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The Opposition’s Depth Chart: Detroit Lions

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After 3 consecutive victories, and the blowout win against the San Diego Chargers, the Dolphins will be full of confidence heading into the game with the Detroit Lions. Lets check out the opposition’s depth chart.

Marc Serota

Have the Miami Dolphins finally arrived?  3 consecutive wins, and Miami Dolphins fans are on cloud nine.  But is this team ready for the playoffs?  The game against the Lions will be the ultimate test, who sit pretty with a record of 6-2.  Lets check out their depth chart.

Offense

While the Lions defense is great, the offense continues to have an indifferent season.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford has played well in the Lions recent comebacks, but has not significantly improved from the last few seasons.  He's completed 61% of his passes, but has thrown fewer yards from this time last year (2,216) and has taken more sacks (24).

Getting Calvin Johnson back at wide receiver would be a big boost to Stafford, but it's the offensive line that needs work.  They played well last year, but have been disappointing this year.  Right tackle has been a problem area, where both LaAdrian Waddle and Corey Hilliard have missed playing time.  Right guard Larry Warford has also not played to the standard he needs to, and both Raiola and Rob Sims have been inconsistent.  Left tackle Riley Reiff has been the standout player, but had his worst game against Atlanta.

At wide receiver, Golden Tate has played immensely well, ranking third in the NFL in catches and yards.  He's also made some big and important plays.  Corey Fuller has also played very well, but needs to do a better job at bringing in the football.  The tight ends, Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron, the latter of which who was supposed to be that dynamic tight end that can stretch the field, have disappointed thus far.

Position First String Second String Third String Other
WR Golden Tate Ryan Broyles
LT Riley Reiff Cornelius Lucas
LG Rob Sims
C Dominic Raiola Travis Swanson
RG Larry Warford
RT LaAdrian Waddle Garrett Reynolds
TE Brandon Pettigrew Joseph Fauria Eric Ebron Kellen Davis
WR Calvin Johnson Jeremy Ross Corey Fuller
QB Matthew Stafford Dan Orlovsky Kellen Moore
RB Reggie Bush Joique Bell Theo Riddick George Winn
FB Jed Collins


Defense

The Lions have brought back defensive tackle C.J. Mosley from suspension, while Kyle Van Noy has been activated from the short-term injured reserve list.  Mosley was suspended for 2 weeks and sent home from London the day prior to the game against the Falcons.  The Lions have refused to comment why, but reports suggest Mosley disconnected a smoke detector in his hotel room, which alerted hotel staff.  Van Noy, the team's second round pick in May, missed the first 8 games, following a sports hernia injury in the preseason.  He'll compete for playing time with Ashlee Palmer at the starting SAM linebacker position.

With the Lions having the NFL's best defense to date, Miami's offense will need to be at their best on Sunday.

Position First String Second String Third String
DE Ezekiel Ansah George Johnson Darryl Tapp
DT Nick Fairley C.J. Mosley
DT Ndamukong Suh Caraun Reid Andre Fluellen
DE Jason Jones Devin Taylor Larry Webster
OLB Ashlee Palmer Kyle Van Noy Josh Bynes
MLB Tahir Whitehead
OLB DeAndre Levy Julian Stanford
CB Rashean Mathis Mohammed Seisay
CB Darius Slay Cassius Vaughn
SS James Ihedigbo Isa Abdul-Quddus
FS Glover Quin Don Carey


Special Teams

The Detrot Lions kicking team have been terrible all season, and were especially fortunate in the game against Atlanta after the initial missed field goal.  Fortunately the Lions put the ball between the posts on their second attempt, after a controversial penalty on the field allowed the Lions a second chance at winning the game.

Position First String Second String Third String
PK Matt Prater
H Sam Martin
KO Sam Martin Matt Prater
P Sam Martin
LS Don Muhlbach
PR Jeremy Ross Golden Tate Ryan Broyles
KR Jeremy Ross Theo Riddick

Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @AlexParish89.