GREEN BAY PACKERS 27 @ DETROIT LIONS 15
PACKERS: After a slow start, Aaron Rodgers was able to open things up in the second half. Rodgers 307 yard, two-touchdown performance now has him with 2+ scores in every game this season. James Starks did make a brief return, but exited early after making the start then tweaking his ankle. Ryan Grant was not able to produce much of anything, toting the ball 6 times for 20 yards. If Starks had a set back, look for more from rookie Brandon Saine who looked extremely good in limited capacity. Saine had 2 carries for 10 yards and 1 catch for 9 yards.
LIONS: Matt Stafford continued his poor play, tossing 3 interceptions which assisted thePackers in scoring 14 points off those turnovers. That is now 9 picks in his last three games and it’s not due to his thumb injury. He is making poor reads, especially in the middle of the field. Kevin Smith was on his way to another solid game before injuring his knee and getting carted off the field. Smith had racked up 57 yards on 10 touches and now leaves the Lions back to square one if it turns out to be anything serious. Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams did fill in nicely, but their effectiveness was limited with the Lions playing from behind. The Lions are now looking at the Wild Card and may be without Suh after his ejection for stomping a Packer lineman. So much for the Lions being who we thought they were.
MIAMI DOLPHINS 19 @ DALLAS COWBOYS 20
DOLPHINS: Matt Moore had another solid performance, continuing his great confidence and decision making when throwing the ball. Moore finished with 228 yards and a touchdown for the day, connecting with Brandon Marshall for 102 yards and the score. The crucial error came with a minute left in the half when a combination bad snap and Moore’s fumble set the Cowboys up on the Miami 5 yard line. Romo would score on the ensuing drive in what would be a decisive play in the game. The Dolphins continued their strong defensive play despite the loss and will be a force to be reckoned with as long as Moore continues to play at a high level. Reggie Bush did not find the end zone, but did perform well in what has been the first season we all can truly consider him a true running back. He is hitting the holes, avoiding the dance routine but calling upon his agility when needed. Bush finished with 61 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving on 19 total touches. Daniel Thomas finished with only 27 total yards on 7 touches so it seems that Bush is the clear starter given the disparity in work.
COWBOYS: Tony Romo had Cowboy fans on edge after throwing two interceptions in the first three possessions but settled in after the fumble recovery and his first of two touchdown passes to Laurent Robinson. DeMarco Murray once again carried the load and moved the ball for the Cowboys keeping the Miami defense off balance. Murray finished with 22 carries for 87 yards and 41 yards receiving. My biggest concern for the Boys is why they are risking Murray with 20+ carries per game? Felix Jones has enough talent to carry the ball at minimum 6 times which would ease Murray’s wear and tear come playoff time. The Cowboys still have a lot of work to do to earn that spot so keeping him in is understandable, but some of the carries and blocking downs would be better served by Jones instead of risking injury with Murray. The stars of the day was the defense which finished with 9 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks and 5 hits on Matt Moore.