The Detroit Lions are a hard team to figure out thus far in the season. They’ve showed spurts of dominance against some of the better teams in the league, but completely collapsed against some of the worst. Nobody truly knows what to make of this team and only time will tell what their real identity is. That begins this week, as the Lions return from their bye week with a trip down south to take on the Miami Dolphins.
Bold prediction of the week: Lions rush for 150 yards and earn a hard-nosed win in the heat of Miami
This prediction is more about the Dolphins than it is about the Lions. While Miami has had all the potential in the world the last few seasons, they never seem to put it all together.
That begins with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, or the lack thereof. After suffering season-ending knee injuries each of the past two seasons, Tannehill suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the Dolphins’ matchup against the Bears last week and already has him ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Lions.
That leaves journeyman quarterback Brock Osweiler at the helm—the same Brock Osweiler who the Houston Texans gave up a second-round draft pick to get rid of. While Osweiler always seems to have the Bears’ number (#WeOwnTheBears), there’s no reason to believe he shouldn’t return to mediocre form against the Lions. It won’t take impeccable defense to stop Miami’s air attack.
Things on defense are also ugly for the Dolphins. Cornerback Bobby McCain and defensive ends Cameron Wake and Andre Branch are each nursing their own knee injuries. We’ve seen the magic Kerryon Johnson can work once he gets to the second level of the defense. With the Dolphins defense already allowing close to 120 rushing yards per game, a banged-up defensive line could be promising for the Lions’ rushing attack.
It won’t be any easy feat for the Lions to win on Sunday. The Dolphins present one of toughest home-field advantages in the league, with a stadium that leaves the Miami sun bearing down on the visitors’ sideline. The Dolphins are 9-2 at home since 2017 for good reason. If the defense can take advantage of Brock Osweiler and the offensive line could get a little push, however, we could see the Lions milking the clock early in this one and racking up rushing yards all afternoon.