NFL: San Francisco 49ers beat Miami Dolphins to stay second seed in NFC
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 10/12/12 11:22am
Anthony Dixon dives in for a San Francisco touchdown
The San Francisco 49ers ground out a solid 27-13 win against the Miami Dolphins to keep their lead at the top of the NFC West.
Frank Gore ran in a one-yard touchdown, reached 1,000-yards rushing for the sixth season in his career and also tied the 49ers team record with his 50th rushing touchdown during the game.
Anthony Dixon also bundled in from a yard out while quarterback Colin Kaepernick produced a sparkling 50-yard touchdown run to ice the game in the fourth quarter.
Kaepernick started his fourth game since replacing Alex Smith under centre and threw for 185 yards - 93 of those to Michael Crabtree.
Aldon Smith starred for San Francisco on defence as he sacked Ryan Tannehill twice to take his total to a team-record 19.5 this season, and just three behind New York Giants' sack-master Michael Strahan's NFL record.
Gore's touchdown run punctuated a first half filled with just two field goals for each team - as both offences largely struggled to get anything going.
The 49ers showed their usual grit and power on defence, harassing Tannehill all game but still just forcing the one turnover on a special teams fumble.
CJ Spillman recovered Marcus Thigpen's fumble from a punt and that set up Gore's score to end a stretch of five quarters and overtime without a the 49ers finding the end zone.
The Dolphins provided stout defence themselves, but coach Joe Philbin says a lack of playmaking ability on offence cost them the chance to run San Francisco closer.
"In the fourth quarter, we had some opportunities to put some more points on the board. We didn't. We were too generous," Philbin said. "It's just a lack of playmaking at critical times. That's it."
While the Dolphins slipped to 5-8, San Francisco moved to 9-3-1 and remain as the second seeds in the NFC play-off standings.