Rookie LaMichael James provided a spark on the 49ers' two scoring drives, but both of those drives ended in field goals as the 49ers took a 6-3 lead into the half. James, taking his first snaps of the season, has three carries for 12 yards, including a 10-yard gain on his first NFL regular-season carry. He also had a 15-yard reception on a dump and run at the end of the second quarter.
For the second straight game, Colin Kaepernick has been forced to check down from his primary reads. He has a very good completion percentage (12-15 for 133 yards) but he's 0-4 on third downs and he's also been sacked three times, two of them when he could find no one open downfield. While Aldon Smith has a sack for the 49ers, the Dolphins' sack leader, Cameron Wake, has all three this half for Miami.
The last came as the 49ers were driving deep in Miami territory just before the half. The 49ers had one time out remaining following the sack, which came on first down with 1:02 remaining. The next play was a two-yard loss by James, which brought up 3 & 18. Kaepernick threw the ball out of bounds, and the 49ers were forced to end the half with a 37-yard David Akers field goal. That prompted boos from the home crowd.
Defensive end and special teams player Demarcus Dobbs was carted off the field with a right knee injury and will not return. Look for Will Tukuafu to fill in as Justin Smith's backup in the second half. Ricky Jean Francois also can handle that role.
- Matt Barrows