Heading into a hostile environment in San Francisco, the Miami Dolphins turned in a solid effort on Sunday. But in the end the 49ers were too strong, too physical and too good, and they earned a hard-fought win to stay on top in the NFC West.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t make many big plays with his arm, completing 18 of 23 passes for 185 yards. But he didn’t make many mistakes, either, and playing efficiently and effectively was enough on a day when San Francisco’s defense played well. And Kaepernick put the game away by making a big play with his legs, running for a 50-yard touchdown with 2:10 remaining in the fourth quarter.
That defense has been led this season by Aldon Smith, who had two sacks, giving him a league-leading 19.5 on the season and keeping him within striking distance of Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22.5 sacks in a season. With three games to go, Smith has a good chance of breaking Strahan’s record.
And the 49ers have a good chance of making a lot of noise in the playoffs. If the 49ers win their final three regular-season games they’ll have a first-round playoff bye, and they’ll enter the playoffs with as good a chance as anyone of getting to the Super Bowl.