Game Info: Sunday, November 11th at 3:25PM CST on CBS; Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Odds: Packers -9.5; o/u 47.5
Miami Dolphins: 5-4; Won vs New York Jets last week 13-6
Head Coach: Adam Gase, 3rd Season as Head Coach (21-21, 0-1 in postseason)
All-Time Series: Dolphins lead 10-4
Injury Report: QB Ryan Tannehill (OUT-rt. shoulder), DE Charles Harris (OUT-calf), LG Ted Larson (DOUBTFUL-neck), LB Kiko Alonso (QUES-ankle), TE A.J. Derby (QUES-foot), WR Jakeem Grant (QUES-achilles), OT Ja’Wuan James (QUES-knee), OT Laremy Tunsil (QUES-knee/ankle)
Miami Dolphins Expected Lineup:
|QB||8||Brock Osweiler||LDE||91||Cameron Wake|
|RB||21||Frank Gore||DT||56||Davon Godchaux|
|RB2||32||Kenyan Drake||DT||93||Akeem Spence|
|WR1||10||Kenny Stills||RDE||94||Robert Quinn|
|WR2||80||Danny Amendola||LB||47||Kiko Alonso|
|WR3||11||DeVante Parker||LB||52||Raekwon McMillan|
|WR4||19||Jakeem Grant||LB||55||Jerome Baker|
|TE:||85||A.J. Derby||CB||25||Xavien Howard|
|TE:||86||Mike Gesicki||FS||22||T.J. McDonald|
|LT||78||Laremy Tunsil||SS||20||Reshad Jones|
|LG||62||Ted Larsen||CB||28||Bobby McCain|
|C||66||Travis Swanson||CB||24||Torry McTyler|
|RG||77||Jesse Davis||K||7||Jason Sanders|
|RT||70||Ja’Wuan James||P||2||Matt Haack|
The Packers finally return to Lambeau Field after dropping back to back frustrating games against two of the NFL’s very best, on the road and find themselves in a must win situation if they want to keep their season intact. The Dolphins come into Green Bay after getting a much need (albeit ugly) win at home against the free-falling Jets last week after losing four of their previous five.
Home has been sweet for the Packers as they have accumulated a 3-0-1 record at Lambeau Field and the Dolphins (1-3 on the road) will be making their latest trip to Green Bay since a December 8th visit in 1985. While the Dolphins started the series with eight straight wins, the tides have tilted towards Green Bay’s way with the Packers winning three of the last four match-ups. For the Packers’ to win on Sunday, it will take a full four quarters and an offense that looks to capture its rhythm and identity against a struggling Miami defensive unit.
Get in Offensive Rhythm
The Packers run game has been one of the most efficient in all of the NFL in 2018, the only issue is that they aren’t nearly utilizing it as much as they should be. Over the last two seasons among all NFL running backs with at least 125 carries, Aaron Jones is 1st in yards per carry (5.7), 1st in percentage of rushing gains of 10+ yards (17.4) and after receiving an average of 9 touches through his first four games of the season, he has since averaged 15 touches so more touches should lead to good things against the Dolphins. The Dolphins defense ranks 28th in rushing yards per game (136), 29th in sacks (15), 30th in 20+ yard gains (43), and 25th in 3rd down conversions (42.6%) so something has to give as long as Jones’ is able to hold onto the football and not let last week’s game altering fumble hinder his confidence.
With Geronimo Allison going on injured reserve and out for the remainder of the season and Randall Cobb questionable to play Sunday the emergence of rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling has provided a much-needed deep field threat and jolt for the offense but fellow rookies Equanimeous St. Brown and J’Mon Moore must take another step and be able to adjust on the fly and be able to find ways to get open when the play breaks down, a trait they have been unable to display in the first half of the season.
Dolphins top corner man Xavien Howard will most likely draw the assignment of shadowing Davante Adams so it will be up to Valdes-Scantling to exploit the Dolphins deep especially considering he’ll have seven inches on CB Bobby McCain the man likely to be lined up against him. Of course, the ability to break open deep passes will be contingent on the Packers being able to keep the Dolphins honest and grind through on the ground against the Dolphins, who to emphasize the point, are giving up 5 yards per carry.
Seven of the last ten match-ups between these two franchises have been decided by single-digits. It’s time the Packers make a statement, shake their doldrums and righten the ship before a short week and trip to the west coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks. Head Coach Mike McCarthy is on the hottest seat of his career as the Packers’ fanbase and several media outlets are clamoring for his reign as coach to be terminated. While McCarthy can’t control all of the facets that have gone into the Packers season thus far, bad officiating against his team vs Minnesota and at New England, dropped footballs in Washington, missed field goals in Detroit etc. he does shoulder a large responsibility and perhaps his perceived stale game plans, message might have meant his time has run its course in Green Bay.
Losing at home to a team quarterbacked by Brock Osweiler with a bottom half ranked defense coming from Miami, Florida to play in mid 30-degree temperatures would be an awful look and all but insert the dagger in the Packers’ playoff chances. While the Dolphins have shown a knack for forcing game changing turnovers this season, leading the NFL in interceptions with 15, it has been a misleading stat considering six of those interceptions came in two games against the New York Jets and rookie Sam Darnold.
Rodgers is as far on the opposite end of the quarterback spectrum from Darnold but still needs to find his groove this season and it needs to start Sunday. Lambeau Field has treated the Packers’ well in 2018 and they’ll need to sweep the home schedule here on out if they want to sniff a chance at playing in January. After failing two of the NFL’s ultimate tests in the form of the LA Rams and New England Patriots, this week is an absolute must win scenario for the Packers, otherwise the winter in Wisconsin will feel even darker.
PREDICTION: Packers 27, Dolphins 19.
Sunday, October 12, 2014: Packers 27, Dolphins 24
In what will go down as one of the more memorable regular season drives in Aaron Rodgers’ career, the Packers cap off an 11 play, 60 yard drive with a four yard touchdown connection from Rodgers to TE Andrew Quarless with six seconds left on the clock on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon in Miami.