Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers Prove Clutch in Miami Escape


Aaron Rodgers and the rest of his Green Bay Packers teammates one thing for certain – Florida in October is … warm.

Believe me, I have been a Jacksonville, Fla., resident for 27 years. It’s hardly ever a breezy, relaxing fall day in the middle of October.

The Green Bay Packers traveled to Miami Sunday to tackle the Dolphins – and the 80-degree, humidity and heat.

The Green Bay Packers traveled to Miami Sunday to tackle the Dolphins – and the 80-degree, humidity and heat.

No easy task, on either account.

The Miami Dolphins haven’t been just rolling over and allowing opponents to run them over. Where their offense has had their woes as of late, the defense has still been packing some (Florida) heat. Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes lead the ninth overall passing defense and Cameron Wake is a disruption on the defensive line.

They gave the Packers offense some troubles after an early touchdown drive where Aaron Rodgers went 6-for-6, imposing his will on the Miami defense.

Eddie Lacy found the going tough against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium Sunday. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Miami held the Packers fired up offense to a touchdown and a field goal in the first half, causing a costly stall at the approach of halftime, leaving points on the field. The defense frustrated Eddie Lacy, who had another dismal performance behind Aaron Rodgers and the offensive line.

After really getting a head of steam last week in prime time against the Minnesota Vikings, Lacy sputtered against Miami, befuddling Packers’ fans.

However, the running game came through when it was sorely needed (playing a large part in the final touchdown drive in the closing minutes of the game), mainly under James Starks.

Coming out of halftime, the Packers defense suffered some key injuries. Jamari Lattimore left the game with a neck injury; a terrible sign at the inside linebacker position.

Lattimore, an undrafted free agent, is a diamond in the rough for a Packers defense that has been desperate at inside linebacker next to A.J Hawk. When Brad Jones lost his starting job after an injury in week one, Lattimore solidified his position as the lead dog.

With no other options at ILB, Jones was called upon and did his best to give up every big play possible.

Sam Shields and Tramon Williams both exited the game and did not return – with knee and ankle injuries, respectively. Already thin in the secondary because of flexible nickel and dime backs Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde and Davon House, the Packers’ secondary was immediately exposed.

While Shields and Williams sat side-by-side on the bench, Ryan Tannehill began padding his stats and looking to drive some late-game heroics. The Dolphins tied the game in the third quarter, 17-17, and proceeded to take the lead in the fourth, going up by a touchdown on the Packers.

Having given up two late-game leads, Aaron Rodgers and Co. felt the pressure to bring the game back within reach. With just over six minutes left to play in the game and down by a score, Rodgers led a drive that ended up stalling deep in Miami territory.

McCarthy made a gutsy call in the midst of defensive turmoil: take the field goal.

Crosby hammered a 30-yard kick through the uprights to bring the Packers to within four points, with under four minutes to play.

Twitter exploded with comments, concerned about trusting an ailing defense to give the offense another crack at the win. But the defense made quick work of the Dolphins “trying-not-to-lose” offensive effort and secured possession for Rodgers and Co. with just over two minutes to play.

There are plenty of people who criticize Rodgers for his lack of “clutch” ability – his lack of “come-from-behind-wins.”

I guess elite QBs are criticized nowadays because … they are nearly always nursing a lead? Rodgers puts his team in the best position to win … consistently.

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  • It really can’t be held against him if he doesn’t have the opportunities to come from behind. However, he proved his clutch play on Sunday afternoon – driving the Packers down to the Miami 4 yard line with 6 seconds to play, hurdling past a fourth-and-10 play of desperation, a ticking clock and a fake-spike in honor of Dan Marino. He kept his cool, kept the huddle calm and trusted his receivers to make plays.

    In the end, with 3 seconds left on the clock, Rodgers completed a 4-yard touchdown strike to Andrew Quarless to seal the game for the comeback win.

    Everyone kept calling it a character win – which is great. And hey, after all the times my heart was under duress during that 3.5 hours, I should have a pretty hefty character, myself.