Bashaud Breeland

Packers defensive back Bashaud Breeland returns an interception in the third quarter of Green Bay's 31-12 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. 

Wisconsin State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Green Bay Packers' performance in their 31-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. 

Offense: B

Finally given the ball by Mike McCarthy, Aaron Jones gave the Packers the rushing game they've needed all season. Showing speed and instincts, Jones had 145 rushing and 27 receiving yards. Aaron Rodgers misfired on occasion, but his 112.1 passer rating was his best since the opener. Sacks ended two first-half drives.

Defense: B

Bashaud Breeland undercut a route for an interception that swung the game in Green Bay's favor. With Miami down three starters on the line, the Packers should have sacked Brock Osweiler and they did, dropping him six times. Ageless Frank Gore ran well early, but Green Bay got him under control after the first quarter.

Special teams: D

Trailing by 16 in the third quarter, Miami had a fourth-and-1. How can the Packers not expect a fake punt? Raven Greene got payback for Green Bay with a 26-yard run from punt formation. JK Scott had a punt blocked after needless pre-snap movement by the Packers. Tramon Williams returned a punt 19 yards, then fumbled.

Coaching: B

Aaron Jones has shaky hands, so McCarthy called two catchable screen passes on the opening drive. McCarthy was right to go for it on fourth-and-2 near midfield, but asking Jimmy Graham to pass block Cameron Wake was a mistake. Ron Zook's special teams are a comedy of errors and it stopped being funny long ago.

Overall: B

With their season in jeopardy after two consecutive road losses, the Packers started fast to take the early lead and controlled the Dolphins in the second half. It wasn't always a work of art, but the Packers now have an offensive blueprint as they head into two road games that could make or break their season.

Contact Tom Oates at or 608-252-6172.


Tom Oates has been part of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department since 1980 and became its editorial voice in 1996, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day.