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Despite losing Jimmy Garoppolo to foot injury, 49ers defeat Dolphins 33-17

Chris Simms and Mike Florio discuss why the Dallas Cowboys' defense will be too much for the Indianapolis Colts to handle in Week 13.

The 49ers had to play the vast majority of Sunday’s game against the Dolphins without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

But San Francisco’s defense was as good as advertised, stifling Miami’s explosive offense. And Brock Purdy acquitted himself well enough to lead the 49ers to a 33-17 victory over Miami.

The 49ers didn’t allow a third-down conversion all afternoon, with Miami recording just 14 first downs.

The Dolphins started the game with a 75-yard touchdown by Trent Sherfield on their first play from scrimmage. But they had a tough time moving the ball the rest of the way.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had not thrown an interception since September, but had two on consecutive pass attempts in the third quarter. The 49ers scored field goals off of both.

But the Dolphins were still in the game early in the fourth quarter, as Tagovailoa hit receiver Tyreek Hill with a 45-yard touchdown to cut the 49ers lead to 23-17.

Then Miami head coach Mike McDaniel converted a risky fourth-and-1 from the Dolphins’ own 19-yard line. But the club couldn’t convert a fourth-and-2 later in the possession with a pass to tight end Mike Gisicki that was ruled incomplete after Kyle Shanahan challenged the call.

Robbie Gould hit a 48-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the contest to make the score 26-17. And Nick Bosa strip-sacked Tagovailoa with Dre Greenlaw returning the fumble 23 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory.

After that play, the Dolphins announced Tagovailoa was questionable to rerun with an ankle injury. Skylar Thompson took the last offensive snaps for the Dolphins, throwing an interception to effectively end the game.

Tagovailoa finished just 18-of-33 for 295 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. The Dolphins ran for just 33 yards on eight attempts.

Purdy, San Francisco’s third-string quarterback and the last pick of the 2022 draft, came in after the 49ers first drive. Garoppolo had to exit with a foot injury, which he suffered when he was sacked to end San Francisco’s opening possession. While Garoppolo was initially announced as questionable to return, he was subsequently downgraded to out.

Purdy finished 25-of-37 passing for 210 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Christian McCaffrey had 17 carries for 66 yards, also recording eight catches for 80 yards with a TD. With Elijah Mitchell now on injured reserve with a knee injury, rookie Jordan Mason had 51 yards rushing on eight carries.

Bosa was the star defensively, picking up 3.0 sacks, two tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.

Now at 8-4, the 49ers will host the Buccaneers next weekend.

The 8-4 Dolphins will stay on the West Coast before playing the Chargers in Los Angeles in Week 14.