Two weeks ago, and the Green Bay Packers appeared to be circling the drain and were at the crossroads as a team. Rise to the challenge and finish out the first half of the NFC North match-ups strong, or collapse in epic fashion. The team heads south next Sunday to face Joe Philbin and his Miami Dolphins.
- While the Dolphins are not exactly juggernauts of the AFC, they are 2-2 and nothing to sneeze at. This could easily be a trap game if the Packers don’t take it seriously. No time for hubris as they head on the road. Stick to their game, and the Packers can be victorious. Think it’s an easy win, and it’s the Chiefs game from 2011 all over again.
- Remember their head coach Joe Philbin? Don’t forget he was the Packers’ offensive coordinator. It can’t be all hugs and puppies when old friends meet this Sunday. He knows the Packers’ offensive schemes intimately. He knows how Rodgers thinks and his favorite go-to options. Expect him to exploit that knowledge and try to tear down the offense.
- This is why Lacy is important more than ever. He’s the missing link that Philbin likely dreamed of during his time in Titletown. After last week, I’m not convinced he’s hip-deep in the midst of a sophomore slump. Last week proved he’s still a cannon ball that can barrel for the first down and more.
- That familiarity I mentioned above? Rodgers cannot rely on Cobb and Jordy. Davonte Adams and Jeff Janis need to be part of the equation and gain his trust through the week.
- Keep the no-huddle rolling. But not just the zebra formation. Philbin knows the permutations that arise from that set. Loved seeing two tight ends out there in the no huddle. Diversity is going to be key heading toward Sunday.
- Keep Brad Jones on special teams. Did you even know he was back in the lineup last week? Yeah, he was on special teams (translation: Brad you’ve been demoted.) Lattimore has proven he’s a more well-rounded ILB and isn’t an injury magnet. Quite frankly , they need to keep Lattimore on the first team and integrate him fully into the the starting defense. He has an innate talent and tenacity that Jones seems to lack.
- Set HaHa Clinton-Dix loose. Amazing what a stacked secondary does for a defense. Check it out, the secondary is getting interceptions again. Yes, he makes some rookie mistakes. But the mistakes get less and less each week. He’s got good instincts. He makes for a dangerous Big Nickel. But as he rises, expect him to start outshining Hyde.
- Have faith in the blitz. Isn’t it refreshing when the Packers are the ones with the six sacks and not the other way around? Mike Daniels is a very bad man. Let him test the waters with “hands to the face” penalties early on in a game to gauge how physical the refs will let it get. He’s finding a way to make it to the QB and bring him down. The Packers need to continue to pressure and actually reach the QB. Enough of the swing and a miss.