By: Malaika Bobino
San Francisco, CA – It’s obvious Colin Kaepernick still has room for improvement. But since his promotion as the starting quarterback Kaepernick has captivated the fans, the organization and the head coach. Much to the success of his game winning performances, he pulled a rabbit out his hat today.
The Forty-Niners 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins came behind Frank Gore’s 1-yard touchdown and Colin’s 50-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The first half was a complete struggle against the Dolphin’s defense which caused Kaepernick to fumble early in the first quarter. In fact, the quarterback was sacked four times before the Niners turned things around in the second half.
“I wish I had a few throws back and made better decisions,” said Colin. “We had a few bad third downs where we didn’t convert in the first half. We knew we had a good game plan and good plays so we had to go out and execute in the second half.”
Miami definitely had the advantage in the first half, Ryan Tannehill looked poised and calm when he moved his offense downfield without much hesitation. Except the Niners defense held them to just one field goal in the first half. Tannehill found Anthony Fasano in the end zone for a spectacular diving catch for the 3-yard touchdown in the fourth. Fasano caught the ball with one hand before landing on one knee out of bounds.
Donte Whitner did a great job covering Anthony. However, San Francisco used all of their timeouts and challenges in the first half so they were unable to challenge the play. But the Niners defense again did an outstanding job stopping the Dolphins offense leaving no opportunities available.
“In the fourth quarter, we had some opportunities to put some more points on the board,” Miami head coach Joe Philbin said. “We didn’t. We were too generous. It’s just a lack of play making at critical times. That’s it.”
San Francisco ended the half with two field goals from David Akers for 28 and 30 yards resulting in a 6-3 lead. Colin struggled to get the offense into the end zone. The breaking in point in the game came when Marcus Thigpen fumbled trying to catch Andy Lee’s punt early in the third. C.J. Spillman recovered on Miami’s 9-yard line to set up Gore’s touchdown.
“We settled down, played our game and came out on top,” said Dashon Goldson. “We like to create turnovers and convert sudden change, like when the Dolphins turned the ball over. That’s playing team football.”
From there, things went there way. The Niners went for it on fourth-and-one on the 38-yard line as time expired in the third. Cornerback Sean Smith was called for a pass interference against Michael Crabtree and San Francisco go the first down. The quarter ended and on the next drive Anthony Dixon scored on the 1-yard touchdown.
“We knew going in that they [Miami] were going to be tough to move the football on,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “At some points you’ve got to stay patient, but we also took our shots. I thought our offense played winning football.”
Frank reached 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career. He finished with 63 yards rushing, caught two passes and matched his mentor Roger Craig as well as the late Hall of Famer Joe Perry for the franchise record in rushing downs with 50.
“It’s a blessing,” said Gore. “Everybody says when you turn 29 or 30, you can’t do it anymore. When I got 29, I told myself, ‘I’m going to overcome that”. I’ve still got explosiveness. When I see something, I go get it.”
“He’s [Frank Gore] got tremendous ability and great heart,” Harbaugh said. “Probably the thing … wow, this guy is a real, real football player. Also how important it is, the assignments, the technique to him. He’s on everything.”