Preview: Packers vs. Dolphins

The only thing beating the lowly Bears and the even lowlier Rams accomplished was giving Packers fans one more meaningful game to enjoy in what has been a very disappointing season. Unfortunately, with the exception of a slightly more efficient offense led by the sudden emergence of Christian Watson and the return of Romeo Doubs from an ankle injury, this is still pretty much the same team that lost seven of eight, including five straight, from early October to late November.

Based on the first 14 games, Green Bay lacks the consistency on offense to outscore an opponent talented enough at QB and receiver and solid enough along the O-line to take advantage of Joe Barry’s poorly prepared and underachieving defense. Neither the rebuilding Bears nor the injury-ravaged Rams were that opponent, but the Dolphins very much are.


PREDICTION: Miami has lost three in a row, but dropping competitive games on the road to San Francisco, the Chargers, and Buffalo is nothing to be ashamed about. They are still a good team that matches up well with the Packers. The Dolphins are creative on offense and capable of creating pressure with just four rushers on defense. They remind me of a younger version of the 49ers, only with less talent in the front seven and a better quarterback.

Speaking of the 49ers, that’s where first-year coach Mike McDaniel cut his teeth, and it shows every time the ball is snapped. It’s difficult to imagine Barry figuring out a way to slow down speedy running back Raheem Mostert and explosive receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Much better defensive coordinators have tried and failed. Getting consistent pressure on Tua Tagovailoa would help, but that won’t be easy against an underrated O-line and without Rashan Gary.

To have any chance of winning, the Packers have to be able to run the ball, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs to be better than he’s been all season. He has to make smart decisions and throw the ball with accuracy. For these things to happen, the O-line without David Bakhtiari must hold its own against a talented front seven led by Christian Wilkins, Bradley Chubb, and Jaelon Phillips. That’s asking an awful lot from a very young group that’s been up and down for 14 weeks.

The Dolphins are favored by 4. That number seems low and gives me pause. Does Vegas know something? Maybe, but I just can’t imagine the Packers keeping this game close for 60 minutes. MIAMI 37-24 (Record: 8-6-0 straight-up; 8-5-1 vs. spread)


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Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

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December 24, 2022 11:30 am

While it would be fun to watch the Packers win, this is a team that needs to lose and have their playoff chances eliminated and start looking ahead to the future. Love has to get some quality snaps before this season is over. Gutey appears to be in an all-time pickle and going with Love for at least a game should help determine what the future looks like. I simply can’t see any sense in not having a decent look at Love before the season is over.

Reply to  Eric
December 24, 2022 11:49 am

Unless Washington upsets SF today, the Packers will still be mathematically alive next week. I’m guessing we’ll see Love in Week 18 vs. Detroit, and what’s one game in frigid conditions going to tell the Packers? It’s inconceivable that after three seasons, the organization still won’t really know what it has in a player drafted in the first round.

Bryan Johnson
Bryan Johnson
December 24, 2022 12:14 pm

Lots of teams have a first rounder that it knows nothing about after three years. Usually due to injuries. This is different, but still identical to 15 years ago.

That being said I’m ready to see Love in action.

Dick mocha
Dick mocha
December 24, 2022 8:07 pm

The green bay packers are a good team but their kinda doing bad this season so if they can beat the dolphins then it would feel So good to win

Bryan Johnson
Bryan Johnson
December 26, 2022 10:45 am

You nearly got the Packers score, but obviously didn’t bank on Tua throwing 3 picks in the last three drives. Otherwise you probably get this score correct once again.

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