NOTEBOOK: Defense Puts Up Valiant Effort; Other Notes

Posted Dec 9, 2012

Effort comes up short against NFC West leaders.

SAN FRANCISCO – Despite dealing with the long trip across the country and facing the task of facing a playoff-caliber team in the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami Dolphins played a solid overall game.

The defense got constant pressure on Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the offense managed to move the ball effectively on the No. 2 defense in the National Football League. Unfortunately, the effort came up a short on the road in a 27-13 loss, with Colin Kaepernick’s 51-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes making the final score look larger than the actual closeness of the game.

Statistical Milestones

With his three sacks today, Cameron Wake now has 14 on the season. It is his second season with 14 or more sacks (also 14 in 2010). He joins Jason Taylor (also two times, 2000, 2002) as the only players in Dolphins history to have multiple seasons with 14 or more sacks. Wake also matched his second most single-game sack total of his career. He had three sacks on October 17, 2010 at Green Bay. Wake’s career high for sacks in a game is 4.5 achieved earlier this year at Arizona on September 30, 2012. … With his second quarter reception for six yards, Dolphins tight tend Anthony Fasano has caught a pass in the last 21 games in which he has appeared. The last time that Fasano played and did not record a reception was October 30, 2011 in New York against the Giants. Fasano was inactive for the December 24, 2011 game at New England. … The Miami Dolphins 8:13 drive, which took up portions of the first and second quarters, was the longest offensive drive of the 2012 season. The previous long, not resulting in a touchdown, was a 5:49 minute drive at Arizona on September 30, 2012. … Defensive end Jared Odrick recorded his 10th career sack in the third quarter of the game. … Fasano now has 22 career touchdown receptions as a Dolphin. His next touchdown reception will tie Jim Mandich for second place on the all-time touchdown list by a Dolphin tight end. Fasano’s 22 touchdowns came in 72 career games as a Dolphin, while it took Mandich 93 games to get his 23 touchdown catches and Bruce Hardy, who is the all-time touchdown receptions leader for a Dolphins tight end with 25, 136 games to record his 23rd touchdown catch.

Eye In The Sky

During a scoreless first quarter, rookie left tackle Jonathan Martin and right tackle Nate Garner responded to the challenge of facing an active San Francisco front by giving rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill ample protection. Martin was able to establish leverage on the very dangerous Aldon Smith with his hands. He lost his balance once on Smith’s sack of Tannehill early in the second quarter but kept Smith away from his quarterback after that until the final drive. … Strong interior pressure from Randy Starks and Paul Soliai helped defensive end Cameron Wake collapse the pocket on Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick three times, resulting in three sacks for Wake. Those two also helped clog the middle on some critical running plays and closed down the running lanes for Kaepernick all the way until his bootleg late resulted in a the final touchdown. … Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett did a solid job on run defense and in pass coverage on tight end Vernon Davis. They held Davis to just one catch for four yards on the afternoon. … If nothing else, the battle the Dolphins waged in the trenches on offense and defense got the attention of San Francisco in what was a physical game.


The Dolphins return home for back-to-back games, starting with the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at 1 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium.

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