Sunday, October 12, 2014

Matchup Mashup: Your Dolphins-Packers primer


Week 6: Green Bay Packers (3-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-2), 1 p.m.
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Weather: Partly sunny, low 80s at kickoff; 50 percent chance of thunderstorms (accuweather)

The skinny: When the Miami Dolphins have played well, they've won, handily. The same can be said, however, for the Green Bay Packers. Miami, which has bookended two rough losses with impressive wins, comes off a much-needed bye week and plays host to a Packers squad that's looking for its third straight win. Green Bay has put up an average of 40 points in those previous two victories, but they'll face a Dolphins defense that's second in total yards allowed. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is hoping a healthier running game and his returning center, Mike Pouncey, will aid in the team's passing efficiency, while Green Bay will look to Aaron Rodgers to keep his impressive play going.

What to watch for (links):
- Will Miami's defense be able to ignore Green Bay's big offensive numbers and stick to their game plan on defense?
- Can Tannehill string together another big game and prove he deserves to be the team's starter?
- How much of an impact will Knowshon Moreno have in his return following an elbow injury in Week 1?
- What type of performance can we expect from running back Eddie Lacy after a big game against Minnesota?
- Will Green Bay's defense be able to handle the fast-paced, hurry-up style that has made the 'Phins offense so successful this year?

Injury report: Miami comes off its bye week healthier than they've been all season, with wide receiver Brandon Gibson, guard Shelley Smith and corner Cortland Finnegan the only real question marks. For Green Bay, wideout Jarrett Boykin is out, with two others questionable.

Other tidbits from the week: While most teams' 13th man is their roaring crowd, Miami is hoping the weather can play a role in Sunday's matchup; Amid numerous league suspensions, Matthews and Verizon teamed up this week to quash domestic violence.  

Our picks:

Dan: Packers 34, Dolphins 23
Nick: Packers 30, Dolphins 20

Head-to-head recent history: Miami has lost two of the last three meetings they've had with the Packers, though they came out victorious in the most recent matchup, a 23-20 win at Lambeau Field. The Dolphins have won 10 of 13 total games against Green Bay and have only lost once at home, which was back in 2006.

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