Friday, October 10, 2014
NFL Preview: The Green Bay Packers Vs. The Miami Dolphins
Sunday, the Green Bay Packers will be taking their talents to South Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins. This matchup provides some excitement, and a decent test for the Packers going up against an uncommon AFC opponent. The Dolphins are also coming off of a bye and sit at 2-2 which is good for third place in the AFC South.
The Dolphins were winners of their last contest against the Oakland Raiders which was played in London. In that game Dolphins QB Ryan Tannenhill had a breakout game throwing for 271 yards and 2 TDs. That doesn't seem like that great of a game, but compared to struggles Tannhenhill has had after a week 1 win against the Patriots, it seemed to be a huge step in the right direction. The Packers can't take the Dolphins offense lightly. Although they haven't lit the scoreboards on fire, they are ranked 5th in rushing yards and 15th in total yards. That is troubling for a Packers run defense who ranks dead last in the league at defending the run.
Dolphins running-back Lamar Miller has carried the load while starter Knowshon Moreno has been out with an elbow injury. The Packers defensive line must build off the success they had last week against the Minnesota Vikings. They held Vikings running-back Matt Asiata to 72 rushing yards, and it is the only time they've held an opposing rusher under 100 yards this season. Mike Daniels and LaTroy Guion had great performances against the Vikings. Both were great at stopping the run, and accounted for 1.5 sacks. Along with that Julius Peppers also seems to be having a comeback season. He fits in perfectly as a 3-4 linebacker. Peppers intercepted an easy pass, and showed some great athletic ability in returning it for a touchdown last week against the Vikings. He's proven thus far that there is a lot left in the tank. Look for him and Clay Matthews to tee off on Tannenhill all game when he's passing. If the Packers can control the line of scrimmage and take Tannenhill off his mark early then it'll bode well in the long run for the Packers. Then there's the red-hot Packers offense.
after the Packers lackluster 1-2 start, their offense and mainly their quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been unstopable. They didn't punt against the Chicago Bears in week 4, and literally ran away with the game last week. Eddie Lacy finally seemed to get on track last week, and it was much needed. In the rain Lacy ran for 105 yard and added 2 touchdowns. In the process he was putting his head down and laying the wood to defenders trying to tackle him. This really set the tone for the rest of the game as the Packers had their way with the Vikings.
It'll be interesting to see if Lacy can continue the success against the Dolphins 12th ranked rush defense. If Lacy and Rodgers are both on point then this offense is one of the more complete units in the league. Rodgers will look to continue his success after a somewhat slow start to the season. The Dolphins pass defense is ranked 9th, so it will be tough sledding for the Packers talented receiver duo of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Nelson leads the league in receptions and yards and Cobb leads the league in receiving touchdowns. The Packers have one of the best receiver duo's in the league, but they are very undderated. This will be the most talented quarterback, and receiver combos the Dolphins have played thus far. If the offensive line continues their success and gives Rodgers time it could be a long day for the Dolphins, but if the offensive line falters in the heat we could be looking at Rodgers being rushed all day. That never bodes well for the Packers. Look for rookie receiver Davante Adams to get more involved in this game. Rodgers is on record saying Adams is open quite a lot on film, and he just has to find him. If Rodgers can build that trust up then this offense will only flourish.
In the end I think this game will be close early, but look for the Packers to escape Miami with a close win.