Packers Game Ball: Packers Fall In OT To Dolphins, 23-20

For the second straight week, the Green Bay Packers lose in OT. This is their 3rd loss of the season by exactly 3 points. It's the 3rd loss of the season that could be blamed directly on their special teams play.

For the 3rd season in a row, I don't know what special teams coach Shawn Slocum has to do to get fired. His units are always awful, and have held them back the last three seasons. The last time they were any good (2007), the Packers ran away with the NFC North. This was an especially tough game for them because the one major mistake (a 5 yard penalty on LB Robert Francois that turned a punt into an eventual Dolphins TD) was a mental/coaching mistake. And they got outplayed by the Dolphins, who came into this game with the 2nd worst special teams unit in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. The team could easily be 6-0 if they just hadn't had awful special teams play.

The injury to LB Clay Matthews was a major problem, as the defense had zero pass rush without him. This was something I was worried about back in March and April, when they let DE Aaron Kampman leave and failed to draft a pass rusher. Neither one of those decisions was bad in itself, but obviously its left them with a punchless rush when missing Matthews.

Despite all the disappointment, there were obviously a lot of players working their tail off to make this a close game. The defensive line has zero depth due to all the injuries, but DE Cullen Jenkins and NT B.J. Raji (plus a good game from rookie starter DE C.J. Wilson) played hard throughout the game though they had to have been exhausted. The offense clearly missed the two absent starters (TE Jermichael Finley and RT Mark Tauscher) as they only attempted 3 passes to their tight ends and rookie RT Bryan Bulaga gave up multiple sacks, but QB Aaron Rodgers was great again and the offense averaged over 6 yards per play.

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