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Lambeau's Frozen Tundra Chills The Miami Dolphins

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Lambeau's Frozen Tundra Chills The Miami Dolphins

Fueled by Aaron Jones, timely turnovers, and some home cooking, the Green Bay Packers finally got back to their winning ways on Sunday Afternoon at Lambeau Field.  The Packers improve their home record to 4-0-1 and will look to make it two wins in a row and earn their first road win of the season in the hostile environment of Quest Field this Thursday Night against the Seattle Seahawks.  Quest Field has certainly been a house of horrors for the Packers over the years as they have found multiple different ways to lose games at the hands of their old nemesis.  

Sunday Afternoon's victory over the Dolphins certainly showed us the good, the bad, and the ugly, and luckily for the Packers in this must-win game, they displayed more of the good, than the bad and the ugly. 

The positives from yesterday’s game include Aaron Jones being somewhat freed with his 15-carry 145-yard, 2 touchdown rushing day.  Pounding the ball at Miami’s poor run defense was an obvious matchup that the Packers needed to exploit as part of their game plan.  McCarthy showed us that he had half a brain by shedding the running back by committee routine and giving Jones the majority of the carries.  This was clearly a matchup made in heaven as Jones’s 145-yard rushing performance was somewhat expected given that the Dolphin run defense was surrendering close to 5 yards per attempt and Aaron Jones was averaging 6 yards per attempt.  

It was encouraging to see Jones hit the running lanes hard and showcase his vision, patience, and break away speed.  The offensive line certainly did their part by clearing running lanes that a Mack truck could have driven through which was on full display on Jones’s 67-yard run which set the Packers up for their second touchdown of the game. 

Furthermore, Jones’s dominant performance will keep McCarthy’s play calling decisions in the forefront of everyone's mind and he will no longer have an excuse to limit his carries or abandon the run.  Yesterday's rushing performance should be used as exhibit A when game planning for the hostile environment that awaits the Packers at Quest Field.  The success of the offense will start and end with the effectiveness of Aaron Jones and the Packers commitment to allow him to carry a significant amount of the workload on offense Thursday Night.  

Another positive from the Packers 31-12 victory was the way in which the Packers were able to get consistent pressures which lead to hurried passes and turnovers from Brock Osweiler and the Dolphin offense.  The Packers were able to sack and hurry Osweiler at key moments in the game which stalled any chance that the Dolphins had of getting back into the game.  When it was all said and done, the Packers defense tallied 6 sacks and 2 turnovers which completely changed the momentum of the game and allowed them to get out to such a big lead.  

The Packers were able to capitalize on the turnovers that they created by scoring a touchdown on each one (2 turnovers) that they were able to force.  Conversely, the Packers defense was able to limit the damage caused by Tramon Williams fumbled punt return as well as the Dolphins blocked punt, by surrendering just 6 points with their backs up against the wall.  

Despite the lopsided win, there were a few areas that should generate some concern moving forward, first and foremost, being the continued horrific play of the special teams unit.  Yes, I know that Raven Greene sent the Lambeau faithful into a frenzy with his breakaway run on the fake punt; but to be fair, the outcome of the game was already well in hand.  The Packers special teams yet again showed why it is one of the weak links of this team as they were the culprit of two negative plays, a fumbled punt return and a blocked punt, which could have changed the momentum of the game and produced a much different outcome.  

At this point, Ron Zook is making former Packer Legend (sarcasm) Shawn Slocum look like a special teams mastermind which is certainly very hard to do.  If the horrific special teams play continues this week in Seattle, the Packers could once again be kicking themselves for losing the all-important special teams battle.  

The second area that the Packers will need to improve upon is the communication of the offensive unit.  During each game, there are still points where members of the line or receiving core have absolutely no idea which assignment they have or which route that they are supposed to run.  In Seattle, silent counts and nonverbal communication are essential to the offense performing well in such a hostile environment.  Aaron Rodgers must have his offense on the same page with routes and blocking assignments so that they can quiet the crowd early and not make any crucial mistakes that will lead to points for Seattle.  

The final aspect of yesterdays win that was concerning was the fact that the Dolphins rushing attack was able to run freely against the Packers run defense for most of the first half with a makeshift offensive line.  If it were not for an awful snap inside of the red zone, the Packers would have most likely found themselves down 7-0 which would have changed the momentum and complexion of the game and put all of the pressure on Aaron Rodgers and the offense to score a touchdown on their first possession of the game.  

If Seattle is able to dominate the point of attack and bludgeon the Packers run defense early in the game, you can take it to the bank that they win by at least two scores.  

After reviewing all of the positives and the negatives from Sunday's win against the Dolphins, I would still say that the outlook for Thursday and beyond is murky at best.  Any week, the Packers could go into the most hostile of environments and play their best football, or they could self-destruct and lose a winnable game.  Judging by the first nine games of the season, there is little reason to think that they will duplicate their winning performance at Lambeau Field on the road at Seattle’s Quest Field on Thursday night.  

David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (9) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

LeotisHarris's picture

"It's always darkest when the outlook is murky at best." --Wayne Fontes

Kb999's picture

It's been a murky season. I see it getting murkier.

ILPackerBacker's picture

The packer fake punt should worry fans as much as the continued disaster of Zook and his preparation.

The game was in hand, the only reason to waste that fake punt was to take pressure off the post game for Zook and MM

If you watch the post game you see questions about how tough Zook's job is and how great it is for GB to be family friendly to punters.

When Zook live and on TV admits he was unprepared in NE, that he called a block and a return after SECOND DOWN prior to the roughing the punter and that he, zook, was confused and had the wrong people on the field because of the sack on 3rd down......

well on no other team would the reporters sleep through it or just continue writing their stories.

Amazing what Zook admitted and how not one packer reporter picked up on it or followed up on it.

The rambling starts at 2:58. But I have to admit while I have heard coaches admit to dementia I have never heard one claim “I WAS COMMOTED” before

https://www.packers.com/video/zook-sees-big-challenge-in-dolphins-return...

fastmoving's picture

"well on no other team would the reporters sleep through it or just continue writing their stories."

so its a good thing, that the Packers have a lot smart posters here to make up for the reporters, right!!

For me it was always a good thing, what makes the Packers so special, that we do things here like "no other team".

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Bears 5th Ranked Defensein NFL

K. Mack has. 7 Sacks
6 QB Hits
1 FF.
1 TD
1 Interception

Lare's picture

I guess I'd just rather concentrate on players on the Packers roster. Life goes on, the Packers year to upgrade the OLB position is next year.

Dash Riprock's picture

So? K. Fack has 5 sacks with less reps and is paid a zillion dollars less. I would say the Bears were the dumb ones. Before the end of the season I will guarantee you that K. Fack will have more sacks than K. Mack.

Lare's picture

It'll be interesting to see how the Packers perform this Thursday. It's a road game, but the Packers actually have a better record (4-4-1) than the Seahawks do (4-5).

The teams are pretty evenly matched, the defenses are ranked about the same and although the Packers offense has quite a bit more total yards than the Seahawks do, the Seahawks have scored more points than the Packers.

As always, it will come down to which team has less mistakes and controls the LOS.

Rufus's picture

Lare, forget about Thursday. The Packers cant beat a good team, especially on the road. Wilson will keep the defense on the field too long.

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