Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dolphins in "Better Win" Situation at Green Bay

October 14, 2010

Let's throw out the fact that the Miami Dolphins have lost two consecutive games (albeit against division rivals) and put things in a bit of perspective. The Dolphins are 2-2, a .500 team, entering Green Bay for a week six road match-up. While it may not be a "must win" situation for Miami, it definitely is turning into a "better win" situation. Here's why:

The Packers' depth chart for Sunday's is steadily becoming less and less formidable due to the spike in injuries to key players. For starters, tight end threat Jermichael Finley sustained a significant knee injury that will keep him sidelined anywhere from three to ten weeks (reports vary wildly). As sad as it may sound, that's good news for Miami as they are notorious for allowing chunk yardage to opposing TEs. And don't count out the injury Green Bay's backup TE Donald Lee had as well. His status is unknown for Sunday, nevertheless the Packers are clearly thin at that position.

More impacting on Sunday's game is the concussion QB Aaron Rodgers received last week. Packers head coach has openly stated the possibility of Rodgers sitting out versus Miami, which would deal a large blow to the team's offensive flow. If that's the case, the Miami defense will face rookie QB Matt Flynn instead. However, Rodgers seems to be recovering and may well get the nod as a game-time decision. The point is that there is uncertainty with Green Bay's offense at the moment. Expect Mike Nolan to capitalize on this instability with the extra time to plan thanks to Miami's bye week.

But when things could not look more grim for the Packers, ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported "pessimism" on LB Clay Matthews chances of playing Sunday. Matthews suffered a hamstring injury versus the Washington Redskins, which was similar (but not as serious) to his preseason ailment. That provides some relief to Chad Henne and the Fins' offense entering a raucous Lambeau Field.

In essence, the Packers could be without three (very) key players versus the Dolphins. And with the running game a weak point in Green Bay's offense as is, the challenge for Miami has become much less difficult.

Is it anymore evident why the Dolphins "better win" this week? Otherwise Miami will face an uphill battle similar to a climb up Mount Everest in the following few games after Green Bay. If you can't beat a depleted Packers team, how can you expect to beat a stout Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens team?

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