Solid Defensive Effort Not Enough

Posted Dec 9, 2012

Some random thoughts and observations on a day when the Dolphins played a very good San Francisco team tough but just couldn’t generate enough offense.

• This was the second consecutive week the Dolphins stood toe-to-toe with one of the elite teams in the league, but couldn’t pull out a victory.

• This truly was a defensive slug fest, and it was Cameron Wake who led the charge for the Dolphins. His three sacks in the first half gave him 14 for the season, which already matches his career high for a season set in 2010.

• In a game that featured two of the best pass rushers in the league, Wake got the better of 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, who had two sacks.

• In all fairness, we should point that Wake owes Koa Misi on his first sack because it was Misi pushing back left tackle Joe Staley that prompted Colin Kaepernick to move up in the pocket, where Wake was ready to pounce on him.

• Wake also made a big tackle in coverage on a late third down to give the Dolphins a final chance at tying the game. It just goes to prove what the coaches have been saying all season, that Wake has been not just a great pass rusher all season but a terrific all-around player.

Jared Odrick also got a sack, which gave us a chance to see his great Pee Wee Herman sack dance.

Karlos Dansby forced San Francisco to settle for a field goal when he shot the gap and dropped Frank Gore for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1. Again, give a big assist to Kevin Burnett, who stood his ground at the line of scrimmage and forced Gore to run laterally.

• That was some catch in the corner of the end zone by tight end Anthony Fasano, wasn’t it. It also wasn’t the first time he’d done something like that.

Marcus Thigpen has had a memorable season as the Dolphins’ kick returner, and he showed great resiliency and bounce-back ability when he followed his muffed punt with a 56-yard kickoff return. Not that there was any doubt, but this guy is a keeper.

Lamar Miller not only was back in the lineup against San Francisco, he got the start at running back. The rookie from the University of Miami had a highlight play when he took a short pass on third-and-7 and turned it into an 8-yard gain with some nifty after-the-catch running.

• The usual starter at halfback, Reggie Bush, had 65 yards on 14 carries, for a 4.6-yard average. That’s pretty good work against a tremendous 49ers run defense.

• Special teams standout Jason Trusnik went into the game on defense after Koa Misi left because of an ankle injury, and he made a great play late in the third quarter when he got great penetration, leading to LaMichael James being dropped for a 2-yard loss on a running play.
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