Matt & Mindi: This is still a defensive team
Matt & Mindi break down the 49ers' win over Miami, highlighting how the team deployed the running backs, Colin Kaepernick's maturation, and the identity of the 49ers.
Coming up so many bodies of forty -- pick up their tenth straight win at home in the month of December as they did. Eat the Miami Dolphins 27 to thirteen and certainly not a dynamic first half. But I dynamic second half for this team and it really kind of starts with that leg. Frank Gore I mean if he really needs to get something done and he takes offense. On his shoulders and gets it done and that's what he did right after -- still recover that ball and put it deep and Miami's territory I'm sorry that first off I have to say that tenth straight win so let me in December that means Mike Singletary that means Jim Tom -- Friday means Jim Harbaugh. And the constant through all those Frank Gore -- Frank Gore. Yet another -- of a very good performance by him not the volume of carries which I think is a good thing Greg Roman said last week that he felt like they gave the ball or they overworked frank against the Rams. What I down. Particularly. Each Justine was how to for energies like James right and also held a foreigner like that is used -- -- Dixon Brandon Jacobs. Not even after winning active not even -- Dixon is the short yardage guy play specialties but in La Michael James we've been wondering if we get to see this guy will there's no use for him real. When Kendall Hunter was on the team and and healthy and playing at a very high level. James now gives him that Kendall Hunter Preston. Gives him a totally different look and -- he didn't even have a huge day statistically but I think he opened up some things he gave Frank -- some time there. Resting in the fresh in the course of the game. We'll gore called and his little Ricky said the big thing he saw is that obviously he's seen him improve and ran through tight spaces and really try and develop that patience and feedback. The one thing that Michael as a Christine -- is that speed and I asked him today how I felt playing his first at about game winners very -- now he's just. And usually calm I think just because he's been waiting for this game he's been practicing for this game and it showed not only his first kick off return which went for 33 yards this first right. He picked up ten yards for a first down his first career reception he picked up thirteen yards for a first down so -- and there weren't any nerves at all he was seamless Thomas and about a. And that's that kick off return I think you returned it from the row right at teachers that he came out. That back -- right he was not going to down -- -- that was not going to be a -- the last the ball -- well over his head. Another thing about the Frank Gore frank -- play well as he was the guy that -- -- it takes to him on the deciding touchdown run so. -- wasn't just teams doing that those guys zone read plays it was glory and when. -- such a factor there when the Dolphins saw that the possibility that the ball's going to go or they collapsed on that left it wide open for -- and fifty yard touchdown run. Second week in a row he's had a fifty yard touchdown drive in through the entire 49ers franchise history. Starting in what 1946. 1950 when they went to the NFL the longest. Run by quarterback with Ron Amadon 49 yards -- -- -- -- is done fifty yards back to back weeks and this one here was the clincher yet. I think so interesting about fragrant as well everywhere knows now. Six career season over a thousand. Pressing that's certainly not to be overlooked only one other or Stephen Jackson has as many in francs in you know at an age where most people think running backs or break on. He feels stronger than ever. And that's with a soft and needs especially when you see that first half the offensive line -- plane to park three sacks on cap for next. And that first half all by the same player. They have Frank Gore keeps that momentum going until they finally got something going in the second half putting jeopardy it's a portent for times overall and three time in the first half. There was one where I think is in the second half where is clearly an -- you can tell James come out -- -- was to chip on on wake. Every Davis let him go. There's another one where we're jeopardy was in his throwing motion and just pulled it down and got sacked an -- that was an absolute mystery where he was fooled by the defense but. You know what sort of struck me was that again the Dolphins just like the Rams their goal was to make it happen it. Looks like Alex Smith brake pressure to do all the things in Alex Smith does which is check the ball down complete short passes that's what cap pretty did. In this game. The difference between this game the last game was because that was I think that happening meaning to this game a lot better and he he did the little things. I thought there's almost a complete meltdown by the corners coaching staff and late in the first half. And -- kind of saved their bacon by throwing the ball out of bounds when he did to allow -- enough time to kick that field. Right and we saw some really good receptions for Michael Crabtree since in his -- him to break the tackles and get yards after the catch and get -- first -- he had a season high nine receptions for him close to. Hundred yards receiving for him so it was a career game for him but still very good as well and then once again this defense. Dean can now finally it all and Smith just two sacks albums -- say we all know he's been able to do. But I think what really summed it up as we've seen the defense guard against the same kind of things that the offense is going up against the opposing defense that makes sense. Defense they're trying to attack the 49ers offense they're trying to tackle 49ers defense that short passing game as well spread them out right and they were having success Dolphins were having success about early in the DBs really needed just and they did so nicely. But the veteran on the outside. Really change things around -- -- Justin Smith. I mean he Ellis had single handedly forced -- to renounce our third quarter and really sad that momentum back to the 49ers defense against him house and and those receivers. This is still a defense team this is no doubt about -- despite what we signed Japanese first game against the Bears where he was a sliding into this is a defensive team. And win the 49ers get their backs against the wall whenever they lose a game when they bounce back. They rely on the defense it's happen now. Six times. In. Jim Harbaugh -- tenure here at the 49ers the team has lost a regular season game. Each time they've come back and the defense is absolutely put its foot down. And today. When the Dolphins scored that touchdown in the fourth quarter midway through the fourth quarter. That's the first touchdown the 49ers defense has allowed in the game after a loss and I think that speaks volumes. About the leadership on their defense and how they really set the tone for everything that happens. And the first touchdown it allows the third quarter against the Saints had eight plus quarters of the -- overtime session against the Rams that they have played without giving up. Touchdowns I think certainly his defense it is the leader of this team that we saw some good things and offense I like how they responded in the second half -- -- they wanted to do is finish games and make his adjustments and I think we've really seen them two games prior minutes. Yeah and you know obviously no. Controversy or another -- College jeopardy is the starter no doubt about it -- I know it's Sunday after this game but I'm already looking forward to next Sunday night. To see how was the Patriots do against -- definitely Al Bill Belichick tries to use him talked about learning there. You've got it they basically keep it here today. Against the Dolphins they're gonna face. See a varied defense. Against the Patriots they're gonna try to confuse and then then on top of that is the body gets to see I can't ever that I don't count don't you know the Seahawks they just. Roy is a scarlet it's getting harder and insane I'm sorry -- -- I -- at -- UNC has gone on between the Cardinals and Seahawks an environment like Oakmont the Cardinals are horrible what I'm saying is December 23 the 49ers play. In Seattle and so not only do they got the Patriots next week they have to come back and travel to Seattle to two away games. Is -- very gay teens and again defense in Seattle is gonna wanna do the same. I -- -- there's going to be underdogs going -- into those two road games going to New England. Is going to be very tight you know predictions or whatever quite spread out numbered a lot of time ago when spreads. I think for there's going to be. The underdogs for those two games -- frankly. It is they're gonna have to really come through some big time games to go into those road environments and come out with a victory. Hey it is it's a one and a half game lead for the foreigners in the NFC west but -- it feels like it's a lot more compact than that.