Week 7 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 34, Miami Dolphins 24
What you need to know
QB Brett Favre made plays when he needed too and didn’t make any key mistakes to hurt his team. Although his yardage numbers were modest, he did have two touchdown passes, including the game clincher to TE David Martin with six minutes left in the game. Even though he didn’t have any interceptions in the game, Favre lived up to his gunslinger reputation by throwing several balls into double coverage and tight situations. The Dolphins failed to intercept Favre and only forced one turnover in the game. The Packers started three rookies on the offensive line due to injuries and aside from giving up two early sacks to DE Jason Taylor; they played ok in pass protection, not allowing Miami to sack Favre again.
RB Ahman Green made his first start after missing the Packers last two games and had a big game, finishing with a 118 yards and touchdown. Green was having an unspectacular game after three quarters of play with only 38 yards rushing. But on Green Bay’s first play of the fourth quarter, Green busted a 70 yard run for a touchdown. The run was a simple off tackle play that he broke to left side line. The most impressive part of the play was that he still has enough burst to outrun the Dolphins’ secondary once he got into the open field.
WR Donald Driver had a very good game as he was QB Brett Favre’s main target the entire game. He had 93 yards receiving and touchdown in the game but also had a game high 15 targets. Driver became Favre’s only proven receiver when WR Greg Jennings was knocked out of the game late in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Driver made a tremendous 34 yard catch in the end zone that was originally ruled incomplete on the field in the third quarter. Green Bay challenged the call, and the play was overturned and ruled a touchdown.
QB Joey Harrington threw for over 400 yards passing but once again it was his costly mistakes that help lead to another Dolphins’ defeat. He had three interceptions including one at the start of the first half that was brought back for a touchdown by CB Charles Woodson. Harrington did not get a lot help from his receivers as he had several balls dropped, including two of his interceptions that bounced off the hands of TE Randy McMichael and into the hands of Packers’ defenders. Most of Harrington’s yards came in the second half as Miami tried to get back into the game. He had 45 pass attempts and 304 yards passing in the second half. Harrington did have two touchdown passes in the game and successfully converted a two point conversion by hitting WR Marty Booker in the back of the end zone.
RB Ronnie Brown had a below average game rushing the ball as he only had 59 yards on the ground against a suspect Packers’ defense. He only had four carries for in the second half of the game as Miami fell behind early in the half and the Dolphins went to the passing attack the rest of the game. Brown did show his versatility as a pass catcher out of the backfield as he had 63 yards receiving.
WR Mary Booker had his best game of the year as he had seven receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown. Booker had missed last week’s game because of an upper body injury and was listed as questionable coming into this game, but he looked very good throughout the game. He took advantage of a weak Packers’ secondary and good match-ups, as WR Chris Chambers drew CB Charles Woodson in coverage for most of the game.
TE Randy McMichael had another good game as he was a favorite target of QB Joey Harrington throughout the game. McMichael had seven catches for 77 yards and was targeted 12 times by Harrington. On the negative side, McMichael had two passes bounce off his hands that lead to two Packer interceptions. It’s clear that McMichael’s role in the offense has increased since Harrington has become the starter.
What you ought to know
|QB Brett Favre, Pass: 19 - 35 - 206 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 14 - 0|
Favre played pretty well in this game, especially considering he had three rookies starting on the offensive line this week because of injuries, and he lost one of his main receivers (Greg Jennings) late in the first half to injury. The Dolphins got good pressure on Favre early in the game, especially from defensive end Jason Taylor, but the Packers were able to adjust there blocking scheme and keep Favre upright most of the game. They only gave up two sacks, and those were given up early in the game to Taylor. Favre had two touchdowns passes in the game and his first one came on a 34 yard touchdown toss to Donald Driver in the third quarter. The play was originally ruled incomplete, but then reversed after the Packers challenged the call. Driver was Favre’s main target all game, especially after Greg Jennings went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Favre was fearless as he threw the ball often into double coverage or into tight coverage. His second touchdown pass came on one of those tight throws where he was able to thread the ball into tight end David Martin on a pass which was almost picked off.
Green had missed the Packers' last two games because of a hamstring injury, but looked healthy in this game. He had a slow start as he only had 12 carries for 30 yards in the first half. Green cramped up at halftime and needed an I-V to get some fluids in him, but he did return in the second half. Green was having a quiet game as he only had 38 yards going into the fourth quarter, but that all changed when he took the ball 70 yards for touchdown on a run up the left side. He showed he still has breakaway speed as he outran the Dolphins’ defensive back down the sideline. Green got the majority of carries in the game as he had 18 carries and running backs Noah Herron and Vernand Morency had nine carries combined.
Morency had only 12 yards on seven carries in the game.
He had only two carries for five yards in the game.
Driver was clearly Favre’s favorite target in the first half as he had ten balls thrown to him. He had one good scoring opportunity in the first half when the ball was thrown to him in the end zone, but he was well covered by a couple of Miami defenders and the pass was knocked down. Even though he was targeted often in the first half, he only had 37 receiving yards in the first half. Driver was often double teamed, but that did not stop Favre from trying to get him the ball. Driver made an amazing catch in double coverage that was ruled incomplete on the field in the third quarter, but the play was challenged by the Packers. The play was reversed and ruled a touchdown. Driver made a huge play on a fourth and one play when he carried the ball on reverse and eluded a tackle by Vonnie Holliday to make the first down and keep the Packer drive alive.
Ruvell was the Packers’ number three receiver coming into this game because of an injury to Robert Ferguson and the suspension of Koren Robinson. He made a big six yard catch on a fourth and one play that help set up a field goal opportunity with four seconds left in the first half.
He had only one catch in the game, but it was a nice 14 yard grab late in the second quarter for a first down. He was hit hard on the play and bent back awkwardly. He appeared to hurt his ankle. He had his ankle x-rayed at half time and did not return to the game. This was a big loss considering how thin the Packers were at the wide receiver position.
Ferguson did not play in this game and has not played since week four against the Eagles when he injured his foot.
Martin made a nice catch laying out his body to make a diving reception for 19 yards on the first play of the second quarter. Martin’s other catch was a shoe-string catch in the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth down. It initially looked like the ball was intercepted, but Martin was able to come up with the catch.
Franks had only one catch for 18 yards and that came in the first half.
Rayner was two for two with field goals in the game. He hit a 42 and 34 yard field goals in the second quarter. In one of the stranger series of plays, with four seconds left in the first half, Rayner made a 55 yard field goal, but there was 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct against Miami before the kick and it did not count. Rayner then proceeded to make the 40 yard kick after the penalty was marked off, but a Green Bay player got face masking penalty during the play and, by rule, the clock was run down ten seconds, thus ending the first half and negating Rayner’s second attempt also.
The Packers held Ronnie Brown and Dolphins rushing game to only 37 yards in the first half. Dolphins finished with only 67 yards rushing in the game.
Coming into this game the Packers were ranked dead last in pass defense giving up 275 yards per game and they did give up a big game statistically to the Dolphins allowing Joey Harrington to throw for 414 yards. But a lot of those yards came at the end of the game while Miami was desperately trying to catch up. Linebackers Brady Poppinga and Nick Barnett had an interception each in the game. CB Charles Woodson made the biggest play of the game on defense for the Packers by intercepting a Joey Harrington pass and bringing it in for touchdown early in the third quarter. Woodson had a very good game, he not only had the a big touchdown on an interception return, but broke up several passes and did a good job of keeping Chris Chambers in check all game.
Harrington got his third consecutive start at quarterback for the Dolphins, but once again had trouble protecting the ball as he had three interceptions in the game. Harrington cashed in an early Green Bay turnover deep in there territory by hitting Marty Booker for an eight yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. But Harrington has been plagued by making critical mistakes and he threw a bad interception down the middle of the field where there were no Dolphin receivers late in the first quarter. It appeared that Harrington misread the pass defense, a mistake he seems to make at least once a game. His second interception in the first half wasn’t his fault as the ball hit tight end Randy McMichael in the hands and deflected up and into the arms of a Packers defender. He finished the first half only eight for 17 for 110 yards, with one touchdown, and two interceptions. Harrington’s third interception proved to be the most costly as he slightly over lead tight end Randy McMichael too far and the ball bounced off his fingers into the hands of Packer cornerback Charles Woodson who took the ball back the other way 23 yards for a touchdown. Harrington racked up big passing yards in the second half as the Dolphins struggled to move the ball on the ground. His second touchdown came on a 13 yard pass to Derek Hagan in the fourth quarter.
Culpepper did not play and continues to serve as the Dolphins’ emergency quarterback as he nurses a sore shoulder, and starts a new rehabilitation program for his surgically repaired right knee. It is unknown when or if he will he will return as the starting quarterback this season.
|RB Ronnie Brown, Rush: 15 - 59 - 0, Rec: 5 - 63 - 0 (5 targets)|
The Packers’ rush defense did a good job of containing Brown most of the game. He only had 37 yards in the first half and 15 of those yards came on one carry in the second quarter. He only added 32 yards to his total in the second half as the Dolphins threw the ball 45 times in that half. Brown had a more effective game as a receiver catching five balls for 63 yards.
|RB Sammy Morris, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 44 - 0 (3 targets)|
Morris had a big play in the fourth quarter as he caught a short swing pass and took it 44 yards, but fumbled the ball at the end of the run and it rolled out of bounds. The play set up Miami’s second touchdown of the game.
Booker was listed as questionable coming into this week’s game with an upper body injury, but he ended up having his best game of the year as he finished with 110 yards and one touchdown. His first catch of the game was an eight yard touchdown reception after a Green Bay turnover. Booker made another big play in the first half with a diving 40 completion that help set up a Miami field goal. He appeared to injury himself on the long reception, but did return to the game. Booker took advantage of better match-ups against the Packers’ secondary as cornerback Charles Woodson covered Chris Chambers most of the game and the Packers played a lot man-to-man coverage. He also caught a pass for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
Despite nursing a sore calf and being listed as questionable on this week’s injury report, Welker played and had six catches for 38 yards. All of Welker’s reception were on short routes and his longest catch was only 11 yards.
Hagan had one catch for 11 yards in the first half and added four catches for 43 yards in the second half. He had a couple drops in the game, but Harrington keep going back to Hagan and did connect with him on a 13 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Chamber had a disappointing game as he only had 29 yards receiving, especially considering Joey Harrington threw for over 400 yards in the game. Cornerback Charles Woodson did a nice job on Chambers the entire game. Chambers made a nice deep catch along the sideline in the first quarter, but he could not keep his feet in bounds and the pass was ruled incomplete. Chambers had a good scoring opportunity in the third quarter as he was open on a corner route at the goal line, but Harrington overthrew him. Chambers did not catch a pass until 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Despite having two passes bounce off his hands for interceptions, McMichael was a favorite target of Harrington the entire came as he finished with 77 yards receiving. In the first half, McMichael had a ball he should have caught bounce off him and into the hands of a Packers defender. He had a second pass bounce off his finger tips and into the arms of cornerback Charles Woodson, which he took back for touchdown. This second tipped ball was more Harrington’s fault then McMichael as the ball was little overthrown. His best scoring opportunity was a pass throw to him in the end zone late in the first half, but he was double covered and ball was a bit overthrown. His longest catch was a 19 yard reception on Miami’s first offensive play of the game.
Mare was three for four with field goals in the game. He made a 32 yard field at the end of the second quarter. In the second half, he hit a 40 yard field in the third quarter and a 41 yard kick in the fourth quarter. Mare’s only miss was a 52 yard field attempt with 2:06 left in the game as the ball hit the right upright on the goal post.
The Dolphins were able to hold the Packers to just 38 rushing yards in the first half. Coming into the game the Dolphins were fourth in the league in yards allowed but it was there inability to stop the big play that had really hurt them all year. That was the case again in this game as they gave up a 70 yard touchdown run to Ahman Green in the second half.
Starting cornerback Travis Daniels missed a second straight game with a knee injury, and the Packers tried to pick on his replacement cornerback Andre Goodman early in the game. Goodman held his own and the Dolphins double teamed Donald Driver often after Greg Jennings was knocked out of the game. Jason Taylor had his way against a young and inexperienced Packers’ offensive line in the first half and he forced an early fumble deep in Green Bay territory that set up a Miami touchdown. Taylor had a second sack in the first half that caused another fumble but Packers recovered the ball. The Dolphins only forced one turnover.