After a two week wait, Lions finally has another game to play. Remained and a little healthier out of town, they will travel to take on dolphins in a stadium that made life difficult against opponents so far.
Here are the players, matchups and questions that will help determine the result plus a prediction:
Offensive players to watch: WR Marvin Jones
Mike Mulholland | MLive.com
Offensive Player to Watch: WR Marvin Jones
Lions recipient has been the best position group on roster throughout the season long. Golden Tate has been his usual catch-and-run-self, and Kenny Golladay has emerged as a big game and a voting threat with consistency. One of the departures to Golladay’s appearance, at least statistically, has been Marvin Jones. He has been mostly good, with 50 meters or a touchdown in each game so far, but he has not yet had any performances he did during a breakout season last year when he led the NFL in lap per catch. He has a few drops than he usually does, and he has just not joined Matthew Stafford on a deep pass, just like the two did a year ago.
Miami is a crime that can play on a single game at rare moments, and the lions would be good at answering at least one of them with a long scoring game instead of relying on a long run on a hot and humid afternoon Jones has that ability, and maybe one day a week with self-scouting the deep ball with Stafford can help unlock a weapon Detroit must have to make a legitimate pressure for the playoffs this season.
Defensive players to watch: SS Quandre Diggs
Mike Mulholland | MLive.com
Defensive Players To Watch: SS Quandre Diggs
Quandre Diggs showed his toughness last time and played Packers with a club on his cracked hand and made it productive and recorded a season high 10 tackles in win. He has had some time to rest over the weekend, but the damage is likely to take more than that. He has been an important part of Matt Patricia’s hybrid defense so far and he is likely to take a bigger role on Sunday to defend a dolphin receiving corps leading the league in average laps after catching. Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills both give huge catch-and-run potential, and Detroit will be more stressed to handle them this week with Jamal Agnew lost with knee injury. The Lions need to figure out a plan for the nickel site, and Digg’s experience to play there before his move to safety can make him a strong candidate to do that. Whether he plays close to the line scrimmage or back, he will still be a key piece to try to stop the Miami player’s game with the ball in his hands.
Rookie to watch: DL Da & Shawn Hand
Mike Mulholland | MLive.com
Rookie to watch: DL Shawn Hand
The Lions have 17 sacks this season, but almost all have come thanks to the lock-down coverage, as they rank 31 in print rates as well. With Ezekiel Ansah breaking up – he still exercises limited and maybe or maybe not playing this week – the only reliable force has been Shawn Hand. The fourth-round Alabama product has come after it from a variety of fronts in the hybrid look, and he had his best game as a pro last time when he recorded a bag and recovered a fumble against Aaron Rodgers. The dolphins will try to make the playing field as simple as possible for backbaksback Brock Osweiler, but he will have some cash drops where he has to make a game. Destruction will be crucial to speed up these situations, and Hand may be the best candidate Detroit must provide.
Opponents to fear: Dolphins WR Albert Wilson
Opponents to Fear: Dolphins WR Albert Wilson
Albert Wilson scored headlines this week when he came out and told reporters that he is the best yards-after-catch recipient in the league. It created a special buzz at Allen Park, where Golden Tate long called “YAC King”. Tate was free against Wilson and the season he has but scored the score that you do not earn that crown after just six matches. Anyway, Wilson put a goal on his back with that comment, and he has earned it with his game this season, especially last Sunday when he left, passes 75 and 43 meters to the house in the fourth quarter to get a repeat dolphin win. He is still acquainted with Osweiler, but Dolphin’s coach Adam Gase does a fantastic job using gang formations to create play games and screens to get players like Wilson the ball in space. Detroit has had some second-level problems coming after the boutman this season, and if they lose Wilson, it can create some of the turnaround games that helped the dolphins beat Bears.
Matchup to watch: Lions OT Taylor Decker vs. Dolphins de Robert Quinn
Matchup to watch: Lions OT Taylor Decker vs. Dolphins DE Robert Quinn
Matt Patricia spent a week talking on the bouncy Dolphins have and how they use it to disturb passports to lead the league in interceptions . Their pressure and bag speeds have not been particularly special this year, but Patricia points to fear quarterbacks have when they see established rushes that Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake wear on them. Wake status is up in the air, but Quinn becomes the guy who often screams away the left side to try to harm Stafford. Pro Bowler has only one sack this year, but has an established record to win with speed. Taylor Decker has had an instant where he has given up some speed stops, though he has become better. It will be a good one-against-test this week, and if Decker can hold himself, it should open Detroit’s deep receiving crew to make some games. If not, that’s where problems can start along the way, including the choices that the dolphins are so good to get.
Here are two burning questions that the lions must answer this week: