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Packers get back to .500 with 31-12 win over Dolphins

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GREEN BAY – The Packers got back to .500 with a 31-12 victory over the Dolphins on Sunday at Lambeau Field, improving to 4-4-1 heading into a short week and a Thursday night game in Seattle.

Second-year RB Aaron Jones was the star of the game, rushing for a career-high 145 yards and two TDs on 15 carries to lead the offense.

QB Aaron Rodgers was 19-of-28 for 199 yards and two scores for a 112.1 passer rating. WR Davante Adams caught both of Rodgers’ TD passes and had four catches for 57 yards. Rookie WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling added six grabs for 44 yards.

Defensively, the Packers got two takeaways and six sacks of Dolphins QB Brock Osweiler, who was 23-of-37 for 213 yards and an interception for a 66.6 rating. RB Frank Gore had 13 carries for 90 yards, and WR Danny Amendola had seven catches for 72 yards. Miami fell to 5-5.

Here’s a recap of all the action:

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Packers lead Dolphins 7-3 after one

The Dolphins got the ball first and blew a great scoring opportunity to get on the board. RB Frank Gore ran 39 yards across midfield, WR Danny Amendola caught a 9-yard pass to move the chains, and Gore converted on a third-and-1 with a 5-yard run to the Green Bay 14-yard line.

But on the next play, the shotgun snap flew by QB Brock Osweiler, who couldn’t fall on it, and LB Reggie Gilbert recovered for the Packers.

From the Green Bay 30, the Packers marched right down the field. RB Aaron Jones had two carries for 27 yards and two receptions for 27 more. QB Aaron Rodgers moved the chains once with a 7-yard scramble. On first-and-goal from the 7, Rodgers found WR Davante Adams on a slant for the TD, and the Packers were out in front.

The Packers’ defense got a three-and-out, but the Dolphins got the ball right back when DB Tramon Williams fumbled the ball at the end of a nice punt return.

Starting at midfield, the Dolphins got 14 yards on two runs by Gore, and 18 on a pass to WR Kenny Stills. The Packers stopped the drive in the red zone, though, as CB Jaire Alexander broke up a second-down pass, and LB Kyler Fackrell sacked Osweiler on third down for his team-leading fifth sack of the season. K Jason Sanders was good from 37 yards out to make it 7-3 with 1:18 left in the quarter.

The Packers answered. Jones took off up the middle on the first snap of the next drive and went 67 yards in all, for a first down at the Miami 4. It was the longest rush of Jones’ brief career. Jones ran it to the 2-yard line and the quarter expired.

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Packers take 14-9 lead over Dolphins into halftime

On the first play of the second quarter, Jones plowed in from 2 yards out, and the Packers led, 14-3.

Gore’s 8-yard reception picked up a first down and was followed by a 39-yard catch-and-run by WR Danny Amendola on a ball CB Josh Jackson just missed picking off. Consecutive passes to WR DeVante Parker picked up 17 yards, and Gore’s 9-yard run made it first-and-goal on the 8.

The Packers got the stop in the red zone again, though, with S Raven Greene (in for an injured Kentrell Brice – ankle) nearly intercepting Osweiler at the goal line on third down. Sanders was good from 25 yards out to make it 14-6.

A 19-yard pass to Adams on third-and-9 got the Packers moving again, and a 5-yard pass to WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling converted on third-and-2. Three plays later the Packers faced fourth-and-2 from the Miami 49 and decided to go for it, but Rodgers was sacked by DE Cameron Wake, and the Dolphins took over in Green Bay territory.

An illegal contact penalty on Jackson gave the Dolphins one first down, but the Packers stopped it there, and Sanders was good from 47 yards out to make it 14-9 with 2:49 left in the half.

A 9-yard pass to Valdes-Scantling led to the two-minute warning with the Packers facing third-and-1. Jones converted with a 3-yard run, and then back-to-back passes to Valdes-Scantling for 11 yards apiece got the ball to the Miami 41. Rodgers scrambled for 8 yards but Jones was stopped for no gain on second-and-2, and the Packers took their first timeout with 58 seconds left.

Rodgers was sacked by DE Robert Quinn for an 11-yard loss, and the Packers had to punt.

Osweiler picked up a third-and-6 with a 14-yard pass to Parker, one play after Packers LB Nick Perry limped off with an injury. A deep ball was just out of the reach of Parker on a play when Alexander fell down in coverage. The Dolphins eventually ran out the clock.

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Packers lead 28-12 after three

The Packers went three-and-out to start the second half when a third-down conversion to Adams was wiped out by a personal foul on WR Equanimeous St. Brown for an illegal blindside block. P JK Scott’s punt was then blocked by Miami RB Brandon Bolden, and Miami recovered at the Green Bay 28.

Green Bay’s defense got a three-and-out, and Sanders made his fourth field goal of the day, this one from 40 yards out, to make it 14-12.

The Packers finally found some offense again, helped by the kickoff going out of bounds to start on the 40. A 30-yard catch-and-run by TE Marcedes Lewis picked up a third-and-2 and put the ball on the Miami 22. Jones then ran twice to finish the drive, 12 yards followed by 10 for the score, and the Packers led, 21-12, with 9:33 left in the third.

On the second play of Miami’s next drive, CB Bashaud Breeland stepped in front of an out route for Amendola and recorded his first Packers interception, returning it to the Miami 12. It was the Packers’ first interception since the fourth quarter of the San Francisco game nearly a month ago.

After an illegal crackback block on Adams moved the ball back to the 25, Adams atoned by catching the 25-yard TD pass on second-and-23, and the Packers pushed their lead to 28-12.

Miami faced fourth-and-1 from its own 29 and faked the punt, with WR Leonte Carroo running 14 yards up the middle on a short snap. On the ensuing series, DL Dean Lowry sacked Osweiler on second down, but a 20-yard pass to Carroo on third-and-15 moved the chains anyway.

The Dolphins went for it again, this time on fourth-and-2 from the Green Bay 34, and a 5-yard pass to TE Nick O’Leary picked it up. Greene got his first NFL sack on the next third down, pushing the Dolphins back to the Green Bay 38 as the quarter expired.

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Packers get back to .500 with 31-12 win over Dolphins

Miami’s punt went for a touchback on the first play of the fourth quarter.

A 10-yard run by Jones and 14-yard pass to TE Jimmy Graham picked up two first downs. On fourth-and-3 from the Miami 49, the Packers faked a punt of their own, with Greene taking the short snap and running around left end for 26 yards.

The drive stalled there, and K Mason Crosby was good from 38 yards out to make it a three-score game for the first time, 31-12, with 8:53 left.

The Dolphins drove across midfield, using another fourth-down conversion to do so, but then sacks by DL Kenny Clark and Montravius Adams made it fourth-and-long, and LB Reggie Gilbert made it three sacks on the same series for the turnover on downs. For Clark, it was his fifth sack of the season, tying Fackrell for the team high. Adams got his first career NFL sack.

The Packers ran the last three-plus minutes off the clock.

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