The Detroit Lions are back from their bye week as they prepare to visit the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Detroit has won two of its last three contests, improving to 2-3 overall. The Dolphins halted a two-game skid by outlasting Chicago in overtime last weekend.
Do the Lions have the best trio of receivers in the league? It is hard to argue with the sheer numbers being put up by Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones Jr. Tate has 33 catches for 431 yards (on pace for 106 catches and 1,379 yards); Golladay has 27 catches for 428 yards (on pace for 86 catches and 1,369 yards); Jones has 16 catches for 241 yards (on pace for 51 catches and 771 yards). Jones had been closer to his two position mates in the stats department before gaining just eight yards on one reception in Week 5 against the Packers. The Lions have two receivers in the NFL’s top 10 in yards (Golladay and Tate), two in the top 20 in yards per reception (Golladay and Jones), two in the top 20 in total receptions (Golladay and Tate), two in the the top 15 in yards after catch (Golladay and Tate), and all three are tied for seventh in touchdowns with three apiece.
We're counting down our Top 🔟offensive plays from the first 5⃣ games of the season.
See you back on the field against Miami 10/21 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. pic.twitter.com/Disn1CDmGe
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 12, 2018
“We’re reminded (of our goals), because we came up with what we want to be,” Tate explained. “We want to lead the league in every category and that’s something before each meeting, RP puts up there, but we just keep our head down and keep working…. I think talent, depth, look at the stats that we’re putting up. We’re a good group. Honestly, I think it starts with our run game. Our run game has been better and it’s opening up for us.”
Another factor, course, is Matthew Stafford. The veteran quarterback is basically making stars out of pass-catchers who are not exactly among the biggest names in the league. Stafford is 126-of-191 (66.0 percent) for 1,385 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2018. He has thrown four touchdown passes and no interceptions in the last two contests.
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill was a late scratch from last weekend’s 31-28 overtime win over Chicago. Head coach Adam Gase was not at all pleased during his post-game press conference when asked about the Tannehill situation, even though his team had just posted a huge victory. Gase was unwilling to disclose any information, but it has come out that Tannehill is dealing with a shoulder injury–perhaps sustained one week earlier against Cincinnati. Brock Osweiler, who played in Gase’s offensive system as a member of the Broncos, replaced Tannehill against the Bears and threw for 380 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
“They’re not different at all (regardless of who is at quarterback),” Lions linebacker Eli Harold said of the Dolphins. “Osweiler didn’t miss a beat. Obviously he’s familiar with the system, being in Denver. And he had those guys clicking on all cylinders.”
As such, Detroit is mainly focusing on Miami running back Frank Gore while generally unconcerned with how the quarterback carousel plays out. Gore, in his 14th NFL season at 35 years old, leads a Dolphins running game that ranks a decent 16th in the league at 106.8 yards per game. The former Miami Hurricane rushed for 101 yards this past week and also had an 18-yard reception.
The Miami Dolphins are:
- 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games against teams with losing records
- 17-45-3 ATS in their last 65 home games against teams with losing road records
- 17-36 ATS in their last 53 games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in their previous game
The Detroit Lions are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last four overall
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a bye week
- 4-1 ATS in their last five road games against teams with winning home records
Updated on Oct 20 at 11:40pm EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The line has gone from Detroit -2.5 to Detroit -3, despite the fact that 54% of the tickets are on the Lions. A little sharp money is influencing the line move. The Lions could have the advantage as they are coming off the bye and that may be where the mind of the sharps is at, or they don’t expect Osweiler matching what he did last week.
Injury / Weather Report
We may see a shower in this game. Still, it will be mostly cloudy with temps in the upper 80s.
Detroit’s Injury Report:
RB Theo Riddick (168 total yards) is listed as doubtful. No other impact injuries are listed for Detroit.
Miami’s Injury Report:
QB Ryan Tannehill is out, as is DE Jonathan Woodard (seven tackles, one sack). S T.J. McDonald (Two Ints) is questionable. The loss of Tannehill could have influenced the line some.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Check back later for the spread after Miami makes a more firm quarterback announcement, but early returns suggest the Lions should be in good shape for this one. They are a well-oiled machine on offense, while the Dolphins have dropped two of their last three contests and really tried to give it away last week against Chicago. Miami may also be feeling some pressure to win now because it will afterward go on a stretch of three road games in four weeks.
Prediction: Detroit Lions
Full-Game Total Pick
Detroit placed cornerback Jamal Agnew (knee) on injured reserve earlier this week. That will not help against a team that seems to be okay with either Tannehill or Osweiler under center. The over is 5-1 in the Lions’ last six overall, 6-2 in their last eight on the road, 6-2 in their last eight following a win, and 4-1 in their last five against winning opponents. It is also 7-2 in the Dolphins’ last nine at home, 5-1 in their last six against losing opponents, and 4-1 in their last five after scoring more than 30 points in their previous outing. Look for this one to go over the total.