Merry Christmas one final time.
Christmas day was going so well. Then, the Miami Dolphins played their much-anticipated game hosting the Green Bay Packers.
The playoff implications were high for both teams.
The Packers intercepted Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa three times in the fourth quarter to complete their comeback and defeat the Dolphins 26-20 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Fans in attendance sat through the second-coldest home game in franchise history and witnessed the Dolphins losing their fourth straight game.
Dolphins handed out gifts to the Packers.
The Packers had a season-high four takeaways in the game — three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Jason Sanders missed a 48-yard field goal in the second half; the Dolphins did not score in the second half.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 238 yards and a touchdown and was intercepted once, helping the Packers (7-8) to their third straight win. The team is looking to make a playoff push after starting the season 4-8.
The Dolphins’ playoff chances are in jeopardy, but they are still alive.
After losing four consecutive games, Miami (8-7) now needs two wins or a win at New England and the New York Jets to lose to Seattle in Week 17 to make the postseason.
After leading by as many as 10, the Dolphins trailed by six points with a chance to take the lead in the final two minutes, but Tagovailoa threw his third interception in three possessions to end Miami’s comeback chance. He threw a pick with about six minutes left that set up a Packers field goal.
Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert admitted that one of the routes he ran was wrong, leading to one of Tagovailoa’s interceptions.
Miami’s defense held the Packers to six points off turnovers in the second half and also held Green Bay to two TDs and three field goals in five trips to the red zone.
Tyreek Hill had four catches for Miami to give him 113 for the season, setting a Dolphins’ single-season receptions record previously held by Jarvis Landry. Jaylen Waddle added five receptions for 143 yards. Waddle’s 84-yard touchdown was the longest pass play for the dolphins in 35 years.
Though one fumble by Raheem Mostert, Miami committed to the run game early, rushing for 82 yards against Green Bay after a season-high 188 yards rushing against Buffalo in Week 15.
Three interceptions were thrown on the final Dolphins’ final three possessions. Four turnovers and a missed field goal on the Dolphins final five drives. Nearly impossible to win a game with those mistakes.
In a span of a couple of series the game spiraled out of control for the Dolphins. Tagovailoa needs to play better to beat good football teams, like the San Fransisco 49ers, Los Angelos Chargers, Buffalo Bills, and now Packers. Tagovailoa against Rodgers, you will favorite Rodgers most of the time; unfortunately, this game was no exception. Losing four games in December is highly concerning for any team in the NFL.
The Dolphins were shut out in the second half; they did not have the ball in the second half because they kept turning it over. Like the Buffalo game up 8, they had this game in hand up 10 points before the half; they kept turning the ball over, and with the turnovers, there was no ability to get playmakers like Hill and Waddle involved in the second half. Dolphins had one last chance with a fourth-quarter two-minute drive; from there, it became concerning about Tagovailoa’s ability to lead this team to where they want him to be as a franchise quarterback.
The Dolphins committed eight penalties and four turnovers and, at times, were not lining up in the right spots, all of this occurring in week 16 of the NFL season. It is sad; it is a shame. Not long ago, the Dolphins were 8-3, cruising to a memorable season moreover looked unbeatable at times. It is concerning; the secondary has been batting injuries, and the defensive line–pass rush has not been as threatening as earlier in the season.
The defense deserves a pat on the back. They have some building blocks, especially with Christian Wilkins, who is going into a tag year next year; the Dolphins will need to clear out some cap space for him. The defense played well enough to win; unfortunately, the turnovers in this game are why they lost their fourth straight game. Tagovailoa will get the blame leading up to the game visiting the patriots; however, he needs to dig in and find the magic to win the next two games.