Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wrap-up: Dolphins 23, Packers 20
By Kevin Seifert
Some quick thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' 23-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
What it means: The Green Bay Packers are 3-3, with all three losses coming by three points. Two have been in overtime, and the winning field goal in the third came with four seconds remaining in regulation. No matter how small the margin of defeat, however, the Packers are nowhere close to where they hoped to be six games into the season.
This will turn it around: In classic Ted Thompson fashion, the Packers acquired safety Anthony Smith from the Jacksonville Jaguars after the game for a conditional seventh-round draft pick. Yes, it's the same Smith whom the Packers released on the final cutdown day prior to the 2009 season. Smith will provide some depth following injuries to Morgan Burnett and Derrick Martin, and before Atari Bigby can return from the physically unable to perform list.
Offensive: The Packers had 359 net yards, but 86 of them came on one pass play to receiver Greg Jennings in the first quarter. They averaged 4.7 yards on their other 58 plays. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to be uncharacteristically inaccurate, completing only 18 of 33 passes, and his best play Sunday was what appeared to be an impromptu quarterback sneak to tie the game with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Rodgers did appear to be under duress for a good part of the game; defensive end Cameron Wake had three of the Dolphins' five sacks.
Controversial call: Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum was so upset about a fourth-quarter call that he showed a photograph of the pre-snap alignment to reporters, according to Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Linebacker Robert Francois was called for being over the center on a punt, a new rule this season. But Slocum said the photograph showed Francois was well off the line of scrimmage and in compliance with the rule. The call, however, returned possession to the Dolphins and set up a go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano.
Short-handed: We already knew the Packers would be without tight end Jermichael Finley, right tackle Mark Tauscher and linebacker Nick Barnett, among others. But they also played Sunday without linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive end Ryan Pickett and defensive lineman Mike Neal. Matthews' replacement, Brady Poppinga, left Sunday's game with an injury.
Back in action: The Packers made an effort to get the ball to their top offensive playmaker following the loss of Finley. Jennings finished with six receptions for 133 yards after catching 14 in the Packers' first five games combined.
What's next: The Packers host the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday night at Lambeau Field.