The San Francisco 49ers won their fifth straight game Sunday, defeating the Miami Dolphins 33-17. San Francisco once again ran the ball very well. Christian McCaffrey and Jordan Mason combined for 117 rushing yards on 25 carries. The defense showed up also, forcing the Dolphins into four turnovers.
The 49ers defense picked Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa off two times. He had not thrown an interception in almost 200 pass attempts coming into the game. However, the win might prove to be a pyrrhic victory. On the 49ers opening drive, Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot taking a sack. It was initially feared that Garoppolo would require surgery and was lost for the season. However, on Tuesday it was revealed that is not the case.
Nevertheless, the injury is a huge blow to the 49ers. Amid their Week 13 win, let’s take a look at the 2 biggest 49ers overreactions.
1. 49ers Super Bowl hopes are dashed
Brock Purdy, “Mr. Irrelevant” filled in admirably for Garoppolo. The 49ers’ seventh round draft pick finished 25-for-37 for 210 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the win. But it would be fools gold to think that Purdy can carry this team through the playoffs.
The NFC playoff picture is shaping up. San Francisco leads the NFC West by a game over the Seattle Seahawks. They face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before facing Seattle for the second time. They won the first meeting back in Week 2, 27-7.
They will follow that up with games against the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. The schedule could allow the 49ers to hold onto the division. But that’s far from a certainty without Garoppolo. Despite playing well Sunday, let’s see how Purdy fares when teams have a little tape on him. After all, there is a reason he was taken with the final pick in the draft.
Even if they win the division, the 49ers will most likely finish behind the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles among the division winners. That puts them as the third seed, hosting on Wild Card weekend. They are likely going to need to win at least one playoff game before Garoppolo has any shot at returning. That will significantly impact their ability to reach and win the Super Bowl.
2. San Francisco’s defense is easily the best in the NFL
The last couple of weeks, the 49ers have been getting healthy on defense. With all 11 starters active Sunday, they wreaked havoc against an elite offense in Miami. The week prior, they shut out the New Orleans Saints. It was the first time in over two decades that New Orleans had been shut out in any game.
Most people are likely to jump to the conclusion that this is by far the best defense in the NFL. But I am here to remind everyone that it’s not quite that simple.
The Dolphins were missing their two best offensive lineman this week. They aren’t just lineman either. One of them is All-Pro left tackle Terron Armstead, who was hurt the week prior. Right tackle Austin Jackson is no slouch either. He was placed on IR prior to the game vs. the 49ers.
The shutout win needs to be taken with a grain of salt also. The Saints offense is easily one of the worst in the league.
We also can’t forget what Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs did to this defense. Don’t get me wrong, they are definitely one of the best defensive units in the league. But it’s no slam dunk that they are the best and when they’ve faced elite competition, have shown they can be beat.