Sports

Mike McDaniel's Face Said It All in Dolphins' 33-17 Blowout Loss to 49ers

Hey, at least Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and the team's fans were on the same page about Sunday's performance against the San Francisco 49ers.
Hey, at least Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and the team's fans were on the same page about Sunday's performance against the San Francisco 49ers. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins entered Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers a red-hot first-place AFC East team hoping to test its mettle against the NFL's best defense. The first game of a critical three-game road trip, Sunday felt like a solid benchmark in a season that had been trending up, up, up.

Unfortunately, Tua and Miami walked out of Sunday's three-hour midterm exam with a 33-17 loss and more questions than answers.

After beginning the day with a 75-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Trent Sherfield, things went downhill all the way for Tua and the Dolphins' normally unstoppable offense. From missed throws to open men to reviews that overturned pivotal plays, Miami just never seemed to hit its stride against a tough San Francisco team.

Matters went from bad to worse coming out of the half, as Tua tossed his first interception since September. That was merely a harbinger of uglier things to come.
If you thought things might improve for the NFL's best offense after an early hiccup, you thought wrong.
On the very first play of the Dolphins' very next possession, Tagovailoa tossed another pick.
A 45-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill made it a one-score game, and for a moment it seemed as though Miami might have another incredible comeback win in its pocket to add to a season sprinkled with multiple magic moments. Pulling a win out of one of their worst performances of the season would be further evidence that sign this isn't your same-old Dolphins squad.

Alas, it was not to be.

Following a critical 49ers field goal that upped San Francisco's lead to 9, all hell broke loose. A Nick Bosa strip-sack and 49ers scoop-and-score sealed the deal.

Mike McDaniel's face after the play told the story of a game that had opportunity written all over it after the 49ers lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the team's first drive of the game.
Finally, a Miami Dolphins head coach who looks exactly like the team's fans feel on a play-to-play basis. Win or lose, you have to respect the accurate representation.

The defeat drops Miami into second place behind the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills. And the tests don't get much easier, as the Dolphins stay out west to face the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football next weekend in a contest that may define both teams' seasons, for better, or for worse. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.

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