1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Dec 26th. The game will be broadcast
regionally on FOX, on DirecTV channel 708 and on Sirius radio channels
122 and 155.
PLACE: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL.
FORECAST: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before
10am. Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a
temperature falling to around 59 by 4pm. Windy, with a west wind
between 20 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
FIELD CONDITIONS: Sun Life Stadium's grass field should be in good
shape. There is a high probability of showers on Sunday morning, so
the field could be a little wet.
STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 7-7, in 3rd place in the AFC East.
The Lions are last in the NFC North, with a 4-10 record.
Dolphins Pts/Game Rank Lions Pts/Game Rank
Scored 17.1 31 Scored 22.0 17
Allowed 18.6 8 Allowed 23.5 19
Dolphins Yds/Game Rank Lions Yds/Game Rank
Total Offense: 321 22 Total Defense: 347 21
Rushing: 103 21 vs Rush: 126 24
Passing: 218 18 vs Pass: 221 14
Total Offense: 342 16 Total Defense: 298 4
Rushing: 103 23 vs Rush: 97 6
Passing: 239 11 vs Pass: 201 6
Sacks Made (Avg/G) Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins 37 2.6 31 2.2
Lions 39 2.8 24 1.7
Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB: QB Henne: 266-430-2952-14-16-77.6
Rush: RB Brown: 182-683-3.8-4
Rush: RB Williams: 139-597-4.3-2
Rec: WR Marshall: 71-815-11.5-3
Rec: WR Bess: 71-751-10.6-3
Rec: TE Fasano: 37-497-13.4-4
QB: QB Stanton: 69-119-780-4-3-78.4
Rush: RB Best: 155-497-3.2-4
Rush: RB Morris: 66-293-4.4-3
Rec: WR Johnson: 73-1068-14.6-12
Rec: TE Pettigrew: 64-629-9.8-3
Rec: RB Best: 51-411-8.1-1
The Dolphins hold a 7-2 record against the Lions and a
perfect 4-0 record against Detroit in Miami. The last time these two
teams met was in 2006 at Detroit, when the Dolphins beat the Lions
Doubtful: LB Karlos Dansby (toe)
Probable: S Chris Clemons (groin)
Out: QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder)
Doubtful: S Louis Delmas (concussion)
Questionable: QB Shaun Hill (finger)
LB Landon Johnson (neck)
QB Drew Stanton (shoulder)
Probable: LB Vinny Ciurciu (concussion)
DE Turk McBride (ankle)
DE Cliff Avril (rib)
RB Jahvid Best (toe)
DE Lawrence Jackson (groin)
WR Calvin Johnson (ankle)
RB Maurice Morris (chest)
CB Amari Spievey (back)
QB - 7 Chad Henne LE - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown NT - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite RE - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 15 Davone Bess ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano ILB - 51 Tim Dobbins
LT - 77 Jake Long WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C - 67 Joe Berger RCB - 24 Sean Smith
RG - 74 John Jerry SS - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 76 Lydon Murtha FS - 30 Chris Clemons
K - 5 Dan Carpenter P - 2 Brandon Fields
PR - 15 Davone Bess KR - 28 Nolan Carroll
Lydon Murtha continues as the starting right tackle, while Tim
Dobbins will probably stand in for Karlos Dansby.
QB - 5 Drew Stanton LDE - 92 Cliff Avril
RB - 44 Jahvid Best LDT - 90 Ndamukong Suh
FB - 45 Jerome Felton RDT - 99 Corey Williams
WR - 13 Nate Burleson RDE - 75 Turk McBride
WR - 81 Calvin Johnson LLB - 98 Julian Peterson
TE - 84 Brandon Pettigrew MLB - 54 DeAndre Levy
LT - 76 Jeff Backus RLB - 55 Landon Johnson
LG - 67 Rob Sims LCB - 23 Chris Houston
C - 51 Dominic Raiola RCB - 30 Nathan Vasher
RG - 66 Stephen Peterman SS - 39 C.C. Brown
RT - 78 Corey Hilliard FS - 42 Amari Spievey
K - 3 Dave Rayner P - 2 Nick Harris
PR - 11 Stefan Logan KR - 11 Stefan Logan
The Lions are being secretive about who will start at
quarterback this week, with both Sean Hill and Drew Stanton listed as
questionable. However, Stanton has started the last two weeks and the
Lions have won both games. If Landon Johnson can't start at
linebacker, his backup is listed as Ashlee Palmer.
- The Dolphins vs Themselves: The Dolphins are their own
worst enemy. Now that they are out of the playoffs, will they play
better or worse?
- WR Calvin Johnson vs Sean Smith and Vontae Davis: Johnson
is having an incredible year on a poor team and is an amazing talent.
Davis and Smith are improving, but still occasionally make bad
- DT Ndamukong Suh vs RG John Jerry: Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
is a rookie who leads the team with 8 sacks and has 55 tackles and 1
interception, which are excellent numbers for any defensive tackle,
let alone a rookie.
- Cameron Wake vs RT Corey Hilliard: Wake was held without a
sack last week, which made it much easier for the Bills to beat the
Dolphins. Miami must generate a pass rush against the Lions to keep
their passing game in check.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Chad Henne actually played better against the Bills than he
has been playing, even though it was all for naught. His play will,
as always, be crucial to the Dolphins' chances. However, the toughest
job on offense this week belongs to RG John Jerry who will face the
Lions' rookie sensation, Ndamukong Suh. The Dolphins also need some
production from receivers other than Bess and Marshall.
Cameron Wake was not a factor in last week's game, but should
bounce back this week. Tim Dobbins will most likely take Karlos
Dansby's place at middle linebacker, while Sean Smith, Vontae Davis
and Nolan Carroll have a very tough test this week.
With Lions' quarterback Mathew Stafford out for the season,
either Drew Stanton or Sean Hill will start this week, but the Lions
have not announced who it will be. The best player on the Lions'
offense is WR Calvin Johnson, who already has over 1000 receiving
yards this season and 12 touchdowns. But the Dolphins can't afford to
ignore WR Nate Burleson (5 TDs) or TE Brandon Pettigrew.
The Lions defense is anchored in the middle by the 2nd overall
draft pick in this year's draft, DT Ndamukong Suh, who has 8 sacks
already this year and leads the pro-bowl voting at defensive tackle
for the NFC. Outside linebacker Julian Peterson leads the team with
On special teams, Lions' return man Stefan Logan is very
dangerous, averaging 28 yards per kickoff return and 12 yards per punt
return with 1 touchdown.
On paper, the Dolphins are the better team in this matchup.
They beat the Lions in most statistical categories and have a better
record in a stronger division.
On the field, however, the Dolphins are in an extremely
bad position. They are playing at home, where they have posted a
dismal 1-6 record. They were just knocked out of the playoffs with a
dismal offensive performance last week against a team they should have
Their offense has regressed from the beginning of the year:
they have scored an average of 11.3 points per game over the last 3
weeks and an average of just 8 points per game at home since they beat
The Lions, on the other hand, have been surging the last
couple of weeks, beating the Packers and Buccaneers. They have an
extremely dangerous, big-play offense and a tough defense. Like the
Bills, they started very badly this year, but have been steadily
All of this adds up to a very dangerous game for the
Dolphins. If Miami continues to play the way they have been playing
for the last couple of weeks on offense, they will lose this game.
The offensive key for Miami this week will be to control the
line of scrimmage, especially on the right side. Lydon Murtha and
John Jerry will need to control Ndamukong Suh to establish the running
game and allow Henne time to pass. Unfortunately, the Dolphins may
find themselves overmatched there.
The defense should be able to keep the Lions' offense from
running up a lot of points. Regardless of whether the Lions start
Sean Hill or Drew Stanton at quarterback, Miami's defense should be
able to control the line of scrimmage and limit the Lions' offense.
WR Calvin Johnson will catch his share of passes, but I don't believe
he will dominate the game.
Unfortunately, that won't mean much if the Dolphins' offense
doesn't play much better than they have been playing. If Miami's
offense can score at least 20 points on Sunday, they will probably win
this game. But can they score 20 points?
PLACES TO WATCH:
To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.
To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay
the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or
$39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.
Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores
and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live
applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and