By Abraham Gutierrez
Trying to go over .500 for only the second time this 2014 NFL season, the (2-2) Miami Dolphins host the (3-2) Green Bay Packers in a Week 6 interconference showdown at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Opening kickoff is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (12 p.m. CT/11 a.m. MT/10 a.m. PT), and it will be broadcast live on FOX.
Following a rocky bye, Miami starts Week 6 sitting in third place in the AFC East, trailing the (3-2) co-division-leading New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. Joe Philbin and company hope they can keep pace in the early divisional race and build off the momentum of a (38-14) win over (0-4) Oakland Raiders on Sept. 28 in London.
Needless to say that, in order to keep things rolling in the right direction, the Fins will need all hands on deck when they return home to try and stop the cheese heads. Unfortunately, there’s a particular set of hands that will not be part of the action this week, which could prove to be costly.
According to confirmed reports, the Dolphins suspended defensive end, Derrick Shelby indefinitely for actions detrimental to the team. The decision was announced shortly after the details of his trespassing and resisting arrest incident were made public, for which he was booked and later released on bond.
The ruling also comes just days removed from a Week 6 showdown with a legitimate Super Bowl XLIX contender in the Packers. The question for Philbin and his staff now becomes: How will Miami’s defense, minus one of its best defensive lineman, hold up against Mike McCarthy’s explosive offensive attack?
Packers on Offense
When preparing to face the Packers offense, judging them solely on statistics could prove to be a costly mistake. After five games in the books, the Packers attack ranks seventh in the league in points per game (26.8), 18th in passing (219.6), 25th in rushing (219.6), and a surpassing 28th in total yards per game. However, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Under offensive coordinator Tom Clements’ system, the deadliest weapon in the Packers’ roster has a name, and, it starts with an “R” and ends with an “S”. After recently pleading Green Bay fans to R-E-L-A-X, Aaron Rodgers (98-for-147, 1,155 yards, 12 TDs, INT, 114.8 QBR) takes the field hoping to continue what has made him clearly the early favorite to win the MVP Award.
Another player to look out for on the offensive side of the football is former second-round draftee, running back Eddie Lacy (5 starts, 266 yards, 66 carries, 3 TDs). Through the air, no two wide outs are more dangerous than veteran wide receiver, Jordy Nelson (34/52, 525 yards, 4 TDs), who starts Week 6 ranked second in the NFL in receiving yards, as well as former Kentucky Wildcats standout, Randall Cobb (24 catches, 273 yards, 6 TDs).
Packers on Defense
The Packers defensive coordinator is none other than former NFL National Coach of the Year, Dom Capers. The well-traveled 64-year-old from Cambridge, Ohio, leads a defensive unit that ranks sixth at defending the pass (208.8), 10th in points allowed (21.2), but 22nd in total yards allowed (371.8) and a whopping last place in the NFL in rushing yards surrendered (163.0).
While ex-Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket (strong safety), Morgan Burnett, leads the team with 48 tackles (36 solo), defensive end Mike Daniels leads the team in the most coveted category of them all with 2.5 sacks. Other outstanding defenders on the Packers resistance include: linebackers A.J. Hawk (45 tackles, 27 solo) and Nick Perry (2.0 sacks), as well as undrafted corner back Tramon Williams (28 tackles, 22 solo, INT).
The Miami Dolphins lead the overall head-to-head series over the Green Bay Packers with a record of 10-3-0. After losing the first seven meetings between these storied franchises, the Packers come in winners of three of their last five contests. The last time they met dates back to the 2010 NFL campaign, when Miami prevailed by a final score of 23-20 in overtime at Lambeau Field.
For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.
Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .