Great teams win the games that they are supposed to win. And if the Green Bay Packers want to be a great team they need to win games like the one they will face on Sunday when they travel to south beach to take on the Miami Dolphins.
Miami, which comes into the game at 2-2, is a talented but inconsistent team that is more then capable of pulling the upset over the 3-2 Packers, who have won two straight and are tied atop the NFC North division with the Detroit Lions.
One area that will be particularly critical to the outcome of the Week 6 showdown between the Packers and Dolphins will be Green Bay’s ability to stop the run. Currently, the Packers rank 32nd in the NFL is rushing yards allowed, while the Dolphins are the fifth-best team in the league when it comes to running it.
Through four games, the Dolphins are averaging 142 yards per game on the ground as well as an impressive five yards per carry. Miami will face a Packers defense that is allowing 163 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. So it comes down to a strength for Miami and a weakness for the Packers and if Green Bay is going to leave Miami with a win, containing the run will be key.
For the Dolphins, their ground game will start with Lamar Miller, who has 279 yards so far this season and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Knowshon Moreno, who the Dolphins signed this offseason could also play and has average 5.5 a carry on 25 attempts so far in 2014.
Another worry for Green Bay is the fact that one of its top defensive lineman, Datone Jones is likely going to miss Sunday’s game, meaning rookies Mike Pennel and Luther Robinson will play big roles, which is something Miami will try to expose. Second-year defensive end Josh Boyd will also see snaps but has been hampered by injury as well.
At the end of the day, the Packers simply can’t allow the Dolphins to run the ball up and down the field, which would allow them to control the ball and the clock. That would keep Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines and the longer he is standing with his helmet off, the better chance Miami has of pulling the upset.
If, however the Packers defense is able to make a stand against the run and at least contain the Dolphins, a third-straight victory should be in order.