Dolphins Fall to 5-5 Courtesy of the Packers
By Byler Henry
On a cold, wintry Sunday afternoon in Green Bay, the Dolphins could not escape with a victory. At no point in the game could the Dolphins grab a lead nor score a touchdown. The final score was 31 to 12. While the Dolphins were kicking field goals, the Packers were scoring touchdowns and you are not going to win putting up 3 points while the opponent is putting up 6.
With this loss, the Dolphins are now a middle of the road team at 5-5. With 10 games down, there are 6 more games left and the Dolphins are not out of the race. They have an upcoming bye week, which they will hopefully use to look at film and correct their mistakes. The biggest mistake was not being able to score a touchdown, and not able to keep the Packers out of the end zone. Kenny Stills offers his words on the offensive struggle. “We didn’t finish in the red zone. We didn’t capitalize on the blocked punt. We have to find a way to score touchdowns that will keep us in the game.” The Dolphins’ defense kept the game close at halftime, only being down 14 to 9. The Packers’ running game was impressive, with Aaron Jones rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers played well passing for two touchdowns, 199 yards, completing 19 passes on 28 attempts. Although the Packers gave up two sacks, their offense was still able to score four touchdowns, while their defense held the Dolphins to four field goals. Offensively, the Dolphins were able to get the ball in enemy territory, but the offensive line gave up six sacks. Brock Osweiler had a pedestrian good game, completing 23 of 37 passesfor 213 yards and an interception. This would’ve been a better game for Osweiler if he added touchdowns to his stats. Many key players on the team are currently injured, five offensive linemen, Wide receivers DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, running back Kenyan Drake, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, defensive ends William Hayes and Charles Harris, linebacker Chase Allen, and corner back Bobby McCain. With these key injuries it’s an uphill battle no matter who they’re playing, especially when the other team has most of their key players on the field.
With this loss Sunday, the Dolphins are still second in the AFC East. The Patriots also lost Sunday,softening the loss somewhat, though they are still in first place at 7-3. The Dolphins are a completely different team at home than on the road. At home they’re 4-1, but on the road, they are 1-4. The Patriots are undefeated at home (5-0), while they’re 2-3 on the road. After the Dolphins road game against the Colts, they have 3 home games and 2 road games. This 6-game stretch is must wins for the Dolphins if they want to have the best shot at making the playoffs. With this bye week, I believe the Dolphins can rest their bodies and minds and be prepared for the Colts. Head Coach Adam Gase offers his insight on wat needs to change for this potential 6 game win streak. “I think it’s really, for us, it’s get healthy as much as we can. If we can find a way to clean up our red area stuff on offense and eliminate the explosive plays on defense, I know that sounds like a broken record but that’s what this season is about. Can we get those types of things fixed to give ourselves a chance that week to win? It becomes a one-game season.” “There are certain teams that have kind of separated themselves from the rest of the pack; but right now, the only thing that’s really been eliminated for us is an undefeated season. Everything else is on the table. Other teams are having a lot of the same issues we are and it’s really who can pull it together these last six games and find a way to get in.” Making the playoffs is not out of the question; it can still be done. Back in 2016, the Packers were 4-6 after 10 games and they ran the table to make the playoffs at 10-6. However if they want a chance at winning, they have to find ways to finish drives and put 6 points on the board.