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Golden Nuggets: 49ers-Dolphins will be the War of the Middle

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Saturday, December 3rd, 2022

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Dolphins-49ers Is a Battle for the Most Important Part of a Football Field

“No one is better at passing to the intermediate middle than Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. No one is better at taking those passes away than Fred Warner and the 49ers.”

Kawakami: Nick Bosa’s practical and powerful case against artificial turf — will NFL owners finally listen? (paywall)

“But it’s all the same s—,” Bosa said of the variations, whether it’s the UBU Sports Speed Series S-5M Synthetic Turf at MetLife or Hellas Matrix in Arlington, Texas, and Inglewood, Calif. “I mean, it’s a way to make more money. Which is understandable. It’s easier to move out of the way and have a concert. And it’s easier to maintain; obviously, you throw it down and it’s there for years.

“But the amount of money this league makes, it seems like something like that should be on the forefront. And it’s something not all players really realize. Because maybe they haven’t dealt with an injury. But the wear and tear, even from a young age, when you’re 10 years old. Like, when I’m a parent, I’m going to look for places that have grass. Because I don’t want my kid running around on that stuff from 5 years old ’til high school.

“The impact of each step, each cut … all the force goes straight into your joints and your body. And you could feel it. It’s substantial. And then there’s turfs that grab, which happened to me (at MetLife Stadium). And that’s a whole other story.”

Nguyen: How Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel, 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan put unique spins on same offense (paywall)

“The concepts Miami utilizes are familiar to Shanahan’s playbook, but the routes are being run deeper and the pre-snap movement is even wonkier now that McDaniel has free reign....According to TruMedia, the Dolphins see man coverage on just 15 percent of dropbacks, the lowest rate in the league, and they have the fifth-highest success rate against it (47.7 percent). Teams fear Miami’s speed and are playing two-deep zones zone to keep things in front of them. The Dolphins have seen Cover 2 at the NFL’s third-highest rate (17.6 percent). But even against a coverage designed to stop explosive plays, the Dolphins have still produced them 29.9 percent of the time — more than 10 percentage points better than the Eagles, the next-most explosive offense vs. Cover 2...Miami’s speed expands these zones so wide that massive gaps exist between defenders.”

How the Dolphins and 49ers run similar offenses in different ways

“If styles really make fights, this will be a battle of San Francisco’s blunt force against Miami’s blazing speed. Both are successful — the Dolphins are third in the NFL in yards per play while the Niners rank sixth — but while the 49ers want to run you over, the Dolphins want to run right past you.”

49ers suddenly have injury worries on Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel

“There was no setback,” Shanahan said. “When you have a deep thigh bruise, you kind of have an idea of how it’s gonna be and just hasn’t been as good as we were expecting by now. Expected him to be able to go full by now and wasn’t able to, so that’s why there’s some concern.”

Shanahan provides uncertain update on Deebo Samuel status vs. Dolphins

“I mean, he’s got to do something today to give him a chance for it to be a game-time decision.”

Improving health of 49ers dampened by Trent Williams’ injury

“I’m not too concerned about it,” Shanahan said. “I asked [offensive line coach] Chris [Foerster] if he was all right. He said it was just big guy problems ... You usually have them on game day, that’s a big deal so he had them today. He’ll spend the day resting and stuff. And we expect him to be all right.”

How 49ers will avoid filling up on McDaniel’s ‘eye-candy’ offense

“It feels like training camp,” 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said. “Obviously, that’s something we deal with all training camp against our offense. That’ll be helpful in playing a team like this...It’s about being disciplined in your fits. You mentioned ‘eye candy,’ just knowing where your eyes are going. And, ultimately, just executing your assignment.”

49ers vs. Dolphins predictions: Defense doesn’t view this as measuring-stick game (paywall)

“From the Chiefs game, guys just have to do their job and tackle,” Ryans said. “I’d give you more detail, but it’s simple as that. In the Chiefs game, what we didn’t do, we didn’t get off the field on third down because we didn’t make plays, we busted coverages. We weren’t where we were supposed to be. We didn’t do our job and when you don’t do your job consistently, you’ll get embarrassed as we did in that Chiefs game. And it’s nothing that they did that surprised us, it’s guys just being on it each and every snap. … We had a bad week. It happens in the NFL.”

Steve Young breaks down why 49ers-Dolphins is a ‘referendum’ on both teams

“Tua, I think is a legitimate MVP candidate,” Young said. “And if he comes in to San Francisco and if Tua is able to do what you just described, people are gonna have an emotional bend to give it to Tua rather than to Patrick [Mahomes] because Patrick has already been there.”