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Kicking the field goal was the right call

Packers changed their identity


Jack from La Crosse, WI

Vic, the fake-spike play is a gimmick, but it worked this time. I don't think it will or should become commonplace. What do you think of the play?

I don't even know why it's an issue. The defense should be playing hard on every play. The defense should never take a play off.

Stacy from Fayetteville, NC

Vic, I heard the announcers mention several times it was almost like the Miami defensive line knew the Packers' snap count. I remember hearing something similar when they played at the Seahawks. Is this due to film study? Or do the Packers need to somehow change things up?

I wrote it in this column last week. The Dolphins would have the Packers' audible system. Changes are made through the years, but much of it remains the same and Joe Philbin knew the fundamentals of the Packers' offensive system. He had his team prepared to play the Packers. The information he was able to provide made it more difficult for Aaron Rodgers at the line of scrimmage. This was not an ordinary game. This was extraordinary. I experienced this phenomenon in Super Bowl XIV.

David from Maineville, OH

Vic, I thought the Packers decision to go for the late field goal was smart. It meant there would be no overtime. As long as the Packers kept the Dolphins out of the end zone and got the ball back, they would be playing for a win, or tie at worst.

I agree. I said to Mike McCarthy after the game I thought it was the right thing to do. I sense his go-for-it personality made it a difficult decision for him and he might even do it differently if he had to do it over again, but I am absolutely certain kicking the field goal was the right thing to do. Why? Because when you kick, you're playing to win. If he goes for the touchdown and scores, all he does is raise the bar for the Dolphins. The Dolphins don't run the ball on third-and-9. They have to stay aggressive and Dom Capers has to play it softer. Winning is the ultimate vindication. Coach McCarthy did it right.

Dan from Golden Valley, MN

Vic, did you know that if the season ended today, Green Bay would be the sixth NFC seed and Seattle would miss the playoffs?

I didn't know that. Thanks for the information but it tells me nothing more than what I already knew: It's all about December.

Jerry from Des Moines, IA

Vic, I wasn't able to watch the game. We dominated TOP, won the turnover battle and out-rushed the Dolphins. I know they have a good defense, but what did they do to keep the game so close?

Joe Philbin either made some halftime adjustments or prepared to hit the Packers with something different in the second half, and I think it was game-changing. He went to a college spread formation and it produced a 40-yard run by Ryan Tannehill that was a game-changing play. The Dolphins went with a four-wide formation – two receivers side by side on each side of the field. The standard defensive response to that formation is to cover two with three, which leaves five on seven, and that's an advantage for the offense, but only if the quarterback is a runner. The Dolphins only used it a few more times, but I think it introduced another element to the game and it favored the Dolphins in the second half.

Steve from Fergus Falls, MN

Vic, everyone is gushing over Aaron Rodgers' final drive, which was great, but why doesn't the fumble recovery by T.J. Lang get some gushing? You didn't even mention it in your article. Is it because he is a lineman? Where is the love?

Mike Spofford dealt with it in his locker room story. We coordinate our coverage. Please read all of the stories.

Nathan from Denver, CO

What did we learn about the Packers' identity yesterday?

We learned they can change it when necessary. That's the mark of a championship team.

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