The Miami Dolphins are about to play "a measuring stick" game, as coach Joe Philbin called Sunday's meeting with Green Bay. And the reason this one presents such a considerable challenge is primarily because the Packers have perhaps the best quarterback in the NFL.
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdown passes against one interception so far this season. He has a 114.8 quarterback rating. The rating is second best in the NFL. The 12 TDs is tied for second-best in the NFL.
So you can understand defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is showing his coming challenge a lot of due respect.
"There are some guys in this league that are truly special and this quarterback rates up there with the best of them," Coyle said. "He really amazing to watch. Some guys you love to watch on tape. You just put the tape on and observe and wish you didn't necessarily have to try to defend him because he's magical what he does with the ball and the speed and the way he gets the ball out with his accuracy, his ability to extend plays.
"It's really uncanny coupled with the fact he's got a rifle of an arm. So he's a big challenge. He's got good weapons around him. They're very well coached and we're going to have to be at our best this week to slow those guys down."
Head coach Joe Philbin, who worked for the Packers and watched Rodgers develop, was not quite so effusive about the quarterback. In being asked about Rodgers, Philbin made it about the entire Packers offense.
"It’s a good offensive football team," Philbin said. "Just like as I talk to our team, our offensive unit, there’s more than one player that makes that offense go. He’s obviously a very good player, but we have to execute our game plan.
"Really, we’re talking about us, first and foremost, is you only control so much. We don’t control the plays they’re going to call or the route they’re going to call, so we want our guys to understand our plan and how we plan to stop the Green Packer offense. [Rodgers] is a big part of their offense, but really it’s more about us and what we can do as a defensive football team to slow down a team that’s averaged, what, 40 points a game the last two weeks. Certainly, it’s going to be a challenge.”