This game was just frustrating all day. The Dolphins defense could do nothing to stop the Lions ground game, and they had way too many arm tackle attempts that just failed. The offense never felt like it was in a rhythm until late in the game, with Brock Osweiler starting to find receivers with better consistency. It was an odd game because the team actually played well individually, but it just never came together as a team.
The game never felt like Miami was in it, though they were not ever really being blown out either. It just felt like a “meh” type of game, which may be even worse than the anger the other two losses from this season created.
The Dolphins won the toss and will receive.
Dolphins 1st possession. Quick three-and-out for Miami to start the game. Frank Gore picked up no yards no first down, Brock Osweiler was sacked for a six-yard loss on second down, then Kenyan Drake picked up five yards before a Matt Haack punt.
Lions 1st possession. Kerryon Johnson gashed Miami on the Lions’ opening drive, picking up 24 yards on the first play, then another six yards on a catch on the second. After LeGarrette Blount picked up four yards, Johnson appeared to pick up another 10 yards on a long run, but it was called back after an illegal chop block penalty. The Lions made up the 15 yard penalty immediately, with TJ Jones gaining 26 yards on a pass play. Johnson then picked up four yards before Matthew Stafford found tight end Michael Roberts for a 15-yard touchdown. The Miami defense just looked slow and out of position throughout the entire drive.
Dolphins 2nd possession. Gore started the second drive with the ball again, this time picking up five yards. After Osweiler found Gore for four yards, the team came back with Albert Wilson in the backfield, flipping him the ball for a five-yard gain and a first down. Gore picked up three yards before another run from Wilson was called, but he lost a yard. On 3rd-and-8, Wilson caught the pass but was immediately tackled for just a three-yard gain and Miami punted.
Lions 2nd possession. After the punt was downed at the 11-yard line, the Lions started with a five-yard gain as Stafford found Marvin Jones, Jr. Johnson picked up four on a carry up the middle on second down, setting up a 3rd-and-1. Kiko Alonso knocked down the pass attempt from Stafford at the line of scrimmage and the Lions punted.
Dolphins 3rd possession. Miami was able to move into Detroit territory on their first play, with Osweiler finding Danny Amendola for 19 yards. Gore was called for a false start on the next play, backing up Miami. He then gained one yard on the replay of the down. On 2nd-and-14, Osweiler found an open Wilson crossing the middle of the field, but he was unable to turn it up field and only picked up for yards. On 3rd-and-10, Miami ran Drake up the middle of one yard, leading to another punt, with the Dolphins downing the ball at the Lions’ 4-yard line.
Lions 4th possession. Blount picked up five yards on the first play of the drive, killing the remaining time on the clock in the first.
End 1st Quarter. Lions 7-0.
Lions 4th possession (continued). Johnson gashed the Dolphins again after the break, picking up 71 yards with Reshad Jones having to chase him down to prevent the touchdown. Somehow, the Dolphins defense would then stiffen, with the Lions picking up eight yards to reach Miami’s 12-yard line on a Marvin Jones reception, then one yard from Blount, then no gain. Detroit would kick a field goal.
Dolphins 5th possession. The drive started with a five-yard gain from Drake before a 25 yard pass from Osweiler to Wilson. The tackle, however, injured Wilson, who laid on the field for several minutes before limping to the sidelines and into the locker room. After a Drake four-yard run, Oswiler was able to find tight end Mike Gesicki for a 27-yard gain. Gore picked up no yards on a first-down run, then limped off the field. Osweiler looked for Drake on a slant on the next play, but the running back dropped the ball. On 3rd-and-10 from the Detroit 11, Osweiler picked up three yards but a penalty flag for illegal use of hands gave Miami a first down. After a one-yard loss on an Osweiler to Gesicki pass, the Dolphins attempted a running back screen, but Drake and Osweiler could not make the connection. On 3rd-and-Goal, Osweiler found Stills in the back corner of the endzone for the score.
Lions 5th possession. After Johnson picked up no yards on first down, Johnson was on the receiving end of a screen pass picking up 15 yards. Stafford then found tight end Luke Wilson for three yards, then a four-yard gain on a pass to Golden Tate set up 3rd-and-3. Stafford connected with Wilson for five yards and the first down. Johnson then picked up four yards to move down to the Miami 44-yard line. On 2nd-and-6, MIami’s pass rush had three shots at Stafford, who avoided all the near-sacks to for a nine-yard scramble. Blount then picked up 12 yards on the next play, continuing Miami’s struggle to stop the run in this game. On the next play, the Lions offense appeared to stop as Andre Branch came around the end and forced a fumble on the sack - with the ball rolling out of bounds for an eight-yard loss. The Lions would immediately make up for the loss, however, as Stafford found Roberts for a 29-yard gain, down to the Miami two yard line. On first down, Johnson did not pick up anything. Blount picked up the needed two yards for the score on second down.
Dolphins 6th possession. Osweiler found Amendola for an eight yard gain to start the drive, but then was sacked for an eight yard loss and Miami let the clock run down to half time.
End 2nd Quarter. Lions 17-7.
The Lions received the opening kickoff of the half.
Lions 6th possession. The second half continued what was seen in the first half, with Johnson attacking Miami’s run defense and Stafford able to find big plays through the air. Stafford connected with Marvin Jones on first down, picking up 16 yards. Blount then added nine yards on the ground before Johnson picked up another eight yards. Kenny Golladay took a short pass from Stafford for 22 yards, then Johnson picked up another seven yards. After a touchdown pass to Golladay was negated by an illegal use of hands penalty, Stafford found Ameer Abdullah for 12 yards. After no gain from Johnson, Stafford converted a 4th-and-1 with a two yard quarterback sneak. Johnson lost one yard on 1st-and-Goal from the one, then Tate dropped a pass that was thrown behind him, turning him around despite being wide open in the flat. On 3rd-and-Goal, linebacker Jerome Baker knocked down a Stafford pass at the line of scrimmage and the Lions settled for a field goal.
Dolphins 7th possession. Gore returned to the game and picked up three yards on his first carry of the half. Then an incomplete pass set up 3rd-and-7, with Osweiler finding Mike Gesicki across the middle and the rookie turning up field for 18 yards. After a deep pass attempt toward Drake was dropped, the Dolphins went back to Drake on the ground, scoring on the 54-yard run.
Grant, Wilson, and Stills aren’t the only ones with speed on this team... pic.twitter.com/F4RURZeFXX— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) October 21, 2018
Lions 7th possession. Johnson picked up four yards and 18 yards on the first two plays of the drive, with a five-yard penalty between the runs when Cameron Malveaux was called for offsides. Stafford looked deep on 1st-and-10, with Bobby McCain called for pass interference 25-yards downfield. On 1st-and-10 at the Miami 23, Blount picked up 13 yards to set up 1st-and-Goal. Johnson then picked up one yard, followed by Stafford finding Tate for five yards before Stafford found Roberts for a four-yard touchdown. The Lions would attempt a two-point conversion, but Miami would stuff it in the backfield.
Dolphins 8th possession. Miami turned to the hot hand on the next possession, with Drake picking up four yards and nine yards on runs on the first and third play of the drive. In between Osweiler connected with Amendola for a seven-yard gain. Gore then picked up three yards before Osweiler was nearly sacked but got off an incomplete pass, but then he was sacked for a seven-yard loss to end the quarter.
End 3rd quarter. Lions 26-14.
Dolphins 8th possession (continued). On 3rd-and-17, Osweiler connected with Drake for two yards and Miami punted.
Lions 8th possession. The Lions again attacked Miami on the ground, with Johnson picking up 12 yards before Tate on an end-around picked up 30 yards. Golladay then picked up 15 yards on a short pass from Stafford. An Abdullah run for one yard ended with rookie linebacker Jerome Baker injured after his leg was rolled up under a blocker. The team also announced that Gesicki was being checked for a concussion. Stafford hit Tate for a two yard gain on 3rd-and-9, with Raekwon McMillan forcing a fumble but Tate able to recover, leading to the Lions kicking a field goal.
Dolphins 9th possession. Osweiler opened the drive with a 19-yard pass to Grant. Then a one-yard loss was followed by two straight incomplete passes, but a pass interference penalty gave Miami a free first down. Osweiler found tight end Nick O’Leary on 1st-and-10 for a nine yard gain. Gore then picked up two yards to convert for another first down. Miami took a deep shot to Stills, but the pass was broken up by Darius Slay. Osweiler then found Amendola for 13 yards, giving Miami another first down, now at the Lions’ 30-yard line; Slay was injured on the play. An incomplete pass on first down was followed by a six-yard gain from Gore on second down. Osweiler found Amendola in the endzone as he scrambled, scoring on the 24-yard pass.
First time I have enjoyed a Danny Amendola touchdown! pic.twitter.com/nYEDWL8eex— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) October 21, 2018
Lions 9th possession. The Lions started working the clock on the drive, with Johnson picking up one yard, then Stafford finding Tate for 22, before returning to the ground game. Blount picked up three yards, then Johnson was tackled for no gain. After an incomplete pass toward Golladay was flagged for pass interference on Xavien Howard, Blount picked up one yard, then the Lions took a deep shot down field that fell incomplete. Johnson picked up two yards before the two-minute warning. The Lions then kicked a field goal to extend the lead to 11 points with 1:55 remaining.
Dolphins 10th possession. Osweiler found Amendola for 13 yards to start the drive, then connected with O’Leary for 14 yards. Osweiler looked deep for Stills, who could not adjust back to the ball and it fell incomplete, with the receiver then limping off the field and to the bench, but the play had a defensive holding penalty called and Miami. Osweiler was unable to avoid the pressure and was sacked for a two yard loss. Drake gained four yards on a short pass, then Grant added 13 yards on a pass to the sideline. After a deep pass toward Amendola was incomplete, Jason Sanders was called on to the field for the field goal attempt. Kicking wide left, the Dolphins gave the ball back to the Lions.
Lions 10th possession. Stafford knelt to kill the clock.
Final. Lions 32-21