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Packers remain undefeated at home, beat Dolphins 31-12

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Packers remain undefeated at home, beat Dolphins 31-12

After dropping their last two games on the road, the Green Bay Packers (4-4-1, 1-1-1 NFC North) topped the Miami Dolphins (5-5, 2-1 AFC East) 31-12 at Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon. In a game where running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Davante Adams led the way with two touchdowns a piece, the Packers were able to come up with a much needed win before turning around and quickly heading to Seattle for this week’s Thursday Night Football Matchup.

The Dolphins were without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a core section of their offensive line, which gave the Packers’ defense an advantage from the start to come up and make significant plays. The defense racked up an interception courtesy of cornerback Bashaud Breeland, forced fumble, and had six sacks and a season high nine hits on Miami quarterback Brock Osweiler.

“That was a good team win today, a good home win,” coach Mike McCarthy said at the post game press conference. “But I thought it started with defense. I think the defense did a heck of a job keeping them out of the end zone there a couple of times, holding them to field goals, the two turnovers was big, six sacks.”  

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had another average performance, but still mediocre for him, going 19/28 for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns according to ESPN statistics. For a second week in a row he played without a brace on his injured left knee and continued to look more mobile.

The Packers have yet to drop a game at home this season, but with two NFC road games up next on their schedule, there were plenty of things, both good and bad, that Green Bay can take away from their win over Miami as they look to get their first road win of the 2018 season.

What we learned: The playbook might not be completely dry

The play calling for the Packers has been lackluster so far this year and after creating an entirely new playbook this off season, there were several questions on whether the new playbook was the right move. However, Sunday proved that there may be a few golden tickets left in the pot. The Packers seemed to get a little more creative, even pulling off a successful fake punt in the fourth quarter for a 26-yard gain.

Defensive back Raven Greene came up with the play, which eventually led to a field goal for the Packers.

Green Bay finally gave Aaron Jones more looks as well and instead of throwing on third and short like they usually do, even continued to feed him for the first down.

What went right: Giving the ball to Aaron Jones

It is starting to become more evident that the solution to fix the Packers’ offensive inconsistency this season has a simple solution: Aaron Jones.

Packers fans have been, and rightfully so, pleading for Jones to get more carries this season and it looked as though McCarthy finally gave them more of what they wanted Sunday. Aaron Jones, according to ESPN stats, had a career night for Green Bay with 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He ran a career long 67 yards and it was the first time in his career he had two touchdowns in a game.

Jones is what the Packers need on offense and he brings a spark that they have not seen in the backfield in quite a few seasons.

The 23-year old’s performance comes just one week after a crucial fumble in New England and proved that even though he is young, he is able to bounce back from mistakes like a veteran player.

“Aaron Jones is very diligent. One thing I enjoy about his work ethic is that he’s the same guy every day,” McCarthy said at the post game presser. “He brings great energy to the workplace, so he’s not an up and down personality, so it is no surprise for the way he approached it come Wednesday morning after the game in New England.”

What went wrong: Special Teams

Although they successfully pulled off a fake punt, the Packers’ special teams struggled several times throughout Sunday’s game. The sloppiness started early on for the Packers’ special teams units as Tramon Williams fumbled a punt return which eventually led to a field goal for the Dolphins. Then it seemed like every time special teams stepped on the field, they were doing something that was highly questionable. First it was rookie Josh Jackson who jumped offsides on a field goal, then offensive guard Lucas Patrick tried to return a kick and injured himself on the play, and later in the game rookie punter JK Scott was blocked, which eventually led to a Miami field goal.

Although the mistakes did not end up costing the Packers in any significant ways, they still have to clean up their act on special teams. Small mistakes like that against the Seahawks or the Vikings in the next two weeks could end up being the difference between a win and a loss.

Offensive Player of the Game: Aaron Jones

Like I said before, the Packers offense is simply just better with Aaron Jones in it. After leading the team in rushing, having a career day, and scoring two touchdowns, there was no question Jones was the standout player on offense this week.   

Defensive Player of the Game: Kyler Fackrell  

Linebacker Kyler Fackrell had another strong performance Sunday, in what has been an impressive season, so far for him. According to ESPN statistics, Fackrell had 4 tackles on the day, all of which were solo and one sack. He leads the team this year in sacks with a total of 5 on the year.


Up next, Green Bay travels to Seattle for this week’s Thursday Night Football Matchup. Kickoff is set for 8:20 PM EST.

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (69) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

JonnieB12's picture

Good win but it still seems like Rodgers is pissed at all recievers not named Davante Adams. It seems like after every play he is barking at someone. Not sure what is up with that.

Great to see Aaron Jones have a huge day like so many have been waiting for. I think he will (should) continue to get 15+ carries a game. You saw a couple play action passes work out well to tight ends after setting up the run. Offensive line is making some big holes as well.

Still seems like they go through some stretches offesnively were they are not clicking. Seems like they miss Jordy to get them those 3-4 yard quick receptions to pick up the first down.

Hopefully Jaire is good to go next week. Will be a tough game in Seattle but need that win!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"It seems like after every play he is barking at someone."

He needs to STFU and focus on making his reads and throws. I feel like every time I focus on what others should be doing I slip on what I am supposed to be doing. I don't see why it would be any different for Rodgers.

mamasboy's picture

Good observation Jonnie. Maybe Rogers should bark at the dog looking back at him in the mirror. He made some poor throws today, that the receivers made up for.

realitybytez's picture

way to go karen. i've heard that prostitution can be quite lucrative.

KenEllis's picture

Who would have ever thought that feeding Aaron Jones might lead to good things? Shocking.

I was absolutely convinced McCarthy was right when he said we needed a 3-headed running back by committee approach.

Again, who woulda thunk that Aaron Jones should have been getting more playing time?

Other than 85%+ of Packer fans I mean?

4thand1's picture

you're off by 15%.

dobber's picture

14.9%...there's always someone...

CAG123's picture

Crazy thing is Jones is so good he did this without really being “fed” the ball this was all on just 15 carries! This kid is just barely scratching the surface and he needs to be integrated in the offense more. This was a good win but it’s one I expected and glad it wasn’t some close game that needed Rodgers magic but I’m more concerned about this next game heading to Seattle can they get one on the road against a team that has dropped two straight?

Rak47's picture

I agree 100%. McCarthy needs to scrap that alternating series b.s. and make Jones the feature back. He acts like taking your best RB by far and featuring him is an unheard of concept in the NFL. As if Jones is going to get too worn down. Just give him a damn series off when he needs it and stop taking him out the game for entire drives. Defenses do not fear Jamal Williams although he a good player. He's said to be a good pass blocker so throw when he's in giving Jones a breather. Jones makes defenses account for him on every play and opens up the field for the receivers. Today may have been the first time all season where a team tried to stack the box to stop Jones, even if it was just a few plays. If they feed Jones it will help the entire offense. Rodgers rarely gets to pass on stacked boxes because McCarthy won't run enough to open up that advantage.

Bearmeat's picture

I really do think this is a result of the Dolphins and Brock being bad rather than the Packers being good. I also really do think that unless ARod gets right (and we've seen little evidence that that is imminent), we're going to get pantsed the next two weeks. Especially with all the injuries and the short week and long travel to Seattle.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Even a dung beetle has to have something to build on even if it is crap.

Go Pack Go!!

CAG123's picture

Lol that was hilarious

Rossonero's picture

"I really do think this is a result of the Dolphins and Brock being bad rather than the Packers being good."


Rak47's picture

So what's your opinion on Osweiler beating the Bears? Were he and the Dolphins good that day or was it the Bears who stunk it up?

31 Wedge's picture

There is an argument to be made that the Bears were perhaps expecting Ryan Tannehill to play that game. Obviously, by halftime you should have a good idea of who and what you're up against - but the fine of Adam Gase for not being accurate with the injury report sure would point to a little off the field games being played there.

And I'm not complaining about it.

Rak47's picture

Another way to look at it is that the Packers defense just played well. The Dolphins got the ball into the red zone what 5-6 times and came away with 4 FG's. I've seen teams so bad they can't get the ball past midfield. The Dolphins didn't play like that and their line did well run blocking. Our CB's just played tight coverage on their receivers giving Osweiler no where to go most of the time. And when they needed to they have continued to make plays to get off the field.

realitybytez's picture

the dolphins had sustained drives of 8, 10, 11, and 14 plays against the packers defense and came away with only six points from those drives. one of their field goals was an absolute gift due to tramon's fumble. another was an absolute gift due to the blocked punt.

dobber's picture

"He (Fackrell) leads the team this year in sacks with a total of 5 on the year."

Aaron Maybin?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Fackrell seams to be playing with much better leverage. To his credit. He's been schemed open as well. But, he doesn't look nearly so over matched physically as past seasons.

dobber's picture

He's forcing the Packers to think about resigning him...

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It sounds crazy to say it, but I think dollar for dollar I'd rather have Fackrell back than Matthews.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Bad part is he is already 27 years old..Past his prime..

dobber's picture

He turns 27 around Thanksgiving. At 27, he should be at his peak. If 27 was past peak, nobody would be in line to offer anyone big second contracts.

Nick Perry's picture

At the end of week 10 who would have thought the Packers would be in a 4-way tie for the NFL lead in Sacks with 31?

My God, could you imagine if Pettine actually had a couple of studs at OLB??

dobber's picture

Maybe he wouldn't know what to do with them...

The TKstinator's picture

I am shocked, NP!

Lphill's picture

Help wanted sign outside Lambeau , Head Coach and special teams coach.

Packer Fan's picture

Finally a win. My perceptions.

Special teams are bad. Penalties and missed assignments put the Pack in bad situation. Fortunately, the defense bailed them out.

Subs Jones, Greene and Brown played well. Martinet i

Chuck Farley's picture

Good game pack. Ya it was a depleted Miami team with a guy who couldn't qb a high school team, but the pack looked good in all phases. I got nuttin else

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Miami is terrible. Their OL & WR are decimated by injuries, and Osweiler is a bum.
Beating crappy teams at home is one thing.
Last time we won away from home? I don't trust this team, this coach.
Seattle 23
Us 20

I just don't know who wil F this one up. Montgomery is gone. Aaron Jones learned his lesson. Crosby can't have another game like in Detroit.

CAG123's picture

Also that was a NASTY hit by ESB on McCain we’ve had some boneheaded flags but I don’t mind flags on tough plays like that hell its the Packers that are the ones getting hurt most of the time

RCPackerFan's picture

That was a hell of a hit. Perfectly placed hit too. Right in the chest.

Unfortunately, in today's game, those hits are illegal.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's illegal because he didn't need to do it to make the play. All he had to do was stay in the way. IDK, maybe ut was a payback shot. At that point in the game, if he wanted to send a message, I don't mind seeing that effort out of him. He's developing slower than MVS but he still flashes.

RCPackerFan's picture

I consider it a rookie trying to make a play.

It was a penalty because it was unnecessary.

2-5 years ago we would be talking about how great of a hit that was. But in todays game its going to be a penalty every time.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Probably not. Crackback blocks have been illegal for a long time in the NFL and College.

dobber's picture

This is one of my concerns about the current direction of the NFL: by legislating contact, they're eliminating that old notion of 'playing with your head on a swivel' that they talk about in football and hockey. Game awareness by players diminishes.

RCPackerFan's picture

I do agree with you on that.

Where will the limit be.

I'm not going to lie I do wonder what football will look like 10 years from now.

What the NFL needs to remember is that these players choose to play. They are getting paid to play but it is their choice to play. They can try and control things but they really need to remember that players are signing the dotted line saying that they are willing to take the risks playing.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Aaron Jones is a smoooooooth criminal.

Tommy Phillips's picture

I don't care if it was the Dolphins, it was nice to see the Packers go back to winning again. I don't know why it's taken so long to give the ball to Aaron Jones, but he really could become our Ahman Green. Good win, now hopefully it's the start of something special.

Spiderpack's picture

Aaron Jones is better then Zieke Elliott. That much is obvious.

4thand1's picture

Run the table.

Kevin Carpenter's picture

Hey, buddy, I don't know how closely you've been watching the games this year, but I can tell you that the special teams are absolutely the worst in the NFL. I wouldn't have to watch any other game to see it. Outside of Mason Crosby, there is absolute chaos. There is a penalty on virtually every single play. Kickoff, kick return, punt, punt return, thank God there hasn't been any on field goals. But you name it, they do it every single play. Holding, illegal block in the backs, offsides, the ineptitude of the returners both holding on to the ball and letting the ball sail over their heads down inside the 5 yard line, costly fumbles, the lack of a true kick/punt returner, I could go on and on. There's no accountability and Zook seriously needs to be terminated. The kind of mistakes that are being made every single week are inexcusable and someone needs to be held accountable for them.

fastmoving's picture

so you watched all (150 or something) games to coming up with that ranking??????????????????????
and they not just the worst, what would be bad enough. they are absolutely the worst.

so sad, so sad……….

dobber's picture

Football Outsiders has the Packers 25th

Johnblood27's picture

Insiders rate them lower...

Kevin Carpenter's picture

No, I've watched a lot of games this year though and I can tell you every team has done a better job than the Packers ST. I also would love to know who down voted my comment, as they clearly disagree with me. My question is, why? What basis have you to disagree with that? The Packers longest kick return of the year was 27 yards, and the singular best play on special teams came from a blocked punt that happened all the way back in the second game of the season. JK Scott was playing out of his mind and has kind of fallen off since then. I just don't understand how you can defend this special teams unit.

realitybytez's picture

i'm not sure anyone is defending them. there's little doubt that they are awful. ron zook should have been let go - not promoted. i'm pretty sure the person who downvoted you was ron zook.

Kevin Carpenter's picture

There has been 4 people. Unless he made 4 different accounts we have apparently mutinous fans

Pierre's picture

Rodgers should be using Graham a whole lot more than he has been. What’d he have...2 catches the whole game. Shouldn’t a 6’6” TE multi-million dollar FA player be able to catch a 5 yard pass on a fourth and 2 rather than Rodgers taking a sack? Put it up to him and let him make a play over the middle when the linebackers are cheating in to stop Jones!! Rodgers has to get some quick release plays on those 3rd or fourth downs when they just need 2 yards.

Nick Perry's picture

2 thumbs up!!!

It happened multiple times again. The Packers had 3rd and 2 or 3 or 3rd and 7 and the WR's are 20 plus yards downfield! WHY???

It's bad enough it's a slower developing play but Rodgers then starts holding the ball as the receivers start to work back. By the time they start to try and work back Rodgers is either sacked or throwing another away.

splitpea1's picture

Why does this continue to happen over and over? Very frustrating to watch--it should be easy to correct.

holmesmd's picture

He explained in his presser that it was a play “for Adams”. Davante is great but this is becoming a serious problem. There are other weapons on the field. Use them! Go thru your progressions and throw to who is open, not to a particular number on a jersey. What’s going on with #12 and this tunnel vision for Adams? I don’t think it bodes well for this offense moving forward.

PAPackerbacker's picture

A win is a win but the Packers were sluggish on offense again. After scoring 14 points they allowed the Dolphins to score 12 unanswered points. Thanks to the defense, it could have been a lot worse. Had they been playing a better team they would have been playing catch up in the second half. That terrible call on 4th and 2 that resulted in AR being sacked for 6 yards was responsible for 3 of those points. Rodgers needs to focus on his game and start spreading the wealth instead of looking for Adams most of the time. And although Aaron Jones had a career day he only rushed the ball 15 times. If the trend continues on into next week and the Seahawks are in the red zone as many times as the Dolphins were the Seahawks will come away with more than 12 points. I think the Packers won because the Dolphins are a terrible team, not because the Packers are turning things around. I hope I am wrong but I didn't see much difference in game management, with one exception being the fake punt. Looked like the same old same old to me.

holmesmd's picture

The Dolphins are not a “terrible team”. They are a ridiculously injured team that many think are still in contention for their Division. Let’s not make it seem like MIA is a high school team. They have plenty of talent and certainly are above average when Tanahill is under center.

dobber's picture

For all the talk of "you are what your record says you are" around here, MIami's record was 5-4.

Daren726's picture

I’m not sure AJ will be able to run through the line next week against a good defensive front. The line just won’t be able to block them. He’ll still make a few good plays, but nothing like last night.

Lphill's picture

A Jones probably could have had 200 rushing yards but if McCarthy allowed him to then MM would have had to face the press and explain why he has been having limited carries all season , MM is holding this team back it’s obvious to all .

Bure9620's picture

I'm not defending MM, but there is it a possibility Aaron Jones gets fewer carries so we don't run him into the ground? I like Aaron Jones as much as any packer fan. But he's not a huge back. He's an explosive one cut, cut back type of back. I would expect his workload to increase at this point in the season. I would rather see a healthy Jones down the stretch hitting 6-7 ypc than a banged up one.

holmesmd's picture

I don’t get this obsession with “size” at RB. Barry Sanders, Ahman Green, Bell, Gore, Tomlinson, and the list goes on and on of “small” backs who have run the ball a ton over long periods of time. Jones is like what, 23 yrs old? Give him the damn ball! He’ll let the coaches know if it’s too much of a work load but I bet that would never happen. The kid has a ton of energy and enthusiasm. Use it! You don’t have to be Bo Jackson to carry a football out of the backfield 20 times/ game, especially in the modern NFL.

dobber's picture

I wouldn't call Ahman Green small: he was 6' and played around 220 lb.

realitybytez's picture

okay, ahman was a bad example. doesn't negate the point of his post.

Bure9620's picture

Sirmans made a similar comment. He's like 198 in reality. He's not Gurley or Elliot. He's more Kamara, with less receiving.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

4.3 speed

RCPackerFan's picture

Rodgers still isn't right/back.
I saw on twitter that he still missed a lot of open WR's. I can't say since I am seeing the game on tv.

His numbers weren't anything special. 19/28 for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns. That isn't anything special at all...

With that being said, I thought he looked better. His throws seemed to have a little more zip and he was getting the ball out fast and on time. Only a couple of times did he pull the ball down when it appeared he had an open receiver.
But as a whole I thought he looked better.

dobber's picture

There was one point where he overled Scantling on a crosser and should've had a first down. They showed him (Rodgers) squatting and pulling up bits of turf afterward. I suspect he knows he's not there yet.

rstain99's picture

Miami run def 28th in league, so this should have been a good running day and it was. MM offensive guy ? time has passed 4th and 2 call was horrible good team would have capitalized on that Miami did not. Again lucky, special teams really are bad. Clay and Nick time is up again both pretty invisible against team will both starting tackles hurt never came close. Cur Perry now put Clay in the middle live with the ups and downs of Gilbert and Fackerell. AR just holds ball too long receivers can't get open why? who knows long routes bad designs. With his accuracy he would benefit with Pats offense quick drop quick release. answer? dump MM time is up sorry go back to PA and enjoy retirement. Josh McD from NE can bring quick tempo to GB. Tough upcoming weeks 7-8-1 looks like result sorry.

Donster's picture

Cobb got a big contract - Has regressed since.

Perry got a big contract after one good year, is injured most of the time. - Regressed.

Rodgers got the biggest contract in NFL history. - Has regressed this season. He has been hurt we all know. But he doesn't seem to have the fire in his attitude. Being injured, and maybe still recovering from that shoulder injury I hope is the reason. Not because he got what he wanted. The big contract.

MM still has to go, no matter what happens the rest of the season. The next two weeks are do or die.

I think Wilson will run roughshod over this defense Thursday night. Rodgers must return to his former self to match Seattle TD for TD in order for this team to win. And Aaron Jones must be allowed to play even more than yesterday.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Packers will have to show me something in Thursday.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Too much scrambling by Rogers

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