
Here are the grades for a game that Miami should've won, but again, couldn't.
Overall Game Grade — C
Ryan Tannehill wasn't terrible. He put Miami in the position to win and had some beautiful passes today. However, his accuracy throughout the game left a lot to be desired, despite how bad the receivers around him are.
This game encompassed Tannehill's rookie season so far: He showed just enough promise to lead the team along, but his inaccuracy and the lack of receivers that could cover for him let him down in the end.
Overall Game Grade — C+
The running game worked save for one thing: Why did it take so long to put Daniel Thomas in the game? It wasn't until Miami was in the red zone.
Besides that, the Dolphins did run the ball well, and it wasn't a disaster when they attempted to pass. The offense didn't turn the ball over, but didn't do enough to win the game in the end.
Reggie Bush — B
Bush ran the ball better than expected, gaining an average of 4.6 yards per carry. However, he did tend to bounce and dance just a little bit too much for my liking, at times turning potential big gains into small gains.
Daniel Thomas — Incomplete
You know why this is incomplete? Because Thomas only had two carries. Two carries. Seriously, two carries! Chan Gailey just called Joe Philbin to congratulate him on his game plan for using Daniel Thomas, who just made more sense for heavy use in this game since he is the more physical back.
Lamar Miller — F
Miller only had three touches, but they didn't amount to anything.
Brian Hartline — C
Two catches for 34 yards. You would think this was due to Tannehill not targeting him enough, but no, he was targeted eight times. Some of those targets wound up incomplete due to Tannehill's inaccuracy; however, other targets missed their mark because Hartline himself couldn't hold onto the ball.
Davone Bess — B-
Coach Joe Philbin, a message: Davone Bess is a slot receiver. Do not send him on deep balls, he will not catch up to them. The end.
Marlon Moore — F
Another message for Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland: the Marlon Moore acorn, not working. Sorry. Yes, Tannehill could've thrown that pass better, but think about this, do you really want to throw it to Marlon Moore in a situation like that?
Anthony Fasano — A
The touchdown catch alone is worth an A. Other than that, Fasano was awfully quiet with only two catches. However, he was only targeted three times with the incompletion being the result of Tannehill overthrowing him by a lot.
Charles Clay — B-
Charles Clay should get more passes. He only had one catch, but was targeted twice (the other target being a pass out of bounds).
Nate Garner — C
Garner did have a few lapses, but he wasn't completely terrible and managed to hold his own. For his first start, not bad. Still not good though.
Richie Incognito — B
Incognito not only did his job fairly well, but he also kept his cool as Aldon Smith and the 49ers defense tried to get a reaction out of him.
Mike Pouncey — A
This tough 49ers defense couldn't get up the middle, while Pouncey did a great job communicating with the offense throughout the game.
John Jerry — B-
I didn't hear Jerry's name called once. With him, it's a good thing.
Jonathan Martin — C+
Martin's performance will likely be known for getting pancaked by Aldon Smith in the second quarter, which helped prevent Miami from scoring a touchdown. However, for the most part he contained Smith as well as you could expect him too for a rookie starting at a new position for the first time, and save for a false start in the first quarter was penalty free.
Overall Game Grade — B+
Once again, Miami's defense does well against an elite team. Don't let the 27 points on the board fool you, as Miami's defense did what it took to keep the game within striking distance for the offense.
For most of the afternoon, the 49ers offense had issues moving the ball, only scoring one of their touchdowns thanks in part to a muffed punt. That's not on the defense.
Cameron Wake — A+
Six tackles, three sacks and two tackles for a loss. This is an A+ performance, especially when you consider that the Dolphins (particularly Wake) have problems with mobile quarterbacks. Wake has usually been just a split-second away from a sack on a lot of plays this season. Great game, Cam, sorry Miami's offense and special teams couldn't get the win.
Paul Soliai — B
Soliai didn't record a tackle, but he did help spring Wake, as well as Miami's linebackers, free on a lot of plays. His impact isn't seen on the stat sheet, but it was felt.
Randy Starks — B
Much like Soliai, Starks' impact isn't a stat sheet one in this game, but he was able to get to Kaepernick and hit him once.
Jared Odrick — A
Just when I'm thinking Odrick would be better off on the bench, he turns in a performance like today with four tackles, a sack and three tackles for a loss. Go ahead, Jared, dance, you deserve it.
Tony McDaniel — B
McDaniel continues to play well off the bench, and is as much a vital part of this Dolphins defense as any of the other linemen. Much like Soliai and Starks, the stats didn't tell the full story of McDaniel's impact.
Kevin Burnett — F
Compared to the other linebackers, Burnett practically no-showed this game with missed tackles galore. Not impressed, Mr. Burnett. I know Omar Kelly will still have something glowing to say about you tomorrow, but I won't.
Koa Misi — B+
Lost amidst Misi's injury (which the Sun-Sentinel is reporting as an ankle injury) was the fact that he was having a very good game playing in coverage while racking up five tackles.
Karlos Dansby — A
Dansby was a force against the 49ers, collecting 12 tackles with two of them going for a loss.
Jason Trusnik — A
Considering the fact that Trusnik came in relief, his five tackles and one tackle for loss are solid. Pretty good game, and he should get some more snaps at linebacker even if Misi is alright for next week's contest. Miami does have to see what it has at the linebacker position considering how thin it is there.
Sean Smith — C-
Ladies and gentlemen, here's Miami's best cornerback, Sean Smith. Watch as he gets beat by receivers left and right, watch as Frank Gore carries him an extra three yards. Stellar performance, Mr. Smith (I sure do hope sarcasm translates well in written form this time, it never seems to).
R.J. Stanford — B
Stanford performed well and is quietly playing himself into next season's secondary, mostly at the nickel position. It's funny how the Dolphins seem to have a No. 2 cornerback and two nickels, especially since just three seasons ago they dedicated an entire draft to the cornerback position.
Nolan Carroll — C
Insert Nolan Carroll complaint here.
Reshad Jones — A
Just vote for this guy to go to the Pro Bowl. With eight tackles, Jones had another good day in the defensive backfield. At times it seemed like he and Stanford were the only ones who showed up.
Chris Clemons — C
Wow, Clemons was painful to watch despite his eight tackles. Mainly because of that dumb penalty, which gave San Francisco 15 yards that it didn't need. Bad instincts, bad hit.
Overall Game Grade — C-
So once again, Miami's special teams muffed one punt inside its own 10, leading to a touchdown for the 49ers just three plays later. They also failed to down a punt that should've been inside the 49ers' own 5-yard line, which changed the momentum of a 3-3 game and would lead to a 49ers field goal.
Not as egregious as the Patriots game where it was the difference between winning and losing, but they were still huge mistakes.
Overall Game Grade — C-
One minute this coaching staff is doing a tremendous job at play-calling. The next minute, they're terrible.
This is why this team is so bipolar: The coaching staff isn't very consistent, in a horrible way. The special teams unit is prime example of that, as are the missed tackles on defense.
As for the offensive play-calling, it might be great if there was more talent, but for now the play-calls seem forced.