So it comes to this: your Miami Dolphins take that loooong west coast flight to face the 8-3 San Francisco 49ers. A few weeks ago this looked like a great matchup: a rising Dolphins team with playoff hopes facing the one-time object of our affection, Jim Harbaugh, and the team he turned us down for. Man, have things changed.
The Dolphins have now lost four out of their last five after a three-game winning streak that had everyone talking playoffs and comparing Tannehill to Marino. That felt really good until the Shitty Dolphins showed their true colors once again! Well, all that playoff talk has now broken down into scenarios that would require its own "A Beautiful Mind"-like feature film, people are worried about Tannehill's erratic performances as of late and everyone's gaze has begun to set upon starting some of the younger players, looking at the draft and planning for next year -- again.
Conversely, Jim Harbaugh (whom the Dolphins brass courted heavily in early 2011 despite already, you know, having a head coach and everything) turned a 6-10 team in 2010 into a 13-3 team by 2011 and within a couple of special teams miscues from going to the Super Bowl. Harbaugh even managed to turn a monumentally shitty quarterback like Alex Smith into a real live working QB that can throw 13 touchdowns this season AND STILL GET HIS ASS BENCHED. That's just how Harbaugh rolls. He cares not for your football conventions. Start the tattoo'd QB he shall with impunity!
Shit, Harbaugh has even withstood the black stain of being on a terrible (yet awesome) '90s Saturday morning sitcom! This week everyone was reminded that Harbaugh was on Saved By The Bell: The New Class and he managed to survive that eternal stink on his mojo.
So, according to Jim Harbaugh: Working with fucking Screech > Working with Jeff Ireland.
1. Please Don't Get Tannehill Killed
Kid's been up and down for weeks and he missed some big plays last week, but for the love of little baby Jesus do not get him killed by those Niners pass rushers. Aldon Smith and Justin Smith are as nasty as they come and it gets no better behind them with Patrick Willis (*coughshouldabeenaDolphinifweknewhowtodraftcough*) and Navarro Bowman. That defense is nasty NASTY. This is worrisome because I think we can all agree that Ryan Tannehill looks better with his head attached to his body. Considering Jake Long is done for the season (and maybe forever as a Dolphin) and the rest of the offensive line has the ferocity of a batch of kittens, Tannehill may die. Please don't die, Tanny Boy!
2. Expect Tannehill to Play Very, Very Poorly
A quick math lesson:
best WR resembles a chipmunk + other wide
receivers pretty much suck + offensive line is shit
= Bad Game for Tannehill
3. Niners Hungry for a Win, Quick Bounceback
Last week, the Niners played poorly against a terrible Rams team (that the Dolphins beat earlier this season) and lost, so look for the Niners to come out EXTRA hungry for a win at home. In Harbaugh's short tenure, the 49ers are 5-0 after a loss; the Dolphins are ummm not that. This 49ers team bounces back QUICKLY so the Dolphins need to come out with guns blazing and get ahead as fast as possible. No pussyfooting. No FGs, no botched special teams plays, no turnovers. Again, this will be tough against the league's #2 defense but it's the only way to have even the slightest chance to win.
4. Be Mindful of the Frank Gore Local Boy 'Fuck You' Game
Frank Gore is a Miami born and bred MANBEAST. He's already got 972 yards rushing with 4 games to go and a 4.9 ypc average. He will run you over, spit on your mom's tits and laugh in your face. Always fear the 'Local Boy Makes Good on His Hometown Football Team.' Even with our above average D-line, I fear Frank Gore. He is a big, dirty, nasty man with the ability to fuck us thoroughly and put our asses to bed.
5. Reverse The Shitty Special Teams From Recent Weeks
Our special teams unit started off the season great - making impact plays like punt blocks and it seems we've found a quality return guy in Marcus Thigpen (why Davone Bess occasionally still fields punts just to 'fair catch' them is fucking beyond me). However, in recent weeks we've stunk it up by giving up kickoff returns for TDs against the Bills and Seahawks and playing like we've got dicks for brains in the punt game. This is not the game to do it with Ted Ginn Jr. playing for the other team. Please do not turn Ted Fucking Ginn, Jr into Daunte Culpepper. DO NOT FUCKING DO IT, DOLPHINS!
Your Miami Dolphins take on the San Francisco 49ers in San Fran at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.