With most of Green Bay's big fish watching the game from the injury list, what is left of the team simply does not have enough left to keep them from playing like minnows.
Though recently concussed quarterback Aaron Rodgers was able to make some courageous key plays, he spent most of his day getting thrashed around by the Dolphins like a seal in the mouth of a great white, which killed most of the Packers drives and kept the ball in Miami's hands.
And, of course, Green Bay's defense, so vacant of starters that it literally is using offensive players, is not much more able to consistently stop an NFL offense than a beach can stop an psunami.
By then end of the game, linebacker A.J. Hawk, who technically was not an original starter at the beginning of this year, was left playing along side only third or fourth string linebackers as he, Cullen Jenkins and Charles Woodson tried in vain to stop the hemorrhaging. And they almost pulled it off, taking a solid Dolphin team into overtime.
Although there are no excuses in the NFL, you just can't ignore that Green Bay is depleted to the point that they are no longer the lethal contender they might have been this year.
So there really is no point in trying to blame the 20-23 overtime loss on the coaches or the players; on the contrary, the veterans who remain on the field are playing with all their hearts and the new players are playing to the best of their abilities. Even the defensive penalties were not as damaging as they had been a week earlier in a similar overtime loss.
Should coach Mike McCarthy go back to the drawing board? Well, there probably is not enough chalk in the world to fix what is ailing his team this year; St. Vince Lombardi himself would likely not have been able to extricate the team from what the Grim Reaper of Injury has gleaned from the Packers this year.
From this point, though the Packers players will probably continue to give it their all, the expectations from the players who remain on the roster have to be different than the expectations one might have had for this team with a full roster.
And, yes, the Packers could win a lot of games this year, but that will only happen if some key players move back to the field, or there is dramatic improvement in the newbies, which is not the norm in the NFL.
Game ball: Grim Reaper of Injury
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