Packers vs. Dolphins First Impressions – 2014 Game 6

Aaron Rodgers vs. Miami Dolphins

Green Bay Packers vs. Miami Dolphins:  2014 Game 6  (Packers 27, Dolphins 24)

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.



Much has been made of the heat and how it will affect the Packers. Dolphins always wear white at home and make opposing teams wear their dark uniforms.

Dolphins get Knowshon Moreno back this week, as well as Mike Pouncey, who they are starting at right guard rather than center.

How much will Joe Philbin’s familiarity with the Packers’ schemes really help?

Today’s captains will be G T.J. Lang(offense), CB Sam Shields (defense) and LS Brett Goode (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:


Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
11 WR Jarrett Boykin
16 QB Scott Tolzien
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
58 LB Sam Barrington
72 C Garth Gerhart
95 DE Datone Jones

Starting lineup change: #93 Josh Boyd will start in place of #95 Datone Jones at LDE

Miami Dolphins
10 WR Brandon Gibson
30 RB Daniel Thomas
62 DT Deandre Coleman
66 G Shelly Smith
74 T Jason Fox
77 G Billy Turner
89 TE Harold Hoskins

Starting lineup changes: #51 Mike Pouncey will start in place of #66 Shelley Smith at RG. #14 Jarvis Landry will start in place of #10 Brandon Gibson at WR. #53 Jelani Jenkins will start in place of #93 Jason Trusnik at LB. #20 Reshad Jones will start in place of #27 Jimmy Wilson at S.


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:


Dark uniforms: We prefer to wear Green every week. We thank the Miami Dolphins – I’m sure it’s a nice gesture by Joe Philbin (chuckles).

Philbin: Just focused on the game. That’s a better question for reflection after the game.

Heat – rest players more?: We’re hopeful this is what we have been doing all along. This was our plan going into the season. More players, utilize our roster more, especially on defense.

No-huddle in heat: No change, we make no bones about it, we’re going to run our no-huddle. We want to play fast tempo on both sides of the ball. No Huddle is not just about the offense, more about getting the offense and defense playing at the same speed.

Injuries: Bakhtiari looks great. Datone just not quite ready to go.

Miami Offense: Scheme wise, what I see is a Joe Philbin coached football team maturing. Offensive line is totally different from last year. You can see Joe’s fingerprints on that.

Tannehill: I’m impressed. We have to remember, he’s on a new offense and that takes some time. he responded in London agaiast the Raiders.

Running game: Their doing a very good job on 1st and second down. Their running backs have two distinctive running styles. We have to be very aware of that.

Pressure: The strength of their defense is definitely the pass rush.

Packers offense progressing?: Probably the second question you should ask me after the game. (laughs again)





Packers vs. Dolphins- First Impressions – First Half:

Dolphins win the toss and defer. They want the Packers offense on the field first? Interesting.

Davante Adams with two straight catches to start the game.

Rodgers call his own number on third and eight? Unpredictable, exciting and nerve-racking. And it worked!

Newly added Kevin Dorsey does not maintain his outside position on kickoff – big return by Jarvis Landry.

Mason Crosby – best tackling kicker ever?

Dolphins’ front seven not giving an inch to the Packers running game.

Dolphins blitz for the first time and Caneron Wake beats Bulaga with a pure speed move. Sack.

Lattimore with a horrible blocking effort on Packers punt. Result? Blocked punt.

Wait, did I just see a Packers 4-down goal line stand?

Letroy Guion sure proved his worth on that goal line stand…

Lots of Packers fans in Miami. Very audible Kuuuuuuuhn chants as he plows for nine yards on two carries after the Packers took over on their own 3yd line.


Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 7 MIA 3

James Starks with a bone-crushing blitz pickup. Took a big hit but set his feet, maintained good pad level and held his ground against an onrushing linebacker looking to steamroll him.

Cameron Wake blows by Bulaga again. Rodgers lucky to get a shovel pass attempt off to avoid the sack.


Dolphins doing an excellent job anticipating the snap count. Olivier Vernon gets a huge jump on DBak and sacks Rodgers.

Of course, when you keep snapping the ball with a second left on the clock, which Rodgers has been, that helps the Dolphins.

Also, great video replay by the TV crew suggesting Vernon watched for Rodgers raising and putting his foot down (telegraphing when the snap was coming).

Ha Ha Clinton Dix getting majority of snaps over Micah Hyde. Kid is really coming on strong. Plasters Wallace and knocks the ball out. Great timing, great hit. That’s a real safety, folks.

Packers are now using Derek Sherrod as a blocking tight end to help out with the protection. Rodgers getting hit a lot more than he cares for.

It’s pretty obvious what Dom Capers’ plan is. Make Miami throw the ball. Tannehill throws INT #2, this time to Sam Shields.

Also pretty obvious Miami’s plan was to make Rodgers as uncomfortable as possible in the pocket. It’s working.

Mike Neal chops at Brandon Alberts arm to get free and get a sack. Albert stopped dead and grabbed his left arm. Wonder if it’s a fracture?


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 10 MIA 3


Packers vs. Dolphins – First Impressions – Second Half:

I feel like this game calls for some DuJuan Harris quick-hit running plays and a screen or two. Chances of seeing either? Not great.

Jamari Lattimore with a neck injury and won’t return. I’ll bet the Dolphins get their running game going.

Tannehill “Kaepernicks” the Packers, with a 40 yard run. Misdirection = Packers kryptonite

After Dolphins tie it up, McCarthy goes into “We WILL run the ball” mode. No matter what.

Rodgers changing A LOT of plays at the line of scrimmage.

Has got to be pretty demoralizing for a defense when four guys had legitimate chance at a sack on a play and Rodgers avoids them all and throws a TD.

Ruh roh – Shields and Tramon both go out with injuries.

Nick Perry grabbed and spun around by Miami RT on a third and eight completion. No call…


Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 17 MIA 10

Clay Matthews being victimized by his own aggressiveness. Getting killed by the read option.

Miami rolls downfield on the legs of Lamar Miller and ties the game. Packers defense now dragging.

3rd and eight. Expecting big pass rush and pressure on Rodgers. Screen pass, right?  NOT.

Brad Jones misses a tackle behind the LOS and it goes for 21 yards.

Wow. Dolphins go ahead 24-17.

Well, we saw an end around to Cobb. Been waiting all season. Cameron Wake doesn’t fall for it, though.

Packers within four points. Four minutes left. Up to the Packers defense to get a stop after looking bad the last three possessions.

Dolphins show utmost confidence in their defense , running on 3rd and nine and giving the ball back to Green Bay.

Rodgers pulled down way after a throw – no penalty. This officiating crew has called very little today. Both ways. Not a complaint, just an observation.

The Fake Spike play? Holy cow…

It comes down to probably one play. six seconds left, Packers on the Miami 5 yard line.



Final Score:  GB 27 MIA 24


Final Thoughts:

Packers defense was starting to resemble the turnover-happy big play D of 2010. And then Lattimore, Shields and WIlliams went out.

I guess Joe Philbin took the screen pass pages of the #Packers playbook with him?

Can’t remember so many plays going off with a second left on the clock. Lots of protection adjustments, play changes., etc. Rodgers cutting it really close multiple times.

Clay Matthews – what the hell is going on?

With Lattimore out Miami found a running game. Cause and effect?

You had to know when the Packers  let the Dolphins hang in there in the first half, bad things would happen.

TJ Lang fumble recovery – play of the day?



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


51 thoughts on “Packers vs. Dolphins First Impressions – 2014 Game 6

  1. Clay Matthews is one of the biggest holes in this defense. Walden-like levels of suckness against the run. Just outright pathetic contain.

    And, yeah, they’re breaking the huddle with too little time left on the clock. Rodgers adjusting on the last second is really giving the opposite team a clear advantage, at least a couple of times they antecipated the snap and got into his face, and it’s his fault.

    BUT WHO THE FUCKING CARES RIGHT NOW?! (pardon my french)



          1. Not a huge deal, but I’m one of those disapproving (but not sensitive) souls. And of course, it is your website, and therefore it is clearly within your discretion.

  2. Without a doubt games like this will shave years off any Packer fan’s life span. Looks like the screen pass in coach McCarthy’s play book has went the way of the Dodo Bird! Hope Sam Shields knee injury isn’t serious. Packers steal a road win.

  3. 100% agreed about the play clock complaint. Rodgers will get a lot of praise for this game and rightfully so, but he should be knocked for his poor use of the play clock. It seemed like there was never even the slightest amount of uncertainty as to when the ball would be snapped. That’s not good QB play, and I’d say that a fair amount of the Dolphins’ pressure was ARod’s fault.

    REALLY hope the corner injuries aren’t too severe…

    I agree that Matthews didn’t have a very good game. My internet kept freezing up in the second half, and I missed some plays here and there including Tannehill’s big run, but most of the plays I saw didn’t show Matthews losing contain, but rather he stayed to the outside and the Dolphins hit it up inside of him. Not that Matthews always did well, but there’s gotta be better help coming from the inside than there was on at least a couple of those plays. Maybe Datone Jones would have helped a bit.

    Nick Perry had a nice game, especially early. Hope Big T noticed that. Guion made some plays as well.

    Lattimore should get spanked in front of the team for that shamefully inexcusable lack of blocking on the punt. What the heck?

    But… it’s a ‘W’ … as in “whew.”

    Oh yeah… is it OK for all of us to jump of the Teddy Bridgewater bandwagon now?

    1. The one time Matthews crashed inside to stop the run in that gap was the play Tannehill ran the read option for 40 yards.

      Be careful what you wish for.

      1. I DON’T want Matthews to crash down on the inside runs. I want there to be better run defense on the inside so that Matthews can stay outside and keep contain like he’s supposed to. The gashing runs that I saw went inside of Matthews, but the interior defender who was supposed to be there got washed out. My point is that some of those plays seemed to be the fault of the interior defender, not Matthews.

  4. An important win and a big win for the Packers. I am concerned about the way our defense played in the second half. 3 long scoring drives. I don’t think that I have ever seen 2 starting CBs both go down on 2 successive plays. If Lattimore has a serious injury our rush defense is really in trouble especially up the middle. CM3 is back to running himself out of plays again. Dix made some solid plays again as did Guion!? Rodgers was huge in the 4th quarter on both scoring drives. I am sure there will be the usual criticism of MM but his game plan to include Kuhn both carrying the ball and blocking was crucial to the TOP battle which the Packers won decisively, which ultimately enabled the Packers to win this game. Also, good move bringing in Sherrod as a blocking TE. Finally, game winning TD was a great call and great execution. Packers D was impressive until we lost both CBs. I hope that none of our injuries are too serious. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Lets hope the injuries to Shields and Williams aren’t to bad. The pass defense was excellent when they were in the game. Shields initial report is nothing is torn but it sure didn’t look good. I thought and hoped for a cramp, but then I remembered the Packers are NEVER that lucky when it comes to injuries. Lets hope for good news today on Tramon and Sam!
      Capers needs to put Perry at ROLB and move Matthews inside, especially with Cam Newton coming to town. Perry has been playing well and Matthews can’t seem to contain himself from crashing down on every play and giving up the edge.
      All in all a sweet victory. I love that Adams is becoming more involved. The spike play to get the Packers to the 4, the rookie getting 12 yards and out of bounds was amazing.

      1. The spike play shall live in infamy! I don’t see MM moving CMIII to ILB but he needs to stop running himself out of every play. All of Pack front 7 bites on the first thing they see. Must be coached that way. That’s why misdirection works so well against them.

      1. Archie – agreed! But I’m glad that MM does what needs to be done to protect the franchise. Even though we have been winning, the OL allows Rodgers to take too many hits. Thanks, Since ’61

  5. I am more convinced now than ever that we need J.C. TRETTER BACK!!! We don’t have a run game with Linsley at the helm, sorry but it’s the truth. I love Corey, and he’s played amazingly well for a rookie, but when it comes down to it, we can’t have Rodgers throwing 45 times a game and only 50 rushing yards (most of which are Aaron’s!).

    I’m really not that concerned with how the defense played in the second half, honestly, not even a little. For one, Miami was playing at home in their hot weather, had a week off, and we were banged up going in, and we were crawling on our way out. Datone Jones, Shields, Lattimore, among a few others weren’t 100% in this game. Once healthy, the defense will get right back on top, let’s hope we can just survive until then.

    Skip Bayless is completely silent, what a pathetic coward, but anyway, GO AARON RODGERS!! MY MAN!!!

    SWEET VICTORY EVERYONE!!! Onto the Panthskers!!

    1. Lacy, Starks and Kuhn combined for 86 yards on 26 rushes, for a 3.31 average. Nothing to write home about. No one on the offensive line had a good day, but you single out Linsley. He did not have a good day, but it was not nearly as bad as Bulaga. Tretter has never played a snap in the NFL. Be careful what you wish for. Still, if Tretter turns out to be actually better than Linsley, I am all for playing Tretter.

  6. I think we all had that “here we go again” feeling late when Miami got the ball back with a four-point lead and having just gashed the Packers defense on the ground on their previous drive. The Packers looked gassed on that drive and I didn’t have a lot of faith that they were going to get the ball back. Trestman couldn’t figure it out a couple weeks ago and neither could Philbin today: run the ball down the Packers throat. Every time they call a pass, they do the Pack a favor.

    Still, any road win is a good win no matter how stressful or agonizing.

    Will this one put to rest all these folks who say ARod can’t rally from behind late in games? This one was squarely on his shoulders…

    1. That series was the first one in 6 years that I saw the defense look the way a Dom Capers / Blitzburgh defense is supposed to look at crunch time. He trusted House and Bush (!) to maintain coverage and the front 6 filled the run gaps while blitzing, and (more important) he did that after playing rope-a-dope for most of the 2nd half (after Tramon and Shields went out) and – even more important – it finally worked.

      And that was the second time this season they stopped a goal line drive by the other team (Chicago just before the half).

      We may have something going there at last (hope the injuries on D aren’t too bad.)

  7. I too was a bit perturbed by the run defense today. Obviously this is a problem with no magic solutions, it will likely continue to be an issue until the team addresses it in the draft next year. And I hope the injuries to the starting corners don’t turn into a long-term problem. But looking on the bright side, it was a thrilling win today, with Rodgers clutch performance at the end! Go Pack!

    1. Moreno had 10 yards on 6 rushes. Miller had 53 yards on 14 rushes. Combined stat: 63 yards on 20 rushes for a 3.15 yard average. Not bad. Of course the stat-killer was Tannehill’s 40-yard run. On that, CMIII maintained outside contain (but seemed slow to close on that and one other time at least – maybe he doesn’t trust his agility with the groin injury?) but I thought Daniel’s got sucked too far inside.

    2. Most of Miller’s yards came late, when the defense was clearly gassed. Up through the end of the third quarter he was still under about 30 yards.

    3. Packers address same problem every year in draft. See R3 pick this year etc. The problem is the guy doing the picking doesn’t know what makes for a good DL. That seems fairly obvious after 10 years of misses and no hits.

  8. Great to hear the announcers call out Perry, Guion and Jones (hit in the helmet by Tannehill pass, facing away from the QB) but saved a sure touchdown.
    My favorite part of the game: Packers punt blocked on GB 20. Dolphins get a first down and defense holds on next series when it was 1st and goal. Packers stop the run on 4th and goal from the 2. That was HUGE.
    Like everyone else – hope injuries are not too bad.
    TJ Lang gets game ball. Never saw a lineman cover a fumble that well and that fast. It was like a mongoose attacking a cobra snake. Not sure what Rodgers was thinking there but maybe it was a called play. Well, it worked didn’t it?
    My cardiac surgeon will be asking me why my heart stopped about 10 times this Sunday afternoon. Lets go back to the type 42-10 games.

  9. What pisses me off the most is being constantly “uncomfortable” when we score or when the other teams scores. That uneasy feeling one gets when they lose faith in their special teams. Slocum is at it again. Blocked punts, huge gaping holes on kick offs and teams returning kickoffs to the 40 and 50. Throw in at least a weekly run where DuJuan Harris catches the ball 7 yards or more inside the end zone and RETURNS IT!!

    If Slocum is telling him to do this he should be fired. I still haven’t figured this out yet. DuJuan Harris was lucky today on that one return. Is he listening to what Slocum is telling him what to do or is he deliberately defying him? If someone knows what’s going on with special teams please let me know.

    My guess is DuJuan Harris is probably not listening to Slocum? Why? He’s bored and wants to show he can be a playmaker so he gambles at least once a game. This will come back to haunt us down the road. My solution is to tell MM to give DuJuan some reps as rb in the game so he doesn’t feel the need to take the ball out of the end zone 7 yards or more in. We could have used him in the screen game this game. MM MUST get DuJuan Harris involved as a running back SOON!!

  10. I think GB is reasonably well set at LG, C and RG for the next few years, although I suspect only Sitton will grade out positively today. There was a fair amount of pressure up the middle. Agree that one of Vernon’s sacks should be charged to A. Rodgers, and not to Bakhtiari. That said, both Bakhtiari and Bulaga had pretty bad games in both run and pass pro.

    Seems to me that 5 of our first 6 opponents have had really “stout” defensive lines. Maybe these “stout” defensive lines that can get pressure rushing only 4 are more prevalent than I have been lead to believe – at least against GB, they seem to be the norm rather than the exception.

    1. After 2011, every defense in the league knew that a d-line that could get pressure with 4 while the secondary played cover 2 was the only way to slow down (not stop, but slow down) Rodgers. So every defense in the league tried to build itself that way.

      About half of them have succeeded in getting that personnel.

      Packers answer was Eddie Lacy to keep the coverages honest, and Julius Peppers to add another threat to the D-line.

      Look forward to 6-8 more years of this (or however long Rodgers wants to play.)

      We get Carolina (same type of D) next week, Philly and Detroit again this season. Chances are we face at least one of SF, Seattle, or Philly in the Playoffs.

      Bears fortunately are not quite back to par yet.

      Git your popcorn.

  11. I am not the biggest fan of MM, but he should be lauded for kicking the field goal rather than going for it on 4th down. His faith in the defense was justified.

    1. Except that if Philbin had run the ball all three downs GB would have had 30 seconds less to score. So I believe the game was decided on a bad call by MM and an even worse call by Philbin, not to burn the other 30 seconds off the clock. GB is very lucky to get the win. Biggest reason is Tannehill sucks. Even so, w GB’s injuries, even he started to move the ball. CAR QB may have a field day.

  12. Am I the only Packers fan who is furious that late in the first half, in a tied game at mid-field vs. an inferior opponent, MM keeps the offense on the field and goes for it on 4th down??

    I don’t care that we converted. MM has got to stop this macho bullshit and start calling plays with his head. He does this type of stuff way to frequently.

    1. Yeah, I am sure if they had not converted on 4th down and the Dolphins scored a touchdown with great field position, we would have a lot of second guessing here

    2. The drive in midway through the 3rd quarter, and no, I have no problem with this at all. Am I “furious?” Absolutely not. It’s difficult to criticize success. Especially when that drive ended with a GB touchdown in a game won by 3 points. Seriously, how “furious” can you be?

      When MM tries something that doesn’t work, people jump all over him as if he were an idiot. But everybody ought to know perfectly well that not every play is going to work. When MM tries something and it DOES work, now we’re being critical of that, as well. Tough to win.

      People blast MM for not mixing it up and doing the unexpected. Then he does the unexpected, succeeds, and gets blasted again.

      1. While I can not speak for many fans, I try not to judge play calling by execution, or vice-versa, and I think if you look back over my posts over the years, that will bare out. I refuse to be denied the right to question what I consider an EXTREMELY poor play call because other vocal fans can’t differentiate between play selection and execution.

        I generally assess a play call made by situation, the personnel, the formation. I rarely complain about a play call simply because “they ran it” or “they passed it”, and the only time I gripe about a play call because it didn’t succeed is if there is a lengthy pattern of failure established in-game and the same play call/personnel is sent in during a critical moment in a game.

        I stand by my assessment on this one. It was not a smart decision by any means to go for it on 4th down in a tied game with over 1/2 the contest to go, vs. an inferior team. It was an emotional decision that was far more risk than reward. It reeked of desperation and was risking giving a huge momentum swing in a game that was shaping up to be a dog fight.

        1. Thanks, that’s very dramatic and all, but no one is actually denying you the right to question anything.

          You thought it reeked of desperation. I thought it reeked of victory. We differ on that, see?

          1. Perhaps I should have said don’t lump me in with the fans you are describing in your second paragraph. You seem to be gauging my criticism as unfair based on the way others criticize MM’s play calling at other times. That has nothing to do with me.

        2. I didn’t like that call either Oppy. It was assinine. I was pissed as well seeing DuJuan Harris take yet another ball out from 8 to 10 yards in the end zone. He almost got tackled at the 5. Two decisions could have cost us. They didn’t but continue to do this and these decisions will come back to bite us.

          The only thing I can think of is the Packers recently are into this “analystics”. Maybe MM has some guy in the booth telling him that he has a 76.578% chance of getting a first down based on the numbers etc. so MM is relying more and more on this than common sense. Jacksonville is into it big time.

          He gambled and won. Maybe playing with Favre the ultimate gambler has rubbed off on MM. I am pretty sure Favre probably loved that call.

    3. If McCarthy was into macho bullshit, he would have went for the TD late in the 4th quarter instead of kicking the FG. He also would have continually went for it early in the Jets games instead of taking points with FGs.

      Because McCarthy usually doesn’t go the macho bullshit route, the Packers have two wins they otherwise might not have had.

      1. 4th down on your side of the field in a 10-10 game with 22 minutes to play isn’t a good choice when your offense has been struggling IMO. It’s a poor call.

    4. But the fact that they DID convert makes all the difference. The difference between the gutsy, game-changing call and the bone-headed, game-changing call (in a bad way) is the outcome.

      It’s true of any and all plays. Sometimes the desired outcome of a given play call doesn’t pop up for a quarter or two when some other play call is set up and successful because of that unsuccessful call much earlier.

      1. The difference for you may be outcome, but I try my best to judge play call decisions based on scenario and information available at the time. I don’t automatically denounce a failure to score or move the chains on a given down as a poor play call; often times a failed play is a good call regardless. The opposite of that is sometimes true as well.

  13. What was the deal with allowing all the late hits out of bounds and letting them maul Rodgers after the ball was out. Those refs sucked azz. Also allowed holding quite often.

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