Miami Dolphins fall short of Christmas Day Miracle against the Green Bay Packers

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Christmas day showcased the matchup of two teams with playoff aspirations on the line. The Miami Dolphins had a festive date with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Dolphins were seeking to get their season back on track after a disappointing road trip going 0-3 to keep their playoff hopes intact. Meanwhile, the Packers were aiming to finish the month of December with a perfect record (3-0) while keeping them in contention for the final spot in the wildcard. Prior to the match both teams had listed multiple inactives: The Dolphins were without RB Myles Gaskin, OT Eric Fisher, CB Noah Igbinoghene, TE Tanner Conner, WR Erik Ezukanma, WR River Cracraft, QB Skylar Thompson. As for the Packers they were without CB Shemar Jean-Charles, LB Jonathan Garvin, OT David Bakhtiari, OT Caleb Jones, DL Jonathan Ford.

The first half of this contest was all in favor for the Dolphins offense with Tua Tagovailoa going 9-12 with 229 yards and one touchdown to Jaylen Waddle. Tagovailoa was finding his receivers without much trouble as Waddle had 2 receptions for 96 yards and 1 touchdown, while Tyreek Hill had 3 receptions for 84 yards. Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. both had a decent running game with them combining for 87 yards and Wilson’s one touchdown. The offense was not only the only thing going for the Dolphins as the defense really showed up. The most notable stop on the defensive end came when Keisean Nixon had returned the punt for 94 yards with the Packers unable to convert for a touchdown on that drive. The Dolphins had closed out at the half with the score in favor for the home team, 20-13.

With the Packers playoff hopes on the line heading into the second half the team had taken it up an extra notch. The Packers had steamrolled past the Dolphins, thanks to big time defensive plays resulting in a fumble, missed field goal, and ultimately Tagovailoa’s three interceptions. Those massive plays on the defensive end resulted in the Packers capitalizing on their drives scoring a touchdown and two field goals to put the lead up to 26-20. The Dolphins had come out of the second half completely flat, unable to convert on any drives allowing for their defense to exhaust themselves. Tagovailoa’s last time to shine with the final drive of the game came up short with his last interception with under 2 minutes remaining. The Packers had done it, they spoiled Christmas Day for the Miami Dolphins with the score unchanged (26-20), while keeping them in the hunt for the NFC Wildcard.

Tagovailoa had gone for 16/25 with 310 yards, 1 touchdown, and three interceptions. The star receivers, Waddle and Hill had exploded for 143 yards and 103 yards respectively. As aforementioned, the run game for the Dolphins had Mostert and Wilson Jr. combining for 82 yards. Dolphins defense had rookie cornerback Kader Kohou notching his first interception.

On the Packers side, Rodgers had gone for 24/38 with 238 yards, 1 touchdown, and one interception. The total yardage between their receivers were fairly distributed: Allen Lazard with 61 yards, Christian Watson with 49 yards, Romeo Doubs with 36 yards, and the remaining bunch combining for 92 yards. The run game for the Packers was distributed among the three with AJ Dillon leading the way with his 36 yards. Also, it would be very remiss to not include the three interceptions coming from Rasul Douglas, De’Vondre Campbell, and Jaire Alexander to ice the game.

What’s Next?

From here on out the Miami Dolphins (8-7) will have to face multiple teams fighting to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth. On New Year’s Day, the Dolphins will matchup against a divisional rival in the (7-8) New England Patriots at the Gillette Stadium, who too have fallen in a slump (losing 2 in a row). On the season the Patriots are averaging 317.2 yards per game (8th worst in the league) while putting up 21.2 points on the board. Defensively speaking, the Patriots are allowing 320.9 yards per game while allowing 19.4 points. Surely, this match will be an extremely competitive one. A win for the Dolphins would practically guarantee their place in the Wildcard while a win for the opposition would tie it all up with the Dolphins having to play the (7-8) New York Jets next.

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