Miami spends its extra time wisely
GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Brandon Marshall found out that Packers defensive standout Charles Woodson wouldn’t be shadowing him for the whole game yesterday, 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 Green Bay defense that has been depleted by injuries. 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 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 last week, was 18 of 33 for 313 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The TD was an 86-yarder to Greg Jennings, who had six catches for 133 yards.
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.
From there, Miami took it right at the heart of the Packers’ defense, 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, and 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 — 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.
Following a mistake-filled Monday night loss to New England that resulted in the firing of its special teams coach, Miami regrouped during its bye week and picked up a quality road win.
“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.’’