The Film Don't Lie: Packers


A weekly look at what the Green Bay Packers must fix:

The Packers nearly played a complete game in Thursday's 42-10 rout of the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.


But if there's an area where coach Mike McCarthy might have to place an extra emphasis this week in preparation for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, perhaps it's on special teams, specifically on kickoff coverage.

The Vikings got a 46-yard kickoff return from Marcus Sherels and a 56-yard return from Cordarrelle Patterson (although it was called back of a holding penalty). Special-teams coach Shawn Slocum's coverage units have been much improved over last season, when they ranked 29th out of 32 teams in both average yards allowed on kickoff returns and punt returns.

But against the Vikings, they had problems tackling. The Packers missed a season-high five special-teams tackles, according to ProFootballFocus.com. In their previous three games combined, the Packers missed only one special-teams tackle. That followed four misses in the Week 1 loss at the Seattle Seahawks. A superb effort by punter Tim Masthay, who tied a team record with five punts downed inside the 20, aided the Packers punt coverage unit.

The Packers made one special-teams-related roster move this week, releasing core player Ryan Taylor, who had only one special-teams tackle in five games this season. They replaced him with receiver Kevin Dorsey, who played on several of the No. 1 special-teams units during the preseason. Dorsey was promoted from the practice squad.