Well, the best piece of good news is that the Dolphins can play great without Terron Armstead. Except for a few blemishes, the offensive linemen backups played an outstanding game and gave our QBs all day to pass.

The other piece of good news is that of the 53 men on the active roster, 51 of them played their hearts out, only to be let down by today’s underachievers, both of our QBs.

I’ll start with the short one first, and that is Skylar Thompson not being a good player. Yeah, I know soooo many people were gung-ho for the kid when he played well against 7th-stringers in meaningless scrimmage games during the pre-season, but he’s since had his chance to shine in real games, and he has played poorly every single time. Let’s get off his bandwagon and finally agree with me that he’s just another QB like David Fales, Sage Rosenfels, Reid Sennett, and more. To add insult to injury, we got a gut-wrenching look at what a GOOD 7th-round unknown bum can do. The bum who beat us.

But back to the Dolphins, the other QB who played for Miami today was someone new. I did not recognize the guy wearing Number 1. The guy who threw two good passes all day long. Who was that guy? If ever there was a case for “this is NOT a team loss, but rather one guy’s fault,” it was today. And that guy is Tua.

All the accuracy was gone. The zip was gone. The touch was gone. With all day to pass and with guys wide open, Tua threw high constantly. WIDE open. The lack of panic was gone. The icy veins were gone. The correct decisions were gone. Picking up third-down conversions easily? Also gone.

On rare occasions when he didn’t sail it over someone’s head, he was throwing grounders. 100% of this loss is his fault. 100.

The referees certainly didn’t help. Thirteen 49er points came from bogus penalties. But with Tua playing like garbage all day long, we cannot blame the refs.

Late in the game, Moose Johnston made a great point about fighting for a first down when it’s second down. Instead of just going down and accepting an “easy” third and two, keep fighting for the first down. That is missing from the Dolphins game. McDaniel has them so used to picking up first downs easily, that we just phone it in on second. Third and two is not a problem, until you don’t pick it up. Then you lament, “Why didn’t I just fight for two more yards on the previous play.” Dolphins do that a lot.

Being on the field an exhausting amount all day long is a legit excuse for the defense to have a letdown, but it still should not have happened. Not against some 7th round nobody. It cannot happen, yet it did. Xavien Howard finally gets an interception this year, and it’s on 4th down ball that he should have batted down, not caught. He cost us 40 yards by catching it.

How about Eric Rowe and Jevon Holland watching Zach Seiler make a 4th-down “stop” on the rookie unknown QB, only to see him spin around and pick up the first, because they were watching the play and not participating. This makes me go back and say that Tua was only 99% responsible for the loss. Josh Boyer and the D take 1% of the blame.

Despite his horrid game, Tua can look to next week to get back on track. This is an NFC loss, which hurts but is not as damaging as an AFC loss. With the Chiefs’ loss, the Bills now hold the #1 seed, so we missed a golden opportunity to have that #1 seed to ourselves. Tua let a 7th-round irrelevant nobody take away our #1 seed, and I hope he stews on that all week long. I hope it inspires him to come out firing correctly next week. And then especially the week after that.

While everyone else can hold their head high, Tua has to look in the mirror. And I hope he sees the MVP candidate we’ve seen all year long and not the imposter who showed up today and got outplayed by some kid.


  1. I fear that we saw the real Tua again today….one who falls flat every time we play a big name team on the road. I guess we will find out in 2 weeks.

    1. Author

      Perhaps. But all his mistakes today were overthrows, as opposed to overall mechanics. We hope. Next week is big road game again.

    2. Author

      He’s had some strong road games this year. That doesn’t worry me. But December games in the cold could be a factor and we have a game in Boston and in Buffalo coming up

  2. I have our D as being more responsible than just 1% for this awful loss. No way in hell should any backup QB, let alone the Last pick in the draft, be able to carve up any D in this league. Does Boyer know what the word – ADJUSTMENTS – means ? somehow this (never played in the NFL before) QB – not even knowing that he would be playing today, is able to calmly roast our D, all day long – Pathetic ! Maybe more concerning than Tua’s Bad day, is how poorly our D plays on the road. Go back and look at the total points our D has given up – on the road – and it makes you wonder if they can win (away) at all, the rest of the season.

    1. Author

      Well, Boyer was calling those all-out blitzes for a while, and the kid was easily dumping it off to McCaffrey and Kittle. So he stopped calling those. A bit if an adjustment there. Our D was far more effective later when we ran more basic things and made the kid think, rather than forcing him to make a fast throw.
      But you’re not wrong. It truly is embarrassing to see this kid on all the interviews and talk shows today with that wide smile of his.

    2. I agree with this. This D cant get off the field. You know that this rookie back up will be prepared for your zero defense and will only through short. No adjustment. I think they need to get a defensive mind in there.

      1. Author

        Absolutely. It was very easy for Shanahan to tell the kid “They are going to blitz, so quickly throw the screen to McCaffrey.”
        It’s not so easy to tell the kid, “They are going to fake a blitz and confuse you, so you’re on your own and be very careful and make sure you’re doing the right thing.” THAT is what you want a rookie to play through

  3. Well…how much will Tua “freak the ‘eff’ out when we play the Bills, Jets, Packers?? ok-Packers are not the same of late, but Rodgers can come alive in 80 degree weather Christmas Day. The whole team was out of whack…is this what going to the West Coast does to them? Were they trying to hard for McDaniel to beat Shanny? I don’t know what that was yesterday. But let’s point the finger at the player who is in the driver’s seat…Tua. I have said this all along-the NFL game is way too fast for him…he freaked out and the SF no-name back up came in cool headed and commandeered his team without breaking a sweat. Mentally, Tua was rattled from the strength of SF, and also the size of their players. That’s my observation…I do believe that the mental part of this game can throw a player/team off whereby the mental errors keep going throughout the game and you get what you give.

    1. Author

      I didn’t see any freaking out. I saw a QB who’s having an MVP-candidate season have a bad game. A terribly bad game. On most of those passes, he had all day to throw and the WRs were wide open. Who was freaking him out? Which of the vaunted, scary 49er defenders were about to pummel him and FORCED a mistake? No one. Listen, I will blast Tua forever for this game, and he gets no free pass from me. But I won’t go back in time and say it’s the same old unqualified Tua showing his true self. This year, he has earned better than that. He had a shitty game, and by all accounts afterward, he admitted it.
      By comparison, if Zach Wilson accepted some blame, he’d still be playing.
      Also, everyone shares some of the blame, but I don’t think the “whole team” was whacked out. Mostly it was just #1

      1. Admin, we can disagree and agree to it…respect your thoughts. I have not yet found my comfort zone from Tua. I have not waivered on this from the start. BUT, he has done a very good job this season compared to last season so whatever he and the coaches are doing is showing big improvement. What I want to feel when Tua is playing is a confidence that he can commander this offense with his arm accuracy consistently. Let’s see what happens in Buffalo. I am fine with a piece of crow pie if it’s served.

        1. Author

          We respect you as well, and hope to feed you that pie! 🙂 Fingers crossed. Buffalo is a big test.

  4. Can someone explain why Joe Philbin, I mean Mike McDaniel, called a timeout with about a minute left in the first half while SF was driving? This gave SF enough time to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal. Those extra 4 points made a big difference as the Dolphins would’ve only needed a field goal to take the lead in the 4th quarter instead of a touchdown. Can anyone (besides Joe Philbin) explain the logic of calling that timeout?

    1. Author

      I think that was third down, and McD was thinking to get the ball back before halftime. I wouldn’t have called TO myself, but it was not as egregious as Philbin. I was more concerned with both of his incorrect decisions to go for it on 4th down. From our own 18 with 6 minutes left? Risky. You don’t get to say “it was the right choice” just because it worked. It was wrong. Like when your kid jumps off a bridge and happens to survive…did he make the right choice?
      The second one bothers me more. 4th and 3 from midfield with around 5 minutes left. 6 point game. You pin the rookie back deep, and you ask your defense for one lousy stop. They finally had gotten some stops on the kid QB and were playing well. You get the ball back around midfield or better, first down, and 3 minutes left. Instead, McD gave THEM the ball at midfield and a first down. McD is still playing Madded a little too much with this un-strategic risks.

  5. You know, I don’t disagree with anything you guys said, except this… the “referees.” The refs were there to make sure the 49ers would not be outmatched by the Dolphins. That became evident on the 49ers first score and culminated when they overruled themselves on that Gesicki catch in the fourth quarter. Did Tua play awful… sure. Did the defense play horrendous… yep. But none of us should be thinking the refs were not there to make sure the 49ers would stay competitive at home against the Dolphins.

    1. The trip was the worst. A trip, by definition, is a purposful action. How does someone trip a player when they dont see them and from behind. The random PI/illegal contact seems to always get us on 3rd down. I dont think there is any real directive from the NFL on this as its been going on for years.

      Step one, get all men aged 50+ the hell off the field. Old men can not referee any longer. Step two, if the receiver makes first contact, dont call a penalty.

      1. Author

        Yeah, feet get tangled on every single play (just ask Jimmy G), so for them to say Melvin Ingram tripped a guy while he was being blocked with his back to the runner? A b.s. call. Unless Melvin has e.s.p. and “sensed” exactly where to stick out his foot.
        I’ve said for years…I can live with PI calls, but only when the ref sees the foul and throws the flag. What I hate hate hate is when they don’t make a call, then they hear the crowd whine, then they see the WR pleading, and then the flag comes out.

        You guys know this about me, and I’ll say it again. I love the NHL refs because when they see a foul, they raise that arm. Period. And when they don’t call a foul, then a player gets in their face. But the ref turns his back and skates away. The NHL ref does NOT listen to the player and does NOT survey the crowd first. Only NFL refs are so easily influenced.

      2. WESTCOASTFINFAN, did our special play defender run outta bounds or was he blocked outta bounds? I’m asking because I was busy doing something else when the play was replayed. Anyway, I thought a defensive player could come back inbounds if he were pushed outta bounds?

        1. Author

          That was an iffy call, and not overly important in the big scheme, because it only gave them a few extra yards to begin a drive. I think the blocked player must immediately get back in bounds, but our guy took a few steps out of bounds. BUT…it’s part of a bigger issue of how horrible our special teams are.
          It seems like we let the 49er kid QB begin every single drive at around his own 40, and we were starting each drive at our 10. Unable to flip the field all day long.

          1. I agree with Admin. He was blocked but could have came back in sooner than he did. This was a rather inconsequential call unlike the trip.

            1. Author

              I just HATE when we get a rare, odd penalty against us. I can live with a bullshit holding call, because those even out in a season. But tripping? never ever see that, Intentional Grounding against the Jets when the ball landed a foot away from our tight end? “Oh, let’s whip out some never-called specification and talk about the tight end had a defender in his face.”
              THAT “safety” on the very first play of the game was the most damaging penalty of the year.

              1. Here’s what pisses me off about that call most. I referred high school football for years and i umpitred college baseball for years and there is one constant that is taught at all levels. That is, if you are not sure about what you saw, dont call it. That being said, this leaves that official in a predicament. he either didn’t see it clearly and called it anyways or he saw it and doesn’t know what the hell he is doing. Or, perhaps, is a cheater (dont like to use this reason for anyone unless proven). There is just no logical reason for that call, none, and it cost us dearly.

    2. Author

      Subtle mistakes by the officials are almost always overlooked. After the Gesicki miss, there was about 4 minutes left in the game. Kittle picked up a first down on a catch to the right, and our DB knocked him out of bounds. The spot of the ball was fine, but as the ref ran in, he was swinging his arm around to keep the clock moving. A subtle mistake. Kittle was NOT down in bounds. The clock should have stopped. This mistake by the ref will go unnoticed, but it cost us 40 valuable seconds, which would have helped with our timeout situation later when the game was still 6 points. McDaniel could have challenged too, since in/out plays are challengable.
      It just shows you how fickle the refs can be. it’s not just the huge PI penalties in the final 2 minutes. It’s tiny, lazy calls they make to speed up the game so they can go home.
      I don’t necessarily think the fix was on and they were helping the 49ers, but they certainly weren’t calling it both ways.

      1. I think the refs were paid to keep the 49ers in the game no matter what.

    3. I couldn’t agree more with Phil. I’m definitely not a “It’s the refs” guy but this was the most obviously one-sided game I’ve ever seen called in a long long time. It got to the point in the 2nd half where my son looked at me and said: “They are not gonna let us win this game are they?” I told him no because EVERY single time we were about to take the game over, there would be a timely, game-changing call against us. Sure they would give us the occasional call to make it look even, but watch the game again…you will see how back-breaking the calls that went against us were as far as momentum. That bogus holding call (you can basically call that on ANY play) was HUGE. We went from 1st and 10 in the red zone to 1st and 20 outside the 40 where the defense knows you have to pass and can T off on Tua…which led to the pressure and interception. Overturning both catches on challenges on the drive where we can take a lead and change the game. And on and on and on. Also, this was the most hyped game of the year. Why would the NFL not send their BEST crew. Instead it was amateur hour with a ref that I literally had never seen before. That dude was terrible and not worthy of a game this big. He was simply put there to make sure SF did not lose. If we had taken the lead, I’m 100% convinced another bogus call would be coming to overturn the TD. Just my 2 cents.

      1. Author

        The holding bullshit call was gut-wrenching. It was first and 15, and Mostert ran the ball for 20. A brilliant first down! But no. Did you see Robert Hunt hold anyone? I didn’t. Moose Johnston didn’t.

      2. Hey MOONBEAR, I was talking to a friend on phone while the game was on and I said to him its doesn’t matter what the Dolphins do because it’ll always be the “Dolphins takes one step forward and the refs make sure they take two steps back.”

        Its like back in the day when the Dolphins played New England. Even the announcers would say “the Dolphins are playing the New England Patriots and the officials on the field.”

    4. Author

      Hate to admit it, but the 2 overruled pass “catches” were the correct call. Ball hit the ground both times. But again, it took slo-mo to confirm those. The refs on the field, in both cases, blew the call by saying it was a catch and getting our hopes up. 🙁
      One thing to note is I’d like to see Mike McD get his team to the line asap after a questionable call. We see that all the time on other teams, but the Dolphins showed none of that. Race up to the line and don’t give the opponent a chance to watch the replay.

  6. Author

    Reader Justin just informed me about the Dolphins signing former #1 pick Eric Fisher, since Austin Jackson is now back on the I.R. Let’s hope he has some good years left in the tank.

  7. I remember reading about how Tua’s father used to beat him with a belt after every interception he threw. I wonder what his dad is gonna do after 3 in one game. 😂

    1. Author

      Technically one was a fumble for a defensive TD, so he only threw 2 picks. Maybe that fumble cost him some extra belt beatings.

  8. NFL is screwing over the Dolphins again. The Bills game has been changed to Saturday night which means they have to play Sunday night in L.A. (after spending the whole week in California), fly back to Miami (probably on Monday), and then have a shortened week to prepare for the Bills game before having another travel day flying to Buffalo. Also, the game is on the NFL network which means it’ll probably be blacked out on regular TV in Palm Beach County. Seems between the refs and the scheduling, the NFL doesn’t want the Dolphins winning anything.

    1. Author

      Yeah, it’s something they don’t consider when trying to make the schedule “fair.” I was trying to look up if the Dolphins are staying in California this week.

  9. Sorry for missing the chats lately Admin as I enjoy them just in Caymans and my feeds way behind. I can’t disagree with anything said here and to be honest no one gets calls in San Francisco or NE. It’s just the way it is. Complete BS even my friend who’s a niner fan can’t explain it.

    On another note Fins receivers had 4 drops catchable balls so not all on Tua although agreed he was mostly horrible. He still had them in the game to the end which is a positive.

    1. Author

      Cad and I have missed you, so come back to us soon! We’ve actually had Justin and Brian M join lately too, so it’s getting a little more robust in those chats!

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