Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins
In the cold and snow in Buffalo, Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins were supposed to resemble a fish out of water. In the NFL’s upside-down world, the opposite happened. Tagovailoa passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns without an interception as Miami took an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter before falling to the Bills, 32-29.
Tagovailoa recovered nicely from two terrible performances on the West Coast in losses to the Chargers and 49ers. The Dolphins (8-6) have lost three in a row and obviously need to stop the skid. Aside from Tagovailoa’s turnaround, the biggest positive for Miami was its ground attack. Raheem Mostert carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards to lead the Dolphins to 188 rushing yards. Miami had all sorts of problems containing Bills quarterback Josh Allen yet still emerged with a yards-per-play advantage (7.1 to 6.3) against a Buffalo team that had the elements in its favor.
The Packers (6-8) have won back-to-back games to keep their playoff hopes on thin ice, but there were not an abundance of positives to take away from victories over the Rams and Bears. Aaron Rodgers still is nowhere near his usual MVP form. Rodgers threw for 229 yards — he has not had a 300-yard passing game all season — with a touchdown and an interception on Monday night against the Rams.
Green Bay’s offense had 138 rushing yards and its defense allowed 156 total yards, but the weather (15 degrees) was to the Packers’ advantage and the Rams were short-handed on both sides of the ball. Rodgers has won nine straight starts on Monday nights, but this game is on Christmas against a playoff-caliber opponent that’s desperate for a win.
After beating the Rams 24-12, Rodgers said, “I think we can beat anybody. We can also lose to anybody.” Green Bay did beat Dallas and was competitive in a loss at Philadelphia, so there’s some truth in Rodgers’ statement. However, the Packers are 3-7 in their past 10 games, and they need much better play from Rodgers if they are going to cover as 6-point dogs at Miami.