49ers vs. Dolphins score: Jimmy Garoppolo benched during Dolphins' blowout victory over 49ers

It was a beatdown from beginning to end as the Miami Dolphins defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 43-17, on Sunday. Jimmy Garoppolo, who returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two weeks due to injury, was benched in the second half after throwing two interceptions, and the defense struggled to stop the red-hot Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

The Dolphins' 43 points were the most scored by an opponent in Santa Clara all-time, and Fitzpatrick was almost perfect despite recent rumblings surrounding his job security. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns while connecting with nine different receivers. The defense struggled to stop Miami all game, as the Dolphins recorded 436 yards of total offense.

Despite making it to the Super Bowl LIV in February, the 49ers are now in last place in the NFC West with a 2-3 record. There will also be questions about the quarterback position, since Garoppolo was benched halfway through the game after throwing for just 77 yards. Coach Kyle Shanahan said at halftime it was done to "protect" Garoppolo, so we shouldn't necessarily expect a quarterback change moving forward.

Why the Dolphins won

The Dolphins won this game by consistent and aggressive play on both sides of the ball. Fitzpatrick was more than willing to take shots downfield, and the defense made it a point to pressure whoever was in at quarterback, but Miami's fast start was certainly something that foreshadowed how this game would go.

The Dolphins came out fast and furious and scored on their first two possessions while the 49ers went three-and-out and turned the ball over on downs. From the opening kick, it looked like the Dolphins were excited to play football while the 49ers slept through this matchup. You can't take days off in the NFL, even if you're playing someone you perceive to be a lesser opponent. The 49ers are capable of much more than what they showed in Week 5.

Why the 49ers lost

It would be easy to blame Garoppolo or the offense at large for the 49ers' third loss of the season, but the truth is that there's much more to the story. San Francisco's defense gave up a 436 yards of total offense to the lowly Dolphins -- who came into this game averaging just 240.3 yards per game. Fitzpatrick looked like a Hall of Famer and Mike Gesicki looked like Tony Gonzalez. While you have to credit the Dolphins for sticking to their game plan, a lot of blame can be attributed to how the 49ers failed to execute.

We all know the 49ers don't have the best offense in the world, but they could always rely on their defense. Yes, they are dealing with several injuries, but Sunday gave us a glimpse into how bad the 49ers could be as a whole if they can't rely on their defense.

Turning point

While the 49ers were facing a 30-7 deficit at the halftime break, there had to be a part of 49ers fans that believed there was a chance they could come back. When it was announced that C.J. Beathard was taking over for Garoppolo in the second half, however, it started to seem like the 49ers would indeed not be mounting an incredible comeback this week.

According to ESPN's Nick Wagoner, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he went to Beathard because he believed Garoppolo was still dealing with lingering effects from his ankle injury. With how the game was going and knowing that they would have to keep the ball in the air for the majority of the second half, Shanahan did not want to keep Garoppolo in the game.

Play of the game

Fitzpatrick may not be the best quarterback in the NFL, but he certainly doesn't get the credit he deserves. This play was exciting, as he stood in the pocket and took a hit while delivering a 32-yard strike to Preston Williams. Just listen: 

What's next

The Dolphins return home next week, where they will host the divisional rival New York Jets. As for the 49ers, they host a divisional rival as well in the Los Angeles Rams.

Thanks for joining us! Relive all the action in the live blog below. 

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Thanks for joining us! Ryan Fitzpatrick was red-hot today while questions surround the 49ers -- especially when it comes to the quarterback position. Check back later, as this piece will be turned into a takeaways article.

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@49ers via Twitter
October 11, 2020, 11:21 PM
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@MiamiDolphins via Twitter
October 11, 2020, 11:19 PM
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This is just a beatdown, and the team delivering the punches is certainly not the one that people expected to win. William Hill Sportsbook had Miami as 8-point underdogs!

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I love seeing Lynn Bowden run the wildcat. If I was Flores, I would look to involve him much more in the offensive game plan. The rookie is truly a triple-threat weapon.

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@MiamiDolphins via Twitter
October 11, 2020, 10:32 PM
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It's clear that Garoppolo is not the only reason the 49ers are losing today. Fitzpatrick throws his third touchdown pass of the day with a 32-yard strike to Preston Williams. Really, everything is going wrong for San Francisco.

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I was curious to see if CJ Beathard would provide a spark for this 49ers offense, and it appears he has. A nine-play, 74-yard drive resulted in a touchdown, and it was undoubtedly the best possession San Francisco had today. Is there a quarterback controversy in San Fran? It's too early to tell, but it will certainly be notable if Beathard can get the 49ers back into this game.

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