Review: Packers 26; Dolphins 20~ the game opened with a bang for the Packers, on a 93-yard kickoff return by Keisean Nixon down to Miami’s 9-yard line. Rodgers and the offense squandered that massive opportunity and lost 9 yards on the drive and settled for a game-tying field goal. That won’t get it done in the playoffs, hell not even against the Vikings on New Year’s Day. All too familiar to January football that Rodgers and the Packers have played in the last 12 years.
Turnovers: the key to almost every evenly-matched football game, was the decisive statistic here. Green Bay took the ball away 4 times, while Miami only had 1 takeaway. Miami outgained Green Bay 376 to 301, with a huge disparity in avg. yards per play (8.4 v 4.6). The Packers again stuck to the run game, enough, to win.
Defense: While the Packers’ D was torched in the 1st half, with poor tackling and busted coverage (in zone, of course), Green Bay somehow got it together in the 2nd half. Immediately following the Rodgers interception in the end zone, the very next play, Jaire Alexander came up with his 5th interception of the season to snatch momentum back to Green Bay’s side. The offense sputtered and settled for a FG, again. They would do so again following the De’Vondre Campbell interception. In the 2nd half, Green Bay allowed 100 yards on 22 plays (4.5 yards/play), on 4 drives, resulting in: a missed field goal; 3 interceptions.
Like the 2010 Super Bowl run, the Defense had to completely take over the game and ice it in the end. An all too familiar requirement for the NFL’s all-time highest paid player.
3rd Downs: this shows where the Packers may have stolen a victory. Green Bay converted just 2 of 14 (14.3%) third downs. Truly atrocious, especially in major situations needed. They did convert 3 of 5 on fourth down, with Rodgers’ only TD pass coming on their 4th down at the goal line.
Current Standing~ Green Bay still sits in the 10th seed of the NFC. However, everything went their way on Christmas Eve. Seattle, Washington, NY Giants, and Detroit all lost on Dec. 24th, setting Green Bay up to make a considerable jump in probability to make the postseason. The Packers still need Washington to lose one of their remaining games (v Browns, v Cowboys). Prior to kickoff, the Packers will know if they control their own destiny as Cleveland visits Washington at Noon on Sun, Jan. 1. The Commanders decided to start Wentz over Heinicke, which is an assist as Heinicke has proven to give Washington the best chance at winning football games.