Green Bay Packers

Joy Tua the World

Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

It was heartwarming to see how many Miami Dolphins embraced the true spirit of the Holidays on Christmas Day.

There was Tua Tagovailoa delivering passes to Green Bay Packers defenders on the final three series of the game. There was Raheem Mostert putting the ball on the ground to flip the momentum early in the second half. And there was head coach Mike McDaniel deciding that watching his backs gash the Packers on the ground was boring — instead, putting the game in his uneven quarterback’s hands.

Clearly, the Packers made Miami’s “nice” list this year. In a game the Pack was begging to give away, the Fish chose to be congenial hosts to their holiday guests. When Green Bay couldn’t take advantage of Keisean Nixon’s electrifying 93-yard kickoff return (thanks to Aaron Rodgers’ inexplicable sack on second down) and had to settle for three, it felt like it was going to be one of those days.

When they allowed Jaylen Waddle to scamper 84 yards untouched on a one-play drive to take an instant 10-3 lead, we were all shaking our heads, wondering if it would be bad form to fire Joe Barry on Christmas Day. Then there was Green Bay’s general ineptitude on offense all day. They were 2-14 on third downs, settling for field goals four times in the red zone. They made a head-scratching decision to try a fake punt deep in their own territory. There was Aaron Jones‘ disappearance and Christian Watson‘s hip injury, knocking him out of the game in the second half.

But after giving up 20 points in the first 25 minutes of the game, the defense finally settled in — thanks in part to some strange play calling by McDaniel, along with an expletive-filled tongue-lashing by DBs coach Jerry Gray at halftime. And, of course, thanks to four second-half turnovers that allowed the Pack to escape with their playoff hopes intact.

There is a clear path to the postseason now, with divisional home games left against the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions. They’ll still need Washington to lose a game (or the New York Giants to lose twice), which might be a problem. The Commanders host the terrible Cleveland Browns this week, and then the Dallas Cowboys come to town in a game that will likely mean nothing to them, giving them a chance to rest their starters.

But we’ll worry about all that down the road. The Packers will host the Vikings on January 1st in a game that matters. Three weeks ago, I didn’t think there was a chance in hell they’d be playing meaningful football in January. And they have their generous Christmas hosts to thank.

Green Bay Packers
How the Packers Can Free Up $75 Million In Cap Space Without Cutting Anybody
By Wendell Ferreira - Feb 3, 2023
Green Bay Packers
Why Did the Packers Fail Where the Chiefs Succeeded?
By Matt Hendershott - Feb 3, 2023
Green Bay Packers

Evaluating Hypothetical Rodgers Trade Compensation

Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue our third-annual plunge into speculation, reporting, and tantalizing sound bytes on The Pat McAfee Show, it’s getting less and less fun to talk about […]

Continue Reading