Packers Must Deliver In Their Only November Home Game.Posted:Nov 9th, 2018 4:54 pm
The Packers come home for the only time in November at a crossroads.
On the one hand, they had a chance to win their last two road games against Super Bowl caliber teams. On the other hand, they didn't and now find themselves needing to win two of the next three to have a realistic chance to remain in the NFC playoff hunt.
Three games over a 15 day period that will define their season. Of course, that means they will have to win a road game; they're 0 for four so far this season. And both of those games are in prime time in very difficult stadiums to win. The Seahawks will likely be coming off two straight losses (they're at the Rams on Sunday) and will feel like their season is on the line. The Vikings will be playing the third of three straight division games, maybe with a chance to take hold of the North.
But first things first. Here come the 5-4 Dolphins, led by backup QB Brock Osweiler, I've been to two Packer games this season. After watching the Pack have to fight from behind to beat Mitch Trubisky and CJ Beathard, I'm taking nothing for granted this Sunday.
The Dolphins come in still feeling like they're in the wildcard hunt in the AFC. They really aren't, but they don't know that yet. What are they good at? Defensively, they can rush the passer, with the ageless Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn and Andre Branch. Offensively, they can move it on the ground with another ageless guy, Frank Gore and Kenyon Drake. And they have some decent receivers in Danny Amendola, Devante Parker and Kenny Stills.
But there's a reason the Packers are ten point favorites in this matchup. It's an obvious must-win game for the 3-4-1 Pack and represents their only game at Lambeau between October 15th and December 2nd. Temperatures will be in the low 30s and both teams will look to pound the rock. The Dolphins are 28th against the run so maybe McCarthy and Rodgers will find a way to run the ball 25-30 times.
It sounds like Bryan Bulaga dodged a major knee injury when he went down early against the Patriots so the Pack will have him back to deal with Quinn. It will be interesting to see if rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick draws the assignment to cover Davante Adams. They just moved him to outside corner last week against the pass-challenged Jets. This will be a good test, as Rodgers has said he wants to feed Adams more. With Geronimo Allison done for the year, MVS will step into a starting role. His speed could cause the rookie problems as well.
Defensively, Green Bay may be a bit short-handed, with Kevin King likely to miss a game, again, and Mike Daniels suddenly questionable with a shoulder injury sustained in practice. Those losses might not hurt to badly on Sunday, but they will be needed for the road games that follow. After seeing Blake Martinez carted off the field after rolling his ankle, it looked like he'd be lost for a while. But he surprisingly came back into the game--we'll see if he's anything close to 100%. He's been limited in practice this week.
The Packers are unbeaten at home, though only the Bills game has been easy. I have a hard time believing the Packers are in a position to coast against anyone right now. I expect the Packers to move the ball well on the ground, with Rodgers connecting on a couple of big plays. I'd like to believe the defense will shut down this mediocre offense, but with some key guys banged up and the safety position razor thin, it will probably be a bit closer than we'd like.
Packers 27 Dolphins 20