The Green Bay Packers survived another week, ensured another game of meaningful football and drastically increased their playoff chances by delivering a 26-20 win over the Miami Dolphins on Christmas Day.
Here’s the instant analysis of the Packers’ win, the team’s third in a row:
It was over when...
The @packers PICK IT OFF
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— NFL (@NFL) December 25, 2022
Rasul Douglas intercepted Tua Tagovailoa with 1:29 left in the fourth quarter and the Packers clinging to a six-point lead. Tua’s pass was intended for Mike Gesiski but Douglas anticipated the route, got depth in his coverage and made the easy pick. It was the Packers’ fourth takeaway and third interception of the contest.
Dolphins 3, Packers 0: Jason Sanders 46-yard FG
Dolphins 3, Packers 3: Mason Crosby 36-yard FG
Dolphins 10, Packers 3: Jaylen Waddle 84-yard TD catch
Dolphins 10, Packers 10: Marcedes Lewis 1-yard TD catch
Dolphins 17, Packers 10: Jeff Wilson 1-yard TD run
Dolphins 20, Packers 10: Jason Sanders 34-yard FG
Dolphins 20, Packers 13: Mason Crosby 46-yard FG
Dolphins 20, Packers 20: A.J. Dillon 1-yard TD run
Packers 23, Dolphins 20: Mason Crosby 28-yard FG
Packers 26, Dolphins 20: Mason Crosby 26-yard FG
DL Jarran Reed: His forced fumble and fumble recovery before halftime provided the game’s turning point. The Packers were down 20-10 at the time but went on a 16-0 run to win following the turnover.
TE Marcedes Lewis: He caught a touchdown pass on fourth down, and his diving 31-yard catch (his longest of the season) set up another score.
K Mason Crosby: The veteran kicker, playing in his 256th consecutive game, made all four field goals and both extra points, contributing 14 of the Packers’ 26 points.
Stat of the game: 4 takeaways
The Packers defense gave up numerous big plays – and almost 400 total yards – but takeaways were the great equalizer. Jarran Reed’s fumble led to a field goal, Jaire Alexander’s interception led to field goal, De’Vondre Campbell’s interception took away a prime scoring opportunity and Rasul Douglas’ interception ended the game.
Things to know
– The Packers were 2-for-14 on third down but also 3-for-5 on fourth down, including one failed fake punt.
– The Packers held the Dolphins to only 82 rushing yards, although Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson both had runs over 10 yards.
– Dolphins receivers Jaylen Waddle (143 yards) and Tyreek Hill (103) both went over 100 receiving yards.
– Packers running back A.J Dillon scored a touchdown in his fourth straight game.
– Receiver Christian Watson (hip), kick returner Keisean Nixon (groin), right tackle Yosh Nijman (shoulder) and defensive lineman Dean Lowry (calf) all left with injuries and didn’t return.
– The Dolphins averaged 8.4 yards per play. The Packers averaged 4.6. But the Packers ran 20 more plays (65 to 45), had three more red-zone trips (5 to 2), held the ball slightly more (32:00 to 28:00) and had three fewer turnovers (1 to 4).
The Packers will welcome the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings to Lambeau Field on New Year’s Day. The Vikings are 12-3, including a win over the New York Giants in Week 16. Green Bay needs a win – and another win in Week 18 – to finish the playoff push.