Shawn (3-2) — The Green Bay Packers are taking their talents to South Beach this weekend and as good as that may sound for those of us stuck in Green Bay chiseling off the morning frost from our windshields, trips to the Sunshine State haven’t exactly been fruitful for the Packers throughout their history. They’ll be looking to ignore that history if they are going to get to 4-2 and keep their season going in the right direction.
When I look at these two teams, I see two teams that haven’t come close to showing what they are going to be this season. The Dolphins are 2-2 and haven’t been particularly great or terrible at anything. They have a good home win against the Patriots, a so-what win against the jet-lagged Raiders, and they flat-out got whooped at Buffalo and home against the Chiefs.
Their rankings to this point are merely a product of who they’ve faced and therefore mean next to nothing to me. The fact of the matter is that the Dolphins haven’t faced a team nearly as good as the Packers, especially offensively. The Patriots, with one offensive weapon, are the best unit the Dolphins have seen. If the Dolphins want to prove something defensively, this Sunday would be the time to do it.
Meanwhile, the Packers are only 3-2 with one win coming from outside the division and that against the hapless Jets. The Packers themselves have some things yet to prove and I’m not sure that will happen this week. How about we just get the win and move on?
The key to this game is the Miami Dolphins’ defensive line. Cameron Wake and company beat the Patriots by stuffing the run and getting after Tom Brady — shocker, I know. They will need to do the same if they are going to stop the Packers offense from running them out of their own house.
The Dolphins will also need to protect Ryan Tannehill. The Chiefs smoked the Dolphins by putting Tannehill on his back and the Packers will hope to unleash their pass rush and do the same. To help with that and to keep the Packers offense off the field, the Dolphins will look to run the football and we all know that’s where their best chance for success lies.
The Packers will look to build on the rushing performance from last week and I do believe they can have some success against the Dolphins. Aaron Rodgers should be loving the weather and looking forward to getting after the Dolphins secondary.
The Dolphins can keep it close if their defense has its best performance of the season so far. Personally, I don’t see it. It might be close through the first half. That is about it. I expect the Packers offense to get into gear at some point and I expect the Packers defense to continue to build on its stout performance from last week.
Packers 31, Dolphins 20
Andrew (4-1) — The Miami Dolphins are a tough team to figure out. From one week to the next they can compete and beat the best teams in the league and follow it up by losing to a team they should handle. They come off the bye week at 2-2, a half game out of first place in the logjam that is the AFC East.
The Packers are a team that hasn’t proven much of anything. Although it’s true they won back-to-back division games in a four-day span, look who it was against. Wins over the utterly toothless Chicago Bears and the Christian Ponder-led Minnesota Vikings hardly qualify as impressive. At the same time, there seems to be some improvement across the board and our boys are taking care of their business. Which is to say they beat the teams they should and lose to teams better than they are. I don’t think the Dolphins are the better team, but I do believe when they’re at home it’s close.
I don’t care for this matchup, but it seems to be a lot more because of useless mumbo jumbo than actual analysis. First of all, the Dolphins are 10-3 lifetime against Green Bay, easily the best win percentage any team has versus the Packers. Second of all, the game is in Miami. Now, I’m not even concerned about the Packers playing on the road usually, but I just don’t see them playing well in hot muggy weather. Stupid, right? Well, it’s going to reach a high of 85 and you know it’s going to get moist. The Dolphins will be wearing their home white uniforms and the Packers will feel it.
And let’s not forget the Joe Philbin angle here. If there’s one guy who should be able to bring the boogie man out of the closet on Aaron Rodgers, it would be Philbin. Yes, he is an offensive coach, but with two full weeks to prepare for a home game versus his mentor and former employer, I expect nothing less than a very good chess match that occasionally leaves Rodgers befuddled.
Whether the Packers win this game or not will come down to red zone production on both ends of the field. I believe the Dolphins running game will have some success and pile up some yards, but can the Packers bend and not break? On the offensive side of things I expect the Packers to struggle. They’ll face their share of battles and they must cash in for touchdowns and not field goals when they get inside the 20.
In the game versus the Bears, the punters got the day off. Not this time. I think the special teams crews on both sides are going to be very busy. I predict a very close game that in the fourth quarter turns on a special teams play. I’m hoping it’s the Packers that are the beneficiary of it. This one could go either way and very well may go down to the final play.
I smell an ugly game. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Packers 19, Dolphins 17
Monty (2-3) — Do you know what I know about the Miami Dolphins? Next to nothing.
That’s because they’re fucking irrelevant. As far as I can tell, they haven’t been relevant since Dan Marino was slinging it to the Marks Brothers. And hey, did you know those two guys weren’t really brothers?
Alright, I’ll admit it. I know three things about the Dolphins, other than the fact that they’re irrelevant.
First, they play in the AFC East. The AFC East is a garbage dump. It’s where the NFL decided to dump its trash this year. If this isn’t the worst division in football, my name is Rosie.
Second, they’re coached by former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. Chitter is right, Philbin probably knows a thing or two about how to get in Aaron Rodgers’ head. He was Rodgers’ wet nurse for five seasons, after all.
Third, Ryan Tannehill is the Dolphins’ quarterback and he has a hot wife named Lauren, which is the only thing that impresses me about the Dolphins.
So at least your quarterback has a hot wife, Miami. We’re all very excited.
Your football team, on the other hand, impresses nobody. You know what would frighten me? If instead of the Dolphins, Willie Beamen and the Miami Sharks showed up to play the Packers on Sunday.
That Beamen creep can roll!
Seriously, this game really turns on one thing for me — the Packers’ pass rush.
I am among the few who are still not impressed with Aaron Rodgers this season and I fully expect Philbin to find ways to throw him off. That’s going to leave the Packers defense — yes, the defense — to win this game.
Thankfully, their pass rush is beastly and the Dolphins line isn’t that good. These guys are going to be in Tannehill’s face all day long. That will result in turnovers and that’s what wins this game.
Packers 20, Dolphins 13