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Cheese Curds, 12/26: Turnovers were Packers’ ultimate equalizer in Miami

Every other stat from Sunday pointed to a dominant Dolphins win, but the takeaways completely shifted the flow of the game.

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Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

8.4 to 4.6.

That’s the advantage that the Miami Dolphins had over the Green Bay Packers in yards per offensive play on Christmas Day.


That was the result of the Packers’ attempts at converting third downs in that same game.

Those numbers all point to a dominant win for the Dolphins, but there’s one other stat that balances all of those others out: 4 to 1. That was the result of the turnover battle, as Green Bay’s defense came alive late in the first half and went on a takeaway spree. The Packers forced turnovers on four of the Dolphins’ final five drives of the game, getting a missed field goal on the fifth to pitch a shutout after halftime and give the offense enough chances to pull ahead and win the game.

Combined with the results of Saturday’s games, the Packers are riding high out of the holiday weekend and can largely focus on their own business at hand the next two weeks against divisional opponents. Fortunately, both of these next two games come at home against dome teams, and perhaps a little home cooking and some Lambeau weather will work in the Packers’ favor.

A couple of key takeaways in each of those two games would go a long way as well.

‘Much left’ for Packers to do, but what a weekend |
Everything that could go right for the Packers this weekend went their way, with losses by Detroit, Washington, New York, and Seattle on Saturday before their own impressive win on Christmas Day.

Packers capitalize on three fourth-quarter INTs to beat Dolphins | ESPN
Green Bay didn't score a touchdown immediately after any of their four turnovers on Sunday, but they did kick three field goals, enough for the margin of victory.

After fiery halftime talk, Packers shut down Dolphins to remain in playoff race - The Athletic ($)
Jerry Gray, of all people, was the one to deliver a passionate halftime address to the secondary. The normally mild-mannered Gray woke up his unit, which helped the defense pitch a shutout in the second half thanks in part to those three picks.

Jarran Reed’s takeaway provides turning point of Packers’ comeback win over Dolphins | Packers Wire
Although the three picks were crucial, Reed's forced fumble late in the first half totally changed the dynamic of the game. Instead of potentially facing a three-score deficit, the Packers were able to to kick a field goal at the end of the first half to close back within seven points, and they tied the game immediately coming out of halftime.

LaFleur's coaching decisions both hinder, save Packers in Dolphins win | Packers News
The Packers struggled mightily on 3rd downs (2-for-14) and in the red zone (2-for-5), while LaFleur's aggressive 4th down calls largely worked out (3-for-5). However, there was a questionable fake punt that failed and helped contribute to the negative momentum early.

Couple hate Last Christmas by Wham! so much they're trying to buy the song rights so they can take it off the air forever - MyLondon
Good luck with that. The couple has raised around 50,000 pounds, but the rights are valued at something north of $15 million. Just plug your ears and suffer through it like I do with Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime."