As the Detroit Lions face the Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday, here are three keys to victory that could go a long way in legitimizing whichever team wins.
Following their bye week, the Detroit Lions will now head to Florida to take on a tough opponent in the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are undefeated at home this season, while the Lions have yet to scratch out a victory on the road.
If the Motor City is going to go into Hard Rock Stadium and steal a win from the hometown Dolphins, they’ll need to follow these three keys to victory.
1. Keep Calm and Kerryon
Lions running back Kerryon Johnson is currently fifth in the NFL in yards per attempt (YPA) at 5.7 yards a carry. I believe the Lions have to unleash Johnson and allow him to get 12-15 (or more) carries in this game.
Another aspect of Johnson that I think is being underutilized is his pass catching ability. With running back Theo Riddick out for this game the Lions should split some of his passing downs between the rookie runner and former starter Ameer Abdullah.
2. Let loose on Osweiler
The Dolphins backup (and this week’s starting) quarterback Brock Osweiler’s career has been both fascinating and frustrating at times, but mostly just the latter. He has routinely displayed poor decision making and a slow, awkward throwing motion that often gets him into trouble.
While Miami’s offensive line is decent, it’s in Detroit’s best interest to go for broke with the blitz as they have displayed the ability to get home on some great quarterbacks like the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in the last three games.
3. Feel free to go man coverage
One of the strengths of this Detroit defense is the secondary. And the Dolphins are not known for their stellar athletes at wide receiver. This being the case, the Lions would do well to allow their corners to isolate Miami’s receivers, which will, in turn, let the defensive line and the linebackers rush the quarterback freely and with more time.
Bonus: Let Kerryon run the ball more!
I know, we covered this already but most people will agree that loosening the reigns on Johnson has way more pros than cons. This comes with one caveat: Kerryon has proven to be more adept when he swings to the outside. While Johnson displays great patience and vision when running up the middle, when running to the outside he hits an edge hard and with deceptive speed.