Due to a slew of reasons that I’m sure you are tired of hearing about by now, the Green Bay Packers currently possess a record of 3-4-1.
I’m not one for hot takes, but in my opinion, the Packers‘ playoff hopes are all but over if they end up losing to the Miami Dolphins this week.
However, the players in the locker room likely aren’t looking ahead to the playoffs. They are focused on going 1-0 in this week, so let’s join them. At least for now, let’s stop looking ahead to the end of the season or playoff scenarios, and just focus on what needs to go right in order to beat the Dolphins.
The first step towards improving the season begins with a resounding victory over Miami.
Despite all the hardships of the last few weeks, this is a game that the Packers should be able to win. I’ll detail the steps the Packers need to take in order to get an all-important victory on Sunday.
1. Establish the run game
The Packers need to establish their rushing attack early in this one.
This is vitally important because the Dolphins run defense has been borderline atrocious this season. Miami’s rush defense is the fifth worst in the NFL, with opposing teams averaging 136.1 rush yards per game.
One may speculate that the offseason departure of Ndamukong Suh may play a large role in the Dolphins’ inability to stop the run in 2018.
Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke has had his job security called into question for much of the early part of the season. After his defense had a four-interception afternoon where they only gave up six points against Sam Darnold and the Jets, Burke was able to hold off his firing for the time being.
What really hurt the Jets last week was their over reliance on throwing the ball. Like I said, the Dolphins run defense has been poor, yet the Jets’ starting tailback Isaiah Crowell had only 12 carries for 35 yards. As a team New York had 19 rushes, in comparison to 41 pass attempts.
Throwing the ball 41 times with a rookie quarterback, while running only 19 times against one of the league’s worst run defense ended up being an unwise decision.
Incompetency from the Jets is nothing new, so hopefully the Packers can avoid acting the same way they did. Something close to a 50-50 split between rushes and passes will go a long way towards earning a victory on Sunday afternoon.