Extending the team’s home winning streak to 4 games, the Green Bay Packers got back up to .500 with a 31-12 win over Miami on Sunday.
Here are three big takeaways from the win, which brought us to 4-4-1 on the season.
Jones evolves into – wait for it – lead back material
The offense, which has been waiting for a spark plug the entire season, finally got going on the back of Aaron Jones. Jones finally was incorporated into the game plan as much as he was supposed to be from day one, tallying 172 yards from scrimmage and running for two scores.
This marked the highest total yardage output from Jones in his career, a hopeful sign for his future inclusion into the game plan. Helping take pressure off Aaron Rodgers helps the offensive flow materialize while giving the defense another facet to consider in their approach.
A big factor in Jones huge yardage output was earning 145 yards on only 15 carries, averaging 9.7 yards per carry. Coming into the game, Jones led the NFL in yardage per carry with around six per, something that only increased throughout the contest.
Rodgers attempting less than 30 throws key in the victory
By being able to limit the pressure put on Rodgers in the game plan, it helps with his ever-important health status while bringing in outside help to move the football.
Rodgers had a very efficient game, going 19/28 for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns, with no interceptions. He was able to mix and match his receivers into the passing attack, targeting Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling both seven times. Adams hauled in both touchdowns and led the team with 57 yards, while MVS had six catches for 44 yards, showing the combo of great speed, elusiveness and size.
Not many times throughout his career can we say that Rodgers has attempted less than 30 throws. Being able to limit his throws does not necessarily take him out of the game plan, as he is able to control the flow through snap counts, motion calls and play changes at the line.
Defense shows up and hassles Osweiler
Not having to face Ryan Tannehill was important, as Brock Osweiler has been leading the offense for a few weeks. While Osweiler has plenty of NFL experience, he hasn’t had that breakthrough that places him in the holder echelon of backup QB’s.
Going against Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme is difficult regardless, but it seems that Pettine has his schemes figured out and is implementing his personnel in such ways that makes it confusing for opponents.
Players like Raven Greene and Tony Brown both care up huge throughout the game, especially Greene, who helped turn the changing momentum with a converted first down on a fake punt in the fourth quarter. Greene also dropped an easy interception in the red zone late in the first half that contributed to a Dolphins field goal.
Forcing two turnovers, a fumbled snap recovery by Reggie Gilbert and a pick by Bashaud Breeland, were huge in limiting the Dolphins to 327 yards and 131 rushing yards.
This victory was big in the whole grand scheme of things, as it may have led to the firing of Mike McCarthy if they had lost at home to Miami. While this season isn’t completely over, the hill would’ve become basically 100% insurmountable if they would have dropped their fifth contest.
Going into next week, the short week and the game against Seattle will be key to the rest of the season, as a win could catapult GB more soundly into the playoff hunt.
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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23