This is the blueprint we’re looking for from Dolphins

Can they bottle this? That’s what I want to know after watching the Dolphins tear apart the San Francisco 49ers in almost every way imaginable. The final score was 43-17 and the bottom line is that this is the best overall game I’ve seen the Dolphins play, maybe in years.

This is the team I wanted to see a month ago. Crisp on offense. Stingy on defense. Lining up against a formidable opponent on the road and playing with a poise and a purpose that Brian Flores preaches about all the time.

This is the blueprint. A heavy dose of Ryan Fitzpatrick, some big plays by the receivers, even a 70-yard catch and run by tight end Mike Gesicki. On defense, it was just as convincing. Three turnovers, five sacks, so many step-up plays. Even the special teams chipped in with a fake punt and another perfect day from Jason Sanders.

Add it all up and this, for much of these four quarters, was about as efficient and impressive as you can ask for on the fifth Sunday of the season.

So, 2-3 sure looks a lot better than 1-4 right now and with a winless Jets team now scheduled as the next opponent, well, this team has a chance to make things interesting in a hurry. Play the way they did against the 49ers and they will.

We saw signs of this breakout over the first four games. A year ago those games were filled with lopsided defeats. This year there was a victory over the Jaguars and some close losses against some top-tier teams. That was an indicator that things might be different. But only against the 49ers did it all come together, headlined by Fitzpatrick at his absolute best.

This is why Flores is in no rush to play Tua. Look at the two other rookie quarterbacks starting in the league. Joe Burrow had no competition in Cincinnati and Justin Herbert stepped in only when Tyrod Taylor was injured. Tua’s situation is completely different. He has a guy in front of him who can be a difference-maker.

Now I’m still in favor of Tua playing this season. Wouldn’t mind if he got in for a series or two each game. But when Fitzpatrick is playing the way he did against the 49ers, the players in this locker room are smart enough to know who should be starting.

It was an important victory over the 49ers, but its importance will only be heightened if this team can use it as a springboard of sorts, and build off of all those positives, and there were many.

Can they bottle this? Wouldn’t that be nice.


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