Just when the Miami Dolphins were set to rally and go on a resurgence tour in the middle of their season, the Detroit Lions came to town prepared to spoil their plans of winning two in a row.
The Lions came to play and came to play they did to the tune of 248 yards rushing, one punt, two fumbles, but none lost.
Matthew Stafford threw for 2 touchdowns and only 217 yards. The Dolphins couldn’t stop Golden Tate and the Lions run game.
Surely the Lions offense showed the potency of the old New England teams with Matt Patricia (former New England DC) at the helm in Detroit, their game plan was simple, run up the gut and wear down the Dolphins main weakness defensively-their linebackers. Attack Jerome Baker and Raekwon McMillan and wear down Kiko Alonso.
Defensively, shut down the Dolphins futile attempts to build offensive continuity by pressuring Brock Osweiler, shutting down the run game and pressing the Dolphins receivers jamming them up at the line.
As the game continued to unfold, it was the Dolphins defenders who slipped off of would-be tackles and the likes of Kerryon Johnson and LaGarrette Blount blew through arm-tackle after arm-tackle.
It was the first time this season, other than the game at New England that the Dolphins defense looked a step slower and old.
The seemingly balanced run attack crushed the will of the Dolphins defense and it will be interesting if and how they bounce back.
While the Dolphins have succumbed to several injuries on the offensive line, the defensive line in recent weeks has started to break down.
Needless to say, the Dolphins had been somewhat lucky in the preseason going injury free, but after playing the first three games, both the offense and defense has lost talented starters and has relied upon younger players to have a “next man up” mentality into week 7.
Head coach Adam Gase can boast about his great locker room culture, he can’t replace all of the players lost to injury, which brings us to today.
With the Dolphins trailing 21-7, Brock Osweiler found wide receiver Albert Wilson who was open and seemingly crumpled to the ground. The injury appeared serious even though Wilson was able to walk off with a bit of help and a considerable limp.
As the Dolphins worked to get back into this game, Kenny Stills after scoring a touchdown bowled over a security official standing and looking in a different direction. Stills seemed to withstand the pain of the collision and got up giving the security guard the ball.
Later in the game, Osweiler went to Stills and again, another receiver, this time Stills fell to the ground and limped off the field and headed to the locker room to run tests.
Another injury and another loss, this one at home, the first of the season at home.
With no more receivers left to come in for the Dolphins with DeVante Parker a healthy scratch and while in the final drive as the game and their attempts at a comeback ended in two sacks and a field goal miss.
On the horizon, in a few days, the Dolphins will travel to face the Houston Texans, winners of four in a row.
This game is pivotal for the Dolphins and could very well determine if the Dolphins are contenders or pretenders the rest of the year.
Questions abound, but let’s make one thing clear, the Miami Dolphins can re-group on the road versus the Texans if they can execute their game plan offensively and hide some of the issues they had on defense on Sunday.