Its been a long three weeks for fans in South Florida. Dwayne Wade’s hurt already, the Hurricanes we’re treated to a Seminole beating by their in state rivals, and the Panthers…..well lets not get crazy, no one cares about hockey in south beach. The most notable disaster the past three weeks has been South Florida’s favorite team, the Dolphins. Two straight losses to division rivals, including an embarrassing performance at home, including on national television against the Patriots, have the Dolphins drowning in the AFC East Sea.
After hitting their bye week the Dolphins return to the field this week in Green Bay against a topsy turvy Packer team that has yet to live up to their super bowl expectations. Part of the reason why the Packers have yet to hit their stride is due to the injury bug. This week starting linebacker Nick Barnett and dynamic tight end Jermichael Finley joined running back Ryan Grant on season ending injury reserve, and sack master A.J. Hawk is not expected to play this week either. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a question mark after suffering a concussion last week in the loss to the Redskins, but he is expected to play. If Rodgers for some reason cant go, untested back up Matt Flynn will take the snaps for Green Bay, which means Christmas comes early for Dolphins fans.
Even with the Packers injury problem the Dolphins have plenty of their own issues that kept them busy during the bye week. Most Notably had to be the special teams, which was “The Perfect Storm” just minus George Clooney. Two blocked punts and a blocked field goal on national television none the less cost a coach his job and forced the Dolphins to go back to the basics.
One of the most common love to hate players in Miami came to the fore front this week once again. Chad Henne had to hear the chirps from fans and the media that he is not the quarterback of the future and another Dolphin quarterback mistake ever since that guy Dan who sits next to Shannon and Boomer at CBS. Guess what Dolphin fans, just in case you’ve forgotten, Chad Henne is only in his SECOND year, and is playing arguably the toughest position in all of sports. Hence why only once in 44 years a quarterback has won a super bowl in his second year as a starter (Big Ben with the Steelers in 2005). Yes Henne has made some bone head throws and hasn’t really began to stretch the field with Brandon Marshall nearly as much as any Dolphin fan would like, but other the the Patriots game Henne has been productive enough for the Dolphins to win this year.
Looking at this game the most interesting element should be Aaron Rodgers against the Dolphins young secondary. Brandon Marshall stated on The NFL Today last week the Vontae Davis is the best cornerback in football. Now that may be a little out of the box, but its not to crazy. Vontae is off to a tremendous start to the 2010 campaign, and look for him to be lined up against the speedy Greg Jennings. Will Aaron Rodgers be able to exploit other parts of the Dolphins secondary and have a big day? That’s the biggest question mark. Sean Smith who most likely will be on Donald Driver duty will have to have a solid game to ensure a Dolphins victory, and I’ve loved Yeremiah Bell for years but he must sure up his tackling in the back end to stop the big plays.
The Dolphins also must establish the run on Sunday. When is the Dolphins offense most productive? When their running the football. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown must have 20-30 touches in this game, allowing the Dolphins to win the time of possession battle and most importantly keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.
My heart wants to pick the Dolphins but I just cant do it. The Packers back at home coming off a terrible loss in the nation’s capital are going to be a hungry group of cheese heads. Aaron Rodgers will have a solid day against the Dolphins secondary, but look for the Dolphins to hang tough if they run the ball successfully. Packers 30 Dolphins 20.
About the Author
Written by Bill Dowling
I am a life long Dolphin fan from right outside New York City. I work for Sirius NFL Radio have some personal connections within the organization. If I’m not watching the Dolphins I'm watching all other sports around the country and have experience covering all these sports as well.