The Packers are 3-4-1 and the Dolphins are 5-4. In August, I think Caesar’s would have given out 20:1 odds that these teams would meet in November with the better record belonging to Miami. Somehow, this is the world we live in.
Regardless of that fact, Green Bay is a 9.5 point home favorite in a game being pegged as the potential “turnaround”. A fitting word to describe one potential outcome for Sunday’s game. However, the other side of that coin is another word, over.
Without a win this Sunday, the Packers season may well be over. So what will it take to make the turnaround happen? Believe it or not, the improvement may need to come from Aaron Rodgers. His career completion percentage is almost 65%, yet he hasn’t posted a game this year over 61.5%. Last week against the Patriots it dipped to 55.8%.
This isn’t to say that Rodgers is the sole problem. The defense is allowing 25.5 points-per-game this season. A number which would have joined Cleveland and Houston as the three worst scoring defenses in the NFL last season. Fortunately for the Green Bay offense, Miami’s defense finds itself in stride, posting 25 PPG.
These two fixtures may very well be the focal point of the game. Rodgers may have an impressive 15:1 touchdown to interception rate, but the Dolphins have intercepted the ball a league-high fifteen times. If Rodgers can find his “run the table” mojo, Miami may be in for a long, cold day at Lambeau.
On the ground, Miami is bottom five in the league in yards-per-game. Cold weather and game script may lead Aaron Jones to a feast this Sunday. In the three games that Jones has been given double-digit carries, he is putting up 6.1 YPC. Given that Miami has allowed a staggering ten runs of 20+ yards, it’s conceivable that Jones has a 100-yard game, his first of the season.
The Packers face a must win, and likely must go 7-1 over their final eight games to achieve 10 wins and a possible playoff position. None of which matters if they don’t get it done this weekend.
My prediction is the Packers find their stride, at least for this game, and post a large home win. I’ll take Green Bay -9.5 in a 27-13 win. Rodgers will complete more than 65% of his passes and Jones will get his 100 rushing yards. Keep an eye on rookie Marquez Valdez-Scantling. With Geronimo Allison officially out for the regular season, MVS could see some vital looks from Rodgers on the perimeter.
Until next time, Soosh out.