The 49ers play the Dolphins Sunday at Candlestick. In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups.
LT Jonathan Martin vs. ROLB Aldon Smith
Aldon Smith is arguably the best 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. Rookie tackle Jonathan Martin is the 7th-worst tackle in the NFL this season according to Pro Football Focus.
Martin has no chance against Aldon Smith. That means the Dolphins pocket will collapse on obvious pass plays, and they will not be able to run to the left side.
This matchup alone is going to make it extremely difficult for the Dolphins to accomplish anything on offense.
They’re going to have to constantly roll rookie QB Ryan Tannehill out of the pocket, which will cut off half the field and make it easier for the 49ers defensive backs to cover the Dolphins receivers.