The Miami Dolphins will face a 1-5 Detroit Lions on Sunday and while the Lions play tough, the Dolphins should dominate on both sides of the ball.
We talked about who the Lions are so far in 2022 and you can read that article here. The Lions have talent at several positions but this game should be the wake-up call on both sides of the ball for the Dolphins.
Make no mistake, a loss to the Lions will bring out the worst of social media but winning without a dominating performance by the offense and defense could bring plenty of criticism as well.
Offensively, the Dolphins should be able to move the ball consistently and Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both should produce numbers that could be close to their best of the season.
Hill’s best came in week two against the Ravens when he put up 190 yards in the comeback win. He has posted three games this year above 150 yards and this week, he faces a suspect secondary and a defense that has allowed a lot of points and yardage.
Jaylen Waddle has three games over 100 yards receiving including a 171-yard game against the Ravens as well. This week he too should see plenty of opportunities.
The Lions’ defense has given up a season-low of 330 combined yards last week to the Cowboys and a season-high 555 yards to the Seahawks in week four. The Lions’ secondary has given up 191 to 308 yards passing yards through five games. The 308 came in week two against the Commanders.
Opposing receivers are doing well against the Lions’ secondary.
Jeff Okudah is giving up 12.4 yards per reception and a 65.8% completion rate. Amani Oruwariye who has started four games is giving up a 57% completion rate for 14.2 yards per completion. The two corners have given up a combined 536 yards on 41 receptions according to ProFootballReference.com.
Opposing offenses have completed 24 of 38 passes against Okudah and 16 of 28 against Oruwariye. You could argue that the combination of Waddle and Hill is the best duo the team has faced all year. The Lions did, however, do well to limit Justin Jefferson to 3 receptions for 14 yards, Adam Thielen to 6 for 61, and K.J. Osborn, to 5 for 73 yards.
They will have their hands full this weekend and if they do manage to contain Miami’s top two receivers, Mike Gesicki could see plenty of opportunities along with Trent Sherfield.
Defensively, the Dolphins’ secondary, even banged up, matches up well and Josh Boyer will challenge Detroit from the start with pressure on Goff taking away the option for slower-developing plays. This should play well into the hands of Miami’s less experienced secondary opposite Xavien Howard. Speaking of Howard, the Lions may not challenge him at all in this game.
Along the defensive front, Emmanuel Ogbah and Jaelan Phillips will face a good offensive line but the Lions are still giving up more than 40 sacks on the season and this should be a good opportunity for the interior guys like Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler to make big plays.
The key, defensively, could be the play of the linebackers, and Miami fans should expect a big game from Melvin Ingram who could have a big game off the edge.
No game is a given and the Lions have shown tenacity throughout the year. They don’t give up and they don’t quit but on paper, this is a game that the Dolphins should be able to dominate from start to finish. The question is will they execute properly? Will they overlook the Lions? Will they maintain aggressive play all game long?
A lot of that depends on how Boyer and McDaniel prepare the team and the game plan. This is an opportunity to get things working again. As we know, “any given Sunday” can bring many different results.