By Abraham Gutierrez
Coming off a bye week, the red-hot (6-2) Detroit Lions host the (5-3) Miami Dolphins in a battle of two of the most stoic defenses in all of professional football. Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, will be the site for this interconference showdown between a pair of clubs sporting three-game win streaks.
Opening kickoff is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and it will be broadcast live on CBS Sports. Led by Joe Philbin, the Dolphins come in sitting in second place in the AFC East, while Jim Caldwell’s Lions lead the way in the rather diminished NFC North division.
Detroit Lions on Offense
The felines attack is ran by former New Orleans Saints quarterback coach, and first-year offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi. Despite having an array of weapons on the offensive side of the football, Detroit ranks 24th in points per game (20.2), 19th in total yards (338.8), ninth in passing (259.1) and a disappointing 31st on the ground (79.6).
The quarterback of the Detroit Lions is of course Matthew Stafford, who comes into Week 10 of the 2014 NFL season with 183 completions on 299 attempts for a total of 2,216 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a quarterback rating of 86.5.
In his sixth year out of Georgia, Stafford had found a new favorite target while Calvin Johnson (22 receptions, 348 yards, 2 touchdowns in 5 starts) continues to recuperate from an ankle injury. Thus, former Notre Dame standout (wide receiver) Golden Tate leads the team with 55 receptions for 800 yards and three touchdowns in Megatron’s absence.
The Lions’ ground attack (or lack thereof) is anchored by fourth-year running back out of Wayne State (Michigan), Joique Bell. In seven games this season (2 starts) Bell leads the team with 313 yards on 98 carries and 3 touchdowns. Nevertheless, help appears to be on the way for this club.
Much like in the case of Megatron, Detroit is expected to get the team’s second-leading rusher and receiver, Reggie Bush (49 carries, 171 yards, TD) back this week against Miami, as both have resume team practices according to confirmed reports.
Detroit Lions on Defense
Defensively, it simply does not get better than the Detroit Lions’ “D”, which will be fun to watch considering Miami’s defense is nothing to sneeze at. The Lions defense, who’s led by first-year coordinator Teryl Austin, comes into Week 10 rank first in the league in points (15.8) and total yards per game (290.4).
They are also the second best defense in terms of stopping the run (74.0), and rank fifth in the National Football League when it comes to defending the pass (216.4). The Lions leading tacklers are DeAndre Levy (75 combined, 55 total, 20 assist), Tahir Whitehead (45 combined, 28 total, 17 assist), Glover Quin (39 combined, 28 total, 11 assist) and Darius Slay 32 combined, 26 total, 6 assist).
In terms of sacks, the Detroit Lions’ leaders are: Ezekiel Ansah (4.5 sacks), George Johnson (4 sacks), Ndamukong Suh (3.5 sacks), C.J. Mosley (2.5 sacks) and Stephen Tulloch and James Ihedigbo with a pair of sacks apiece.
Dolphins vs. Lions Head-to-Head
Historically, the Miami Dolphins lead the overall series against the Detroit Lions by a score of 7-3-0, scoring 282 points compared to Detroit’s 188. The last time they met was at Sun Life Stadium in 2010, when the felines prevailed by a final score of 34-27. The win snapped a five-game losing skid against Miami, who has never lost at Ford Field.
Miami vs. Detroit NFL Week 10 Odds
According to NFL oddsmakers, the Detroit Lions (-3) come into this game listed as favorites by a field goal over the Miami Dolphins (+3) and the OVER/UNDER tallies 44 points.
For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.
Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .