The Green Bay Packers return home to face the Miami Dolphins, teetering on the brink of their playoff lives.
"I just feel like we have to play better, consistently, 60 minutes, try to eliminate some of the lulls we've been having," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "We have to play with confidence and play up to the level we're capable of playing."
The Packers are in the middle of a stretch of four road games in a span of five weeks. Losses at the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots left the Packers at 3-4-1. They trail Chicago (5-3) and Minnesota (5-3-1) in the NFC North and are in 10th place in the NFC. After this week, it's back on the road to face the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday before a showdown with the Vikings.
"It's always good to be at home," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "You have to take care of your homefield advantage That's something that's a great part of our focus this week. Really, the benefits of being at home is the repetition, particularly when you get to the end of the week. You've got to make sure you take advantage of that. To play in front of your home crowd, that's something that we've always enjoyed. We also know what's coming after it, too."
The Dolphins (5-4) are in the thick of the playoff chase, even with their muddled quarterback situation. Coach Adam Gase announced that Brock Osweiler will make his fifth consecutive start in place of Ryan Tannehill (shoulder). Osweiler is 2-2 in his four starts but he failed to get the offense into the end zone in last week's 13-6 win over the Jets.
"Obviously, as an offense, you want to score a lot more," Osweiler said. "We understand that we've underachieved in some football games, but we're working very hard to get that cleaned up so that we can score more touchdowns and we can score more points. This offense has very lofty goals. We set the standard very high for what we're trying to accomplish every week and sometimes you're not going to accomplish that. But I can promise you, it's not from a lack of work ethic."
Against the Jets, the kickoff temperature was 87. It will be hovering around freezing for Sunday at Lambeau Field.
"For me, it's 3 hours," Gase said. "You've got heated benches, you've got everything under the sun to keep you warm. The thing is, I'm just going off of my experience, I've been up there when it's really cold with a nice, strong breeze. That's when I'd be like, 'You feel this. There's a difference here.' That's what I think they really have an advantage and those guys really understand what an advantage that is for them."