Key Decision #1: (GB ball, leading 14-6 / fourth-and-2, MIA 49 / 5:36 Q2)
• Up to this point, the Packers’ defense has been playing very well, allowing just two Miami field goals. Green Bay can punt here and pin Miami deep in its own territory; instead, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy decided to go for this fourth down, which resulted in a sack.
• We thought this was a very poor decision, because it gave the Dolphins a very short field. At this point in the game, we felt that as the home team, the Packers should not be giving the Dolphins any opportunity to change the momentum of the game. The Dolphins converted that sack into a field goal and cut the deficit to 14-9. It is decisions like these that always give us pause when assessing the effectiveness of in-game decision-making by Mike McCarthy.
• This is defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s first year with the Packers, and even though there have been rough spots, we also do see signs of improvement.
• Packers running back Aaron Jones had a tremendous game (15 carries for 145 yards and two TDs, plus three receptions for 27 yards), and his performance took a lot of pressure off quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers can continue to run the ball effectively, they will perform at a higher level — the play-action pass option is very difficult for opponents to defend.
• The Dolphins continue to struggle with injuries. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler again got the start, and they also unfortunately lost two of their wide receivers, DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant, in this game.