While the Green Bay Packers 25th ranked offense (net yardage) isn't statistically dominating this season, they still have multiple elite players on the offensive side of the ball and still have the potential to light up a scoreboard and please a crowd. The Packers manage nearly 27 points per contest and have scored over 30 in each of the team's three victories.
The Packers suffered a slow start from their running game and sensational sophomore running back Eddie Lacy. Through the first four weeks of the season, the Packers averaged just 73 rushing yards per game, which would have them ranked 30th in the NFL right now.
As a result the running game's sluggish start to the season, the Packers' offense was one-dimensional and the team started the season 1-2.
Since that 1-2 start, however, the Packers have outscored their opponents 80-27.
The Packers were able to reverse the running game's negative trend last Thursday when the team rushed for 156 yards (105 from Lacy) against the Minnesota Vikings and put up 42 points on defensive-minded HC Mike Zimmer's team.
This is why Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle stressed the importance of stopping the run and making the Packers one-dimensional this week.
"I still think you’d rather try to make them one-dimensional." Coyle said, "I’d much prefer to be able to slow down their run game and not allow that big back (Eddie Lacy) to get rolling. You saw him the other night, he was running downhill and lowering his shoulder and knocking people around. We can’t allow that to happen. We’ve got to do a great job of gang tackling and making him stop his feet and not get started."
Getting middle linebacker Koa Misi back from his ankle injury will help this cause greatly. Misi is widely considered the best tackling linebacker on the team. In fact, Misi is widely considered the best linebacker on the team overall. Pairing Misi with the newly-emerged Jelani Jenkins will give the Dolphins a solid duo of linebackers.
The Packers can beat you in a multitude of ways. But if Miami can stop the Packers' rushing attack early, often and consistently, then the Dolphins' defense will be able to hone their focus on the Packers' passing game, and more importantly, hone in on Aaron Rodgers with one of the NFL's best pass rush.
Coyle believes if he can force the Packers to be one-dimensional, his pass rush can pose some issues for Green Bay. "I believe we’ll pose some issues for them just like they pose issues for us. I think our guys rushing the quarterback match up against some of the best guys in the league."
The Dolphins would also be smart to keep a spy on Rodgers, who is known for keeping plays alive with his legs when things break down in the pocket. Rodgers sneaking out of the pocket and improvising will lead to bad things for Miami, so a spy will be needed and used to clean up the play anytime Rodgers escapes.
Everything in a game flows continuously, and everything that happens has an effect. Nothing is as effective on an opposing offense as winning the battle up front, at the line of scrimmage, in the trenches (as the Buffalo Bills consistently show the Dolphins).
The Dolphins first step in diminishing the Packers' daunting offense is to win the line of scrimmage, make the Packers one-dimensional, and let the pass rushing dogs loose. (For the record, this is impossible to do without a lead, so the Dolphins offense will need to build on the solid performance in London. See how success depends on symmetry in this league?)