With the Detroit Lions set for a big week ten matchup with the Miami Dolphins, here is a look at what the SideLion Report staff sees for the game ahead.
Alex Reno – This matchup may be the toughest test yet for the Lions. Matthew Stafford has a history of struggling against top passing defenses, and the Dolphins’ secondary is playing out of their minds right now. I expect an extremely tight matchup with Calvin Johnson returning, but I’m struggling to find where the Lions have an edge in this one. The Lions drop to 6-3 and the Dolphins steal one on the road in a hard fought battle. Dolphins 21, Lions 18
Kent Platte – In what was probably never predicted to be a huge match up before the season, two of the NFL’S top defenses face off with both in the playoff hunt. The Lions #1 ranked defense hopes to stop Ryan Tannehill and co. who pitched a shut out against the Chargers last week. Likewise, the Dolphins defense ranks nearly as highly as the Lions, but Detroit gains its most potent weapon back in Calvin Johnson. I’ve bounced back and forth in this one, which to me is a true toss up. So it tossed a coin. Lions win a close defensive battle 19-17, both teams cough up the football more than twice.
Braden Shackelford – The Lions are finally getting healthy and will have the services of their best player Calvin Johnson. Megatron’s presence should help the Lions offense put enough points on the board to win while their defense keeps the Miami Dolphins under 20 points. Lions win 23-17
Max DeMara – Considering both defenses, this should be a low scoring affair. Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush are the trump cards, as Miami doesn’t have the depth of play makers Detroit does. The Lions get a late touchdown and pull it out, moving to 7-2.
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Darin Ackerman – After what seems like eternity, Calvin Johnson will finally return to the turf this Sunday for the matchup between the Detroit Lions (6-2) and the Miami Dolphins (5-3). In what will likely be a close game between the two playoff hopefuls, Miami’s No. 2 ranked pass-defense will be a challenge to Stafford and the Lions’ top ten passing attack. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill is having an increasingly impressive season, with six touchdowns and only one interception in the last three games. Coming off a bye, Stafford will need to be more consistently accurate if the Lions want to eek this one out. Both teams’ defenses are playing at the top of their game, so expect a wrestling match of sorts. It’s going to be a close one, but with the Lions nearly at full strength at playing at home, the team moves to 7-2. Prediction: Lions 24, Miami 21.
Zac Snyder – Nick Fairley not being in the lineup will be a blow to the Lions’ defense but the team overall is about as healthy as they have been since the start of the season. Any worry of the Lions overlooking the Dolphins was put to rest with the Dolphins coming off a complete curb-stomping of the San Diego Chargers. The Fins are playing good ball and the Lions will be in for a battle – but is a battle the Lions can and should win. Lions 20, Dolphins 17