Miami Sports Day

NFL: Dolphins Win Sixth Straight as 49ers’ Skid Hits 10

MIAMI — Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kiko Alonso lived up to his position on Sunday. He was in the center of just about everything.

Alonso had a fumble recovery, an interception and also teamed with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to make the game’s dramatic final tackle, stopping San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick just short of forcing overtime.

Because of the heroics of Alonso, Suh and also Ryan Tannehill — who threw three touchdown passes — Miami won its sixth straight game, holding off San Francisco 31-24 at Hard Rock Stadium.

The 49ers had first-and-goal at the Miami 6-yard-line with five seconds left in the game. After a quick slant pass to Jeremy Kerley went incomplete because of tight coverage by cornerback Byron Maxwell, the 49ers got one last chance.

Kaepernick dropped back to pass, but when he found no one open, he took off.

“I tried to stick with my guy in coverage,” Alonso said. “But I could tell (Kaepernick) was going to tuck it and run. Everyone did a good job of running to the ball and stopping him.”

Alonso grabbed Kaepernick from behind and Suh formed a brick wall at the 2, where the game ended.
49ers coach Chip Kelly said he was watching the pass routes develop and couldn’t comment without watching film on what Kaepernick saw to make him want to run.

“We had four guys in the end zone,” Kelly said. “We had a shallow cross and a deep (pattern) over the top. Then we had two guys working on the other side.”

None of the targets came open and the Dolphins, who started this season 1-4 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2008, improved to 7-4, putting them in position for a possible wild-card berth.

Tannehill, Miami’s first-round pick in 2012, completed 20 of 30 passes for 285 yards with no interceptions.

He connected on touchdown passes to Dion Sims in the second quarter, Kenny Stills in the third and Leonte Carroo in the fourth. The Sims play was Tannehill’s 100th career touchdown pass.

However, Miami’s win was tempered by a back injury suffered by DeVante Parker. He left the game in the second half, and there was no update on his status.

San Francisco (1-10) has lost 10 games in a row, setting a franchise record for a team whose history dates to 1946.  The previous record of nine consecutive losses was set in 1978.

The 49ers fell to 0-6 with Kaepernick as their starting quarterback.

Kaepernick was booed by fans. He knelt during the national anthem and also drew attention in the region recently after an exchange with a Miami reporter who questioned Kaepernick’s veiled support of late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Kaepernick completed 29 of 46 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once and ran 10 times for a game-high 113 yards.

“What I said was I support the investment in education,” Kaepernick said. “I never said I support the oppressive things that he did.”

San Francisco scored on its first possession as running back Carlos Hyde caught an 11-yard swing pass in the right flat.

But Miami rallied to take a 14-7 on consecutive 11-play drives of 91 and 84 yards. Jay Ajayi scored on a two-yard run around left end, and Sims caught his 16-yarder to cap those two drives.

Miami increased its lead to 17-7 on a 24-yard field by Andrew Franks. That field goal was set up by Alonso’s second interception of the season and his second in the past three games, which set Miami up at the San Francisco 26-yard line.

“He’s been a great addition to our organization,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of Alonso, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. “His ball skills are rare for a linebacker. I love watching him play, the way he hits and tackles and his passion.”

San Francisco cut its deficit to 17-14 on a 4-yard TD pass to tight end Garrett Celek. That capped a nine-play, 91-yard drive.

Miami went up 24-14 late in the third on Tannehill’s 43-yard pass to Stills. And the touchdown catch by Carroo, which went 15 yards and was the first of the rookie’s career, gave Miami a 31-14 lead.

The 49ers battled back, getting a 1-yard TD catch by Torrey Smith in the left corner of the end zone with 7:42 left in the game and a 36-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 2:15 remaining.

That set the stage for the dramatic finish in which the 49ers fell short once again.

DOLPHINS NOTES: Miami was missing three-fifths of its starting offensive line because of injuries: LT Branden Albert (wrist), LG Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) and C Mike Pouncey (hip). … Miami starting CB Xavien Howard (knee) was also inactive. … Several Dolphins played despite being listed as questionable earlier in the week: WR Kenny Stills, WR Jarvis Landry, RB Kenyan Drake, LB Jelani Jenkins, DE Mario Williams and DT Ndamukong Suh. Williams later left the game because of illness. … San Francisco was without starting OLB Aaron Lynch (ankle) and starting DL Quinton Dial (knee and neck). … 49ers S Eric Reed (biceps) was placed on injured reserve this week, and he’s out for the season along with San Francisco starting LB Navarro Bowman (Achilles) and DL Arik Armstead (shoulder)

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