Miami Dolphins In The Lions Den With Braden Shackelford


We traded questions this week with SideLionReport and staff writer Braden Shackleford was kind enough to put up with wry sense of humor as I answered his questions and then asked him a few of my own. O.k. I asked him five questions. Here they are…enjoy!

The Lions have won without Reggie Bush and without Calvin Johnson, on the surface you would think getting them back would be a win but others will now have to play a different role. What changes for the Lions with those two back?

"Some roles will definitely change. In the return of Calvin I think Golden Tate actually continues to be a big play-maker for the offense, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see second year wide out Corey Fuller take a step back.In Reggie Bush’s case, I actually think that we’ll see second year running back Theo Riddick cut into his touches. Bush and Riddick have similar skill sets, but in Riddick’s limited looks he’s been the Lions most productive running back."

The Lions are 6-2 but three of those games were come from behind victories and two of them were by more than 10 points down. Is this a team that could easily be 3-5 as opposed to 6-2?

"I actually thought about this myself. I think a competent field goal kicker changes the complexion of the Lions’ two losses against the Panthers and Bills, but at the same time the Lions wins over the Saints and Falcons were improbable. So yes, the Lions are 6-2, but could just as easily be 4-4.However, the NFL is about winning no matter how you do it and the fact that the Lions sit at 6-2 without some of their key players is nothing to take lightly."

How do you think the Lions offensive line will handle a stout Miami Defensive front.

"In short, not well. The Lions have struggled keeping Matthew Stafford upright all season long and I don’t expect Sunday’s game to be any different. Hopefully the Lions can have some success on short routes or in the screen game to try to keep Miami’s pass rush at bay."

Miami has two undersize but very speedy corners and they held Chicago’s big receivers to almost nothing. What do the Lions brings to the game here?

"I think what the Dolphins did against the Bears should not be taken lightly, but at the same time the Bears have been very self destructive all season long. Also, the Bears don’t have a Calvin Johnson.I think the Lions will have a little better showing against the Dolphins defense than the Bears, because they have the best wide out in the game and they’ve had an extra week to prepare for Miami’s top defense."

Matt Stafford has been a huge disappointment on my fantasy football team this year and I benched him for Ryan Fitzpatrick. O.k. not really but I did think about it. What’s going on with him this year? And no you can’t say Megatron.

"His completion percentage is actually up this year the problem is the Lions can’t keep him up right and his weapons have been in and out of the lineup all season. The Lions even played one game without their top three tight ends and Megatron.The biggest issue for him so far has been the constant rotation of bodies on offense and he is still plagued by streaks of inaccuracy.Whether that is the constant rotation of players on offense or Stafford is anyone’s guess to this point. We will know more about him in the last eight games."