OT Field Goal Beats Packers, Keeps Bears Alone In First
(WSCR) – The Bears may have dropped a game to a Seattle Seahawks team that they should have easy beat, but thanks to an OT field goal from Dan Carpenter they are still alone on top of the division. Carpenter and the Dolphins edged the Packers 23-20, dropping the Packers to 3-3.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Brandon Marshall found out that Green Bay Packers defensive standout Charles Woodson wouldn’t be shadowing him for the whole game Sunday, he didn’t need to tell quarterback Chad Henne what to do.
Marshall told him anyway: Throw me the ball.
Henne did, over and over, helping the Dolphins (3-2) wear down a Packers defense that has been depleted by injuries. Kicker Dan Carpenter then delivered the knockout punch in overtime, hitting a 44-yard field goal for a 23-20 Dolphins victory.
“I was shocked,” said Marshall, who caught 10 passes for 127 yards. “I was shocked that [Woodson] wasn’t following me often. When you get that opportunity, you’ve got to go all in.”
It was the second straight overtime loss for the reeling Packers (3-3), who came into this season with Super Bowl aspirations but have been hit hard by injuries. Now their sputtering offense and dinged-up defense face an emotional matchup with Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings at home next Sunday night.
“We’ve got three losses, they’ve all been tight games,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “They’ve all come down to a critical point in the football game. We’re not getting it done at that particular point.”
Aaron Rodgers started for Green Bay one week after sustaining a concussion, and scored on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal with 13 seconds left in regulation. The Packers tied it with the extra point and forced overtime, but a strong Dolphins running game made the difference in the extra period.
Rodgers, who missed some time in practice this week while he recovered from the concussion, was 18 of 33 for 313 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“We need those guys back,” Rodgers said of the Packers’ injured players. “We need to be at full force. No excuses, obviously. You’ve got to give Miami credit.”
Carpenter’s big kicks — he made a 53-yarder earlier in the game — and an odd Packers penalty on a Dolphins punt in the fourth quarter made for a special teams-driven victory for the Dolphins. Miami had an off week to think about a mistake-filled loss to New England that resulted in the firing of its special teams coach.
“It’s been a heck of a two weeks,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. “Fifty-three players in that locker room, every coach in that locker room believed we could get this done and we came in here and got this done. It didn’t matter how long it took.”
Each team came up empty on its first possession in overtime, and a subpar punt by Green Bay’s Tim Masthay gave the ball back to the Dolphins near midfield.
The Dolphins took it right at the heart of the Packers’ defense from there, getting hard runs by Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins stalled and they kicked on third down.
“When I hit the ball and it went up, it was going in the direction where I wanted it, from then I pretty much knew,” Carpenter said.
Henne was 23 of 39 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
The Dolphins apparently expected Woodson on Marshall for most of the game, but Woodson spent much of his time on the slot receiver — as he often does in the Packers defense — and Marshall often lined up outside, where he was covered by Tramon Williams. Williams got an interception, but the Dolphins got the victory.
“If they give us one-on-one against Brandon, we’ve got to attack it and take our odds out there that he’s going to come up with the ball,” Henne said.
Cameron Wake had three sacks for the Dolphins, who sacked Rodgers five times.
The Dolphins have been plagued by special teams problems, but benefited from a Packers penalty on a punt.
With the game tied at 13, the Packers appeared to stop a Dolphins drive midway through the fourth quarter. But after forcing the Dolphins to punt, officials waited several minutes before calling an illegal formation penalty on the Packers.
Later facing first-and-10 at the Packers 22 after the penalty, Henne felt pressure from a pair of pass rushers — then lobbed the ball right over them to a wide-open Anthony Fasano, who ran in for a go-ahead touchdown with 5:20 remaining. Rodgers answered with a drive to force overtime, but it wasn’t enough for the Packers.
* Already hit hard by injuries, the Packers were without tight end Jermichael Finley, linebacker Clay Matthews and several other key players Sunday. Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga also sustained a knee injury during the game.
* Brown had 19 carries for 73 yards.
* Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings had six catches for 133 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown.
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