The concept of having a pedestrian running game is marginally acceptable when you have a top-5 QB running the show. The task of winning in the NFL becomes infinitely more difficult if you take that top-5 QB off the field.
The Packers are dealing with the reality that they may be without Aaron Rodgers this Sunday when the well-rested Miami Dolphins visit Lambeau. Rodgers has started all 37 games since replacing the gray-haired texter, but his streak is in doubt after sustaining a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit (nice flag, refs) in overtime on Sunday.
It's possible he'll pass all the post-concussion tests he faces this week and will be under center on Sunday, but for now we have to assume Matt Flynn will make his first start at QB, without the assistance of the Pack's top two tight ends, right tackle and blocking fullback.
Sure would be nice to have a legit running back behind him to hand off to 20 times, but that is not the case. The Packers' offense wouldn't change much with Flynn in there. You just hope the receivers step up and help the kid out. Driver's four drops were extremely uncharacteristic and something to keep an eye on. You get the feeling James Jones is inching closer to that starting spot.
Jermichael Finley's torn meniscus will keep him out, probably through the bye. Without him, Greg Jennings needs to step up and be the #1 target he was expected to be heading into the season.
Defensively, things are a mess. Nick Barnett will undergo wrist surgery this week, and while they're saying 6-8 weeks, I don't see how the team can afford to keep him on the roster with all of the injuries they're dealing with. Expect Desmond Bishop to assume his spot for the rest of the season.
The good news from Monday is that Clay Matthews' hamstring injury is not severe and he may be okay to play this week. Ryan Pickett, though, is liable to miss a game or two with an ankle injury. Mike Neal looked good filling in--the defensive line has proved to be the strength of the defense through 5 games.
The Dolphins come to town fresh off a bye, stinging from a pair of home prime time losses within the division. They beat the Vikings at the Metrodome so they have shown they have no fear playing in a hostile environment.
It's a tough spot for the banged up Packers. And it's a game they will absolutely have to find a way to win--with the Vikings, Jets and Cowboys up next.
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