Packers cornerback Tramon Williams closes in on Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall during the second quarter of Sunday's game at Lambeau Field. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Rants and raves from Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Miami Dolphins at Lambeau Field. The Packers lost 23-20 in overtime.
Rant: The Packers had no answer for receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught three passes for 55 yards on the Dolphins’ first series and went on to enjoy a 10-catch, 127-yard day.
Rave: The 86-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings in the first quarter was a career-long throw and catch for the players. Jennings finished with six catches for 133 receiving yards, his highest yardage total since 2008.
Rant: Tim Masthay’s net punting average was just 33.4 yards, which is getting woefully close to Derrick Frost and Jeremy Kapinos in terms of poor production. Frost and Kapinos were shown the door over the past two years. Masthay must improve his performance or face a similar fate. Since inexplicably cutting Jon Ryan in September 2008, the Packers have yet to solve their punting problem.
Rave: Fill-in tight ends Tom Crabtree and Andrew Quarless each caught career-long passes. Crabtree hauled in a 33-yard reception on the Packers’ first series to set up a field goal. Quarless added a 23-yard catch in the second quarter.
Rant: Without the services of Clay Matthews, the Packers’ pass rush was virtually nonexistent. The Packers entered as one of the league leaders in sacks but got shut out.
Rave: The Packers scored points off a takeaway for the 13th straight home game, the longest current streak in the NFL.
Rant: Twice the Packers marched into Dolphins territory in the second quarter but came away with nothing on the scoreboard because of mistakes. The first drive ended after a sack, dropped pass and near-interception. The next time they had the ball, the Packers faced a second-and-2 from the Dolphins’ 32, but a 12-yard sack loss followed by a false-start penalty killed the promising drive.
Rave: Quinn Johnson partially blocked a second-quarter punt, leading to 29-yard boot by the Dolphins’ Brandon Fields.
Rant: It was another lackluster day for Packers kickoff returners. Pat Lee returned four kicks for a meager 20.3 average, and Jordy Nelson added one runback for 18 yards.
Rave: The Packers haven’t allowed a running back to reach 100 yards in 19 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NFL. That is somewhat misleading, however, because the Dolphins’ Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for 32 carries and 137 yards on the ground.
Rant: Korey Hall’s illegal block in the back on an overtime punt return buried the Packers at their 16, and when they couldn’t pick up a first down, the ensuing punt gave Miami perfect, game-winning field position. The Dolphins needed to drive only 26 yards for the deciding field goal.
Rave: Donald Driver moved into a tie with Ed West and Rob Davis for No. 7 in team history with 167 games played.
Rant: The Packers’ overtime failures continue. Aaron Rodgers is 0-5 as a starter in overtime, while Mike McCarthy is 1-6 as a head coach. After winning his first overtime game in Denver in 2007, McCarthy has lost six in a row. The Packers hadn’t played consecutive overtime games since 1987.
Rave: TV blackouts are becoming more prevalent in the NFL this season, but not in Green Bay, where the Packers sold out for the 288th consecutive time.