Matthew Stafford And The Detroit Lions Came Into South Beach With A Chance To Get Back To .500 And Took Advantage Of The Fins To The Tune Of 248 Rushing Yards.
What a start it was for the Detroit Lions today. Negative yardage for the Dolphins on their first drive was exactly what the Detroit defense was looking for. The Dolphins are a team that wants to run the ball and keep their backup QB from having to throw downfield. Detroit kept up the early pressure when tight end Michael Roberts hauled in a 15-yard touchdown on the Lions ensuing drive off of a beautiful play-action pass that was set up by the great running game on the drive.
The Lions forced another punt on Miami’s second drive as they continued their effort to force quarterback Brock Osweiler to be a high volume passer. On the next drive, a nice play by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonzo kept the Lions from converting a 3rd & 1 for the first time this season which lead to a Sam Martin punt. Overall, it was a pretty good first quarter for the Lions who showed the ability to stop the run and clearly executed their gameplan early on.
One the first play of the second quarter, running back Kerryon Johnson hit a huge hole up the middle and raced downfield for a career-high 71-yard rush all the way to Miami’s 20-yard line. Unfortunately, the Lions stalled and settled for a Matt Prater field goal, which put them up 10-0 early in quarter number two. Following the field goal, Miami drove a long way and had basically had six chances with goal to go thanks to a debatable penalty on Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson. That allowed Osweiler to complete a four-yard touchdown to wide receiver Kenny Stills in the corner of the end zone which made it a 10-7 game.
The Lions answered the Dolphins score with one of their own. Running back LeGarrette Blount punched one in with 1:02 to go in the half and Detroit took a 17-7 lead into the halftime break.
Detroit started the second half with the ball and continued to display a dominant run game on their way down the field early in the second quarter. Unfortunately for the Lions, a touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay was wiped off the board by a ticky-tack holding call on rookie left guard Frank Ragnow. Prater’s 27-yard field goal put Detroit on top 20-7. Miami meant business and took only five plays to go 75 yards and get themselves back into it. Running back Kenyan Drake took it 54-yards to the house and the Detroit lead was trimmed to 20-14.
Stafford and the Lions offense were clicking all day long. After four scores on their first five drives, Detroit came out and answer the Miami touchdown with another touchdown pass to Roberts to put themselves back up 26-14.
The Dolphins were forced to punt on their first drive of the final quarter and put themselves at the mercy of a Lions offense that was extremely consistent. After another long drive, the Lions settled for three which stretched their lead to 29-14. Miami did not go down easily despite the Lions continued offensive assault. Osweiler threaded the needle on a pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola which got the Dolphins back within eight points with just over six minutes to play.
The Lions got the ball back with a chance to put it away following the Miami touchdown. Prater was perfect on the day and his 50-yarder with two minutes to go put this one away for the Lions. All in all, it was a solid performance and a 32-21 victory to put Detroit at 3-3 on the season.
The Lions ran for more yards then they passed for and won a game while doing so. That is not a stat that many people would’ve thought to be possible with this team the past few years. This Lions team is playing a physical and balanced brand of football. Watch out for them going forward.