Here’s a take a look at how the Miami Dolphins (8-6) and Green Bay Packers (6-8) match up in six key areas forward of Sunday’s Week 16 recreation at Hard Rock Stadium (1 p.m., Fox):
When the Dolphins run: The Miami run recreation is on once more. The Dolphins went into the chilly of Buffalo in Week 15 and, towards a robust defensive entrance, posted 188 yards, which was second-most the group has had all season (195 towards Cleveland). They did it with out Jeff Wilson and with Raheem Mostert carrying the load for 136 yards on 17 carries and Salvon Ahmed including 43 and a landing on six makes an attempt.
If Wilson can return, which will incline coach Mike McDaniel to stay with the bottom assault longer after getting away from it deeper within the loss to the Bills. One-hundred one among Mostert’s speeding yards got here within the first quarter. Specifically, McDaniel might use Wilson’s downhill working in short-yardage conditions the place he usually opted to move and ended up 1 of 6 on third-and-3 yards or fewer in Buffalo.
The Packers are actually weak on the bottom, proudly owning the NFL’s Twenty ninth-ranked run protection. They have solely held an opponent below 100 speeding yards in three of their 14 video games, and so they allowed a whopping 363 speeding yards once they confronted the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 27. Two-time Pro Bowl nostril sort out Kenny Clark and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, an All-Pro final 12 months, must be accounted for, and rookie linebacker Quay Walker leads the Packers with 105 tackles. Edge: Dolphins
When the Packers run: Green Bay possesses a pleasant 1-2 punch of Aaron Jones (181 carries, 937 yards and two touchdowns) and AJ Dillon (154-660-5). Dillon, after he scored twice within the Packers’ Monday night time victory over the Rams, is evident of concussion protocol after he left the win over Los Angeles to get evaluated for a head damage. Jones also can get energetic within the passing recreation.
The Green Bay rush assault ranks thirteenth within the league, and the Dolphins’ run protection is tenth. It’d be even higher if not skewed by huge speeding outputs allowed towards dual-threat quarterbacks. In Aaron Rodgers, the Packers don’t have a cell passer, so Miami, with Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler main the best way on the line of defense, ought to be capable of hold the Jones-Dillon mixture below wraps on conventional rushes. Edge: Dolphins
When the Dolphins move: Which Tua Tagovailoa are we going to see? Is it the one which was on fireplace throughout Miami’s five-game successful streak or the quarterback who struggled in losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers? That Tua Tagovailoa bounced again for a good outing within the freezing situations of Buffalo towards a troublesome protection for 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, plus a pair of passes that hit receivers’ fingers ultimately zone.
Tyreek Hill, recent off his Pro Bowl choice, ranks second within the league in receiving yards and Jaylen Waddle seventh. Tight finish Mike Gesicki continues to be a non-factor that isn’t utilized in McDaniel’s offense, however he did have his first reception in a month final outing. Left sort out Terron Armstead was additionally named to the Pro Bowl, and his contributions each run blocking and move blocking could possibly be most significant to this group’s offensive success.
Green Bay is definitely superb towards the move, second within the league at 185.1 yards allowed per recreation via the air. The Packers’ lone Pro Bowl choice was cornerback Jaire Alexander. He has 4 interceptions this season and fellow cornerback Rasul Douglas has three. Preston Smith leads the group with 7 1/2 sacks, and Rashan Gary also can get after the quarterback with six sacks on the 12 months. Edge: Even
When the Packers move: It’s Rodgers, however he now not has Davante Adams on this passing recreation. Rodgers, 39, is finishing 64.9 p.c of passes for 3,093 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. He can by no means be counted out, particularly with Green Bay seeking to hold its slim playoff hopes alive, and also you don’t wish to go away him a possibility to beat you late, particularly with this Dolphins move protection.
Allen Lazard leads the Packers in receiving with 627 yards on 46 receptions and 5 touchdowns. Rookie Christian Watson has come on of late, and he has 29 catches for 447 yards and 7 touchdowns. Rodgers additionally has longtime goal Randall Cobb, tight finish Robert Tonyan and look out for Jones catching the ball out of the backfield, particularly with the difficulty Miami linebackers have in protection towards versatile tailbacks.
Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard earned his fourth Pro Bowl choice, regardless of not trying like himself a lot of this season. Safety Jevon Holland will probably be monitored for his neck damage, however Eric Rowe and Elijah Campbell could possibly be on observe to return after lacking the Buffalo recreation. Miami must capitalize on the move rush with its trio of Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb and Melvin Ingram. Packers standout left sort out David Bakhtiari is coping with knee and stomach accidents this week. Edge: Packers
Special groups: Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders has discovered some consistency of late after his midseason struggles. He made all his kicks, together with three discipline targets in frigid Orchard Park. Outside of a 36-yard kick return, the Dolphins have been strong in kick/punt protection towards the Bills.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby has made 16 of 19 discipline targets and missed two additional factors. Punter Pat O’Donnell, a University of Miami alum, is averaging 44.8 yards on his boots. Returner Keisean Nixon could possibly be restricted with a groin damage. Edge: Even
Intangibles: Miami is getting two extra days’ relaxation forward of this one after enjoying Saturday night time final week whereas the Packers performed on Monday night time. The Dolphins additionally return dwelling for the primary time in December, so the pleasant confines of Hard Rock Stadium will probably be a welcomed sight.
This is a state of affairs the place Miami should bounce again from three consecutive highway losses, however Green Bay can also be seeking to hold its slim postseason hopes alive. With projected Sunday afternoon temperatures within the 50s in Miami Gardens, the Dolphins might wish to change sidelines to be the group below the solar for this dwelling recreation. … I child. Edge: Dolphins
PREDICTION: Dolphins 30, Packers 20