ReFo: Packers @ Dolphins, Week 6
One of the weekends’ most thrilling contests, the Packers pulled off the comeback in Miami, aided by Aaron Rodgers’ own rendition of Dan Marino’s infamous fake spike play on Green Bay’s final drive. Though they were in thorough control in the first half, some ill-timed edge pressure by a pair of overmatched tackles ensured that the Packers’ offense couldn’t quite replicate its performance of recent weeks. Things got a bit hazy when both Sam Shields and Tramon Williams went down, as Miami’s offense got rolling in the second half, putting together three consecutive touchdown drives of roughly 80 yards each.
But when the Miami offense stalled out late in the fourth, Rodgers put together one of those career-defining drives, marching 60 yards in less than two minutes for the go-ahead score. There were some excellent performances by the Dolphins’ defense (even on that drive) that will sadly get overshadowed by the result, so let’s get to some of the other perspectives in this contest.
Green Bay Packers –Performances of Note
Davante Adams, WR: +1.7
Breakdown: He didn’t have the raw yardage total of Jordy Nelson, but facing his largest snap count of the season (62-of-80) Adams looked perfectly at home in the Packers’ offense. Making the most of the opportunities presented, Adams caught six of the seven passes sent his way, picking up five first downs and forcing two missed tackles.
Signature Play: On the fake spike on the Packers’ final drive, it was Adams who got the ball, picking up 12 yards (ten after the catch) and moving the chains.
Letroy Guion, NT: +2.6
Breakdown: After some lackluster performances early in the year, Guion has stepped it up as of late in a defensive line group desperate for playmakers. With just a lone hit rushing the passer, Guion imposed himself in run defense, shutting down lanes and collapsing holes against a Dolphins’ offensive line that couldn’t reliably handle him.
Signature Play: Q1, 2:27. As part of Green Bay’s goal line stand, Guion plowed inside of right tackle Ja’Wuan James to cut down Knowshon Moreno for no gain.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S: +2.8
Breakdown: He’s not been the every-week impact player many Packer fans hoped he would be when taken in this year’s first round, but the rookie put together what was comfortably his best professional game to date. Splitting time with Micah Hyde, Clinton-Dix outshone Hyde as he racked up a team-leading ten tackles (three stops) among some excellent play in coverage.
Signature Play: Q2, 8:01. Clinton-Dix drove hard on a deep crosser to Mike Wallace, arriving just as the ball did and forcing the incompletion with a strong hit.
Miami Dolphins –Performances of Note
Olivier Vernon, DE: +3.7
Breakdown: Proving too much for David Bakhtiari to handle, Vernon put up excellent pass rushing numbers (two sacks, two hits and a hurry) while remaining stout in the running game. The under-rated defensive end tied the team lead with four stops, earning his third green grade this season.
Signature Plays: On the Packers’ final drive, Vernon was a monster, recording a pressure, a hit, and a strip-sack on three consecutive plays following the two-minute warning.
Ryan Tannehill, QB: -2.8 passing
Breakdown: It would be foolish to discredit Tannehill’s rushing ability, but throwing the ball is the quarterback’s number one priority, and against Green Bay, Tannehill did not impress. Both of his interceptions came from ill-advised passes to covered receivers, and the third-year signal caller was spared two more thanks to the stone hands of Davon House and poor spatial awareness of Brad Jones. He made his share of impressive throws (including a beautiful lob under pressure for his first touchdown to Jarvis Landry), but in the end they were drowned out by a litany of risky passes.
Signature Stat: Tannehill went 1-of-7 for 25 yards and two picks on passes beyond 10 yards and outside the numbers.
Cortland Finnegan, CB: -3.2 coverage
Breakdown: Opting to leave Brent Grimes on Jordy Nelson for most of the game, Finnegan was left to cover the Packers’ second and third options, and since he lined up primarily outside, that meant a healthy dose of Davante Adams. All five catches allowed by the veteran corner were caught by Adams, and he could never seem to bring the rookie to the ground quickly, as 45 of the 70 receiving yards he surrendered came after the catch.
Signature Play: With 6:11 to go in the third quarter, Adams caught a hitch just short of the marker. Finnegan closed quickly, but then goes high with the tackle, allowing Adams to shrug him off and race up the sideline for a big gain.
PFF Game Ball
Without any overly impressive standouts, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s well-rounded display (+2.8) earns him this week’s game ball.