The San Francisco 49ers are winners of five-straight games following their 33-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon. The team rallied in all three phases following the early foot injury to starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The win marks the fifth-straight for the 49ers, and they improve to 8-4 on the year.
"We have a resilient group, that's what I loved about today so much," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Losing our quarterback on the second series in the first quarter, it was a big deal, but you don't feel any difference from guys on the sideline. We have a strong team, guys who love football, and we really have to make sure to ride that high the rest of the year. I hope it can keep making us better."
Garoppolo Exits the Game with a Foot Injury
The 49ers starting quarterback was injured during San Francisco's opening drive after being sacked on third-and-six for a loss of 10 yards. Garoppolo was carted off the field shortly after and was initially listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Later, he was ruled out entirely with a foot injury. Quarterback Brock Purdy took over the offense with 9:30 left in the first quarter. Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, Garoppolo will be out for the rest of the season with this injury and will require surgery.
"Just hearing it is pretty crushing," Shanahan said. "I know what Jimmy has been through, how hard he's worked at this. I got that news in the second quarter, so it was a little different for me... All the stuff that went on throughout the game, just to be able to overcome some things, and it was such a special win. But, it was a definite mix of emotions hearing about Jimmy. I told the guys right after the game, so I know that gave them some mixed emotions fast too."
Purdy Throws for First-Career Touchdown
The rookie quarterback found the end zone in his first drive after taking over for the injured Garoppolo. Purdy capped off a nine-play, 54-yard drive with three-yard pass play to fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The touchdown marks the first of Purdy's NFL career. The rookie threw another three-yard touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey in the final minute of the second quarter. Purdy closed out the game completing 25-of-37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
"I've always had confidence and belief in myself that I could play at this level," Purdy said. "To get in, play and now, start next week whatnot, it's something I've always looked forward to and something (start in an NFL game) I told myself was going to happen."
Nick Bosa Takes Over as the NFL Sack Leader
The 49ers defensive lineman added not one but two first half sacks for a total loss of 18 yards to take over as the league's sack leader. And to really solidify his place on top of the leaderboard, he added a fourth quarter strip-sack that brings his season sack total to 14.5. His third sack of the day resulted in a fumble recovery touchdown by linebacker Dre Greenlaw to put the team up 33-17.
"Whenever you lose somebody, offense or defense, you have to step it up," Bosa said. "We have the defense that can do that."
Bosa's first sack came early in the second quarter on third-and-one on San Francisco's 17 yard line, forcing the Dolphins to settle for a field goal. His second takedown of Miami's quarterback Tua Tagovailoa came just before the half on another crucial third down. Bosa's second sack forced the Dolphins to punt from their own 29 yard line.
Jordan Mason Contributes to the Ground Game Early
The 49ers looked to the rookie running back to step up in the absence of second-year back Elijah Mitchell. Last week, Mason took his most significant reps of the season, helping the 49ers burn out the final six minutes against New Orleans. Mason carried the ball five times for 25 yards in Week 12 and followed up that outing with eight carries for 51 yards on Sunday afternoon.
Jimmie Ward Picks Off Tagovailoa
The 49ers veteran defensive back notched his second interception of the season and sixth of his career, picking off Tagovailoa on Miami's first offensive drive of the second half. The interception ended Tagovailoa's streak of 193 pass attempts without an interception and resulted in the 49ers taking over on their own 36 yard line. San Francisco was able to score a field goal on the ensuing drive to take the 23-17 lead with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
Robbie Gould Goes Seven-for-Seven
San Francisco's veteran kicker had a perfect day, sinking all seven of his kicks against the Dolphins. Gould racked up 15 points for San Francisco with his four field goals and three extra point attempts. He is now in the league's top ten all-time scorer at No. 10.
Deommodore Lenoir Notches First-Career Interception
Takeaway No. 2 of the day belongs to the sophomore cornerback. Lenoir picked off Tagovailoa in the third quarter and ran the ball back eight yards to set up San Francisco on Miami's 33 yard line. The 49ers went on to score a 36-yard field goal on the ensuing drive to take the 23-10 lead with 1:14 left in the third quarter. Linebacker Fred Warner added one more interception for the defense late in the fourth, effectively sealing the game for San Francisco.
Christian McCaffrey Does It All Against the Dolphins
The do-it-all back contributed big time on the ground and through the air in a game that required everyone on the offensive side of the ball to step up. CMC had 17 carries for 66 yards and caught eight passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's contest. In his first six games in San Francisco, he has reached the end zone five times, recording two receiving touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and throwing one passing touchdown.
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