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Dolphins @ Lions

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By JACK CASSIDY

STATS Writer
(AP) -- The Miami Dolphins' early-season hype seemed to be realized last week in the franchise's most dominant win in nearly 20 years.

 

The rising expectations around the Detroit Lions should only continue to grow with Calvin Johnson's expected return.

 

After pitching their first shutout in nearly eight years, the Dolphins figure to have a stiff test Sunday at Ford Field against Johnson and the Lions in a matchup of teams aiming for a fourth straight victory.

 

The Dolphins (5-3) looked like a legitimate contender last week when they steamrolled San Diego 37-0 - the franchise's best point differential since a 52-14 win on Sept. 3, 1995, and first shutout since December 2006.

 

Ryan Tannehill posted a career-best 125.6 passer rating as Miami racked up a season-high 441 yards, and the Dolphins held San Diego's then-seventh-ranked offense to 178 yards - the fifth-lowest mark in the NFL this season.

 

The third-year quarterback dismissed the idea that the win was the best performance of his career.

 

"I don't know about that," Tannehill said. "Offensively, we executed well. Guys were making plays. But we still left some plays out there."

 

Although Tannehill sees room for improvement, the rest of the league sees a team playing at the level necessary for sustained success. Tannehill has completed 68 percent of his passes over his past five games while averaging 8.2 yards per attempt with a 104.1 rating.

 

Miami has averaged the league's fifth-most points (30.6) since Week 4. Tannehill has run for at least 35 yards in each of Miami's five games in that stretch.

 

"You saw where they had the wide splits on the outside, a quarterback that can run, he's throwing the ball well, backs that can move it and receivers that can run and catch," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "Just across the board, they give you all types of problems and difficulties.

 

"That's one of those teams that you can tell just keeps getting better and better each week."

 

Miami's defense has been equally impressive, leading the NFL in yards per play (4.68), yards per pass (5.16) and first downs (143). The Dolphins also rank second in pass defense, third in total defense and fourth against the run.

 

Detroit (6-2) will counter with a phenomenal defense of its own - albeit one that will possibly be without Nick Fairley for a month due to MCL and PCL sprains. The Lions rank at the top of the NFL in total yards (290.4) and points allowed (15.8) per game.

 

"We're the top defense," safety James Ihedigbo said. "People say it ... it's not something we said ourselves. That's the standard that we've set across the NFL. That's the standard we've set in this building."

 

The Lions enjoyed their bye in Week 9 after defeating Atlanta 22-21 in London the previous week, holding the Falcons to 80 yards and no points after halftime. Atlanta had 291 for the game, the NFL best-tying fourth time this season Detroit held its opponent to under 300 yards.

 

Matthew Stafford, who threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, has developed an dynamic connection with Golden Tate, who has emerged with Johnson out. Tate ranks fifth in the NFL with 55 receptions, fourth with 800 yards and is coming off back-to-back 150-yard performances.

 

Tate may have trouble approaching those numbers this week, but for a reason that certainly won't upset the Lions. Johnson is expected to play after sitting out the past three games with an ankle injury.

 

"(It's) good for the body," Johnson said about his month off. "Definitely fresh when I came back ... It's going to be good for me this season."

 

Also expected back is ex-Dolphin Reggie Bush, who missed two of the past three games with a sprained ankle.

 

Johnson and Bush will match up with a familiar face Sunday - ex-teammate Louis Delmas. After being cut by the Lions in February, Delmas has started seven of eight games for Miami and was named AFC defensive player of the week after recording two tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception in Week 7 against Chicago.

 

"Throughout practice, but I pretty much lost every one," Delmas said about his matchups with Johnson in Detroit. "He's a heck of a player. He's one of the more talented players I've ever faced. We're talented too. We've just got to go out there and play our game, and hopefully the best man wins."

 

The Lions sent home C.J. Mosley from London and initially suspended him for an additional game after he was reportedly caught with marijuana, but reinstated the defensive tackle this week with Fairley on the shelf. Mosley has 2 1/2 sacks in seven games.

 

The Dolphins held Johnson to four catches for 52 yards when they last met Detroit in 2010, but lost 34-27 at home.

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

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I hope Stafford throws for 700 yards, Megatron catches 300 of those, and the Lions win 57-3.

 

None of this will happen though, and the Lions will probably get blown out.

 

I'm really tired of the Dolphins, man. :sigh:

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The Lions choking away this season would be pretty poetic.

 

I do love poetry...

 

:dolphins: 24

:Lions: 16

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:dolphins: 24

:Lions: 27

 

cuz lions

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I hope Stafford throws for 700 yards, Megatron catches 300 of those, and the Lions win 57-3.

 

None of this will happen though, and the Lions will probably get blown out.

 

I'm really tired of the Dolphins, man. :sigh:

Be happy for them Vinny! <_<

 

:dolphins: 23

:Lions: 20

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I'm not going to be happy for the team that's the only barrier that prevents me from watching Jags games every week.

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They're doing you a favor. :troll:

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:no:

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Lamar Miller (shoulder) is active for Week 10 against the Lions.

The Miami Herald's Adam Beasley suspects Miller will be "limited" against the Lions' fearsome run defense, making him a boom-or-bust RB2 at less than 100 percent. Daniel Thomas could see an increased role in short-yardage situations, and is in the RB3 conversation.
Inactive for the Dolphins are LG Daryn Colledge, OT Jason Fox, DL Anthony Johnson, OG Billy Turner, DE Terrence Fede, TE Dion Sims and LB Kelvin Sheppard.

 

 

 

Lions TEs Eric Ebron (hamstring) and Joseph Fauria (ankle) are active for Week 10 against the Dolphins.

Brandon Pettigrew will be the Lions' starting tight end, and isn't worth consideration in daily leagues.
Also inactive for the Lions are WR Ryan Broyles, DT Nick Fairley, QB Kellen Moore, DE Larry Webster and OG Garrett Reynolds.

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The Lions are just pulling BS wins out of their hat, this is great. They're this year's colts. (The Colts are actually resembling a good team now)

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Second disappointing loss to a NFCN team in the closing minutes, after we were leading. I would normally fall back to my "same shit every year" face, but I still feel pretty good about Miami's direction. They don't seem as lost anymore. It isn't exactly a loss to a pushover, and from what I have read it the Lions are enjoying similar success with their defense right now. Some analysts even call them the best.

 

All in all, of course the loss sucks. But at least they are making the opponents earn the wins more often.

 

On an additional note: I am now completely convinced that Brent Grimes is the best FA move we have made since we took a chance on Wake. He didn't just bounce back from his injury...he launched himself back in time to 2009-2011. It's incredible. He already has 9 interceptions in a season and half with the Phins. He raked in a total of 13 in a much longer span with Atlanta.

Edited by Phins4life

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