The Associated Press
Genaro C. Armas
GREEN BAY, Wis.–For a change, it was the Packers in a runaway.
Aaron Jones ran for career highs of 145 yards and two scores, and Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams connected for two touchdown passes, as the Green Bay beat the Miami Dolphins 31-12 yesterday.
The Packers (4-4-1) pulled away in the second half–sandwiching scoring drives around cornerback Bashaud Breeland’s interception deep in Miami territory.
Green Bay went ahead 28-12 on Adams’ 25-yard touchdown catch with 7:24 left in the third quarter.
“This league has always been about big plays,” said Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy.
“You can’t score points without big plays and you have to make big plays to win the game,” he reasoned.
Maybe this is the victory that will get the Packers going in the tight NFC North race following a choppy first half of the season.
Jason Sanders tied a Dolphins’ franchise rookie record with four field goals but Miami (5-5) couldn’t find the end zone.
The Dolphins squandered another opportunity on the game-opening drive after Brock Osweiler fumbled away a shotgun snap.
The Packers cashed in on that turnover, too, when Rodgers and Adams connected on their first touchdown for a 7-0 lead.
“We turned it over and we didn’t take advantage of opportunities,” said Dolphins’ coach Adam Gase.
His defence also had trouble slowing down Jones, who finished with 15 carries to give Green Bay some much-needed balance.
A slashing style and an explosive burst through the hole make Jones a threat to bust a big run on any carry.
He accounted for 54 yards of total offence on the opening drive alone.
Jones added a career-long 67-yarder to give him 96 yards on four carries in the first quarter alone.
“We got the run game going. We had a lot more balance, which we hadn’t had all season,” noted Rodgers, who was 19-of-28 for 199 yards.
Adams had four catches for 57 yards.
Osweiler was 23-of-37 for 213 yards in his fifth start for the injured Ryan Tannehill.
Miami had 294 yards of total offence–an admirable effort given they were missing three starting offensive linemen.
But Osweiler was sacked six times, including three-straight plays late in the fourth quarter.
“Overall, I just need to be better and this organization deserves better because we left a lot on the table out there tonight,” Osweiler said.
Gase said the team believed they could win yesterday despite so many injuries, not including the ones that happened during the game.
Miami forced two turnovers on special teams, blocking a punt and forcing Tramon Williams to fumble on a return for good field position each time.
“That field position, we didn’t take advantage of,” Gase noted. “Those type of things, you can’t do against this guy [Rodgers].
“You do that, it’s just a matter of time before he makes it right.”
A nine-yard run with about three-and-a-half minutes left in the first quarter put Miami’s Frank Gore over the 500-yard mark for an NFL-record 14th-straight season.
He broke a tie with Hall-of-Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.
Elsewhere in the NFL, Chicago beat Detroit 34-22, New Orleans bombed Cincinnati 51-14, Dallas downed Philadelphia 27-20, Tennessee dumped New England 34-10, and the L.A. Rams topped Seattle 36-31.
Cleveland upended Atlanta 28-16, Kansas City beat Arizona 26-14, Washington downed Tampa Bay 16-3, Indianapolis shaded Jacksonville 29-26, Buffalo trounced the N.Y. Jets 41-10, and the L.A. Chargers dumped Oakland 20-6.
The N.Y. Giants face San Francisco tonight.