The Packers travel to Miami during Week 6, where they haven’t played since 2006. While Miami is coming off of its bye week, Green Bay also arrives on several extra days of rest, having played its Week 5 game on Thursday night. The Packers’ visit to Miami will serve as a reunion with former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and offensive lineman Daryn Colledge – as well as a chance to redeem themselves of a bad loss at home against the Dolphins in 2010.
It’s difficult to know the Dolphins’ true identity just five weeks into the season. Outside of topping the Patriots during Week 1, Miami has only beaten a high school-caliber Raiders team. Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ pedestrian offense (that somehow ranks 15th in the NFL) couldn’t keep pace with those of Buffalo and Kansas City during Weeks 2 and 3.
Despite a highly-effective ground game centered around Lamar Miller, the Miami offense lacks talent and explosiveness at the skill positions. Wide receiver Mike Wallace represents the closest thing to a threat downfield but only becomes a game-changer when quarterback Ryan Tannehill is given ample time in the pocket. Expect Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers to dial up blitzes the same way that he did against Minnesota last Thursday.
On the other side of the ball, Miami presents much more of a challenge. The league’s 7th ranked defense could pose the same problems that gave Green Bay trouble in Seattle and Detroit. The play of offensive tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga will be key for allowing Aaron Rodgers to take shots downfield against a good secondary made up of free agents Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan and Louis Delmas.
Rodgers has never won in the state of Florida as a pro, losing to Jacksonville in 2008 and falling to Tampa Bay in 2008 and 2009. The warm weather will be a drastic shift from the rainy conditions from last Thursday and the generally cool practice temperatures in Green Bay throughout the week. The Packers will be forced to adapt quickly to the heat in order to sustain their multi-year success during the month of October.