Detroit at Miami
Time: NOON CT
Spread: DET -3
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Detroit Lions defeated Green Bay 31-23 last week to improve to 2-3, but it still sits at fourth in the NFC North as it travels to face Miami on the road this week as 3-point favorites. The game will air at Noon (CT) on FOX, and it has a point total set at 47 according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The Lions have been about middle-of-the-pack in most major categories, with a pass offense ranking No. 14 and a rush attack good for No. 23. The offense ranks No. 14 in scoring at 25 points per game, but Detroit has one of the bottom-quarter defenses surrendering 27.4 per game (No. 25). It was able to get enough offensive production last week against Green Bay, though, as Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns and Kerryon Johnson rushed for 70 yards. LeGarrette Blount scored both rushing TDs, though he had just 22 yards on his 12 attempts and a long-rush of only six-yards.
Stafford has thrown for 1,385 yards on 66.0 percent passing with 10 TDs and five INTs. He has also been sacked nine times for a total loss of 59 yards, but Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay have been sensational running routes. Tate has 431 yards and three TDs, and Golladay is good for 428 and another three TDs. Detroit has scored 10 receiving TDs, but has managed just three rushing touchdowns on the season.
Johnson leads the team with 50 attempts for 286 yards and a touchdown, while Blount has rushed 47 times, mostly used in third-and-shorts. Blount has a team-high two touchdowns, but he has not rushed for more than 13-yards on any one play. Stafford has attempted only six rushes, and he averages 4.7 yards-per-attempt when he does. The Lions have averaged 4.3 yards-per-attempt as a team, though, and it stands to reason it could benefit from more handoffs, even with a successful pass offense headed by the Stafford to Tate connection.
Miami is 4-2 but a perfect 3-0 at home where it hosts the Lions today. Brock Osweiler drew the start last outing in Miami’s victory over the Bears. He threw 28 of 44 for 380 yards and three TDs, though he did throw two picks. Osweiler is hoping to find new life, after having been billed a bust already through his first seven seasons in the league. The 6’7” quarterback seemingly has all the tools, and he was a second-round pick in 2012, who by and large still has “potential” labelled on him, but the time is now for the 27-year-old.
Osweiler has some good options to air it out to. Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills have combined for over 600 yards on the season with seven TDs between them. Frank Gore has been great in the backfield, too, with 303 yards on 62 carries—though Gore has yet to record a rushing TD. He has caught four passes for 53 yards and a TD, but has not been the route runner we have seen in the past.
The Dolphins are hoping Osweiler can contribute via the rush, too, as he attempted three for a gain of 15 yards so far, but Gore and Kenyan Drake are the top-two options, and Drake has 210 yards on 52 attempts and the only rushing TD of the season. Miami will have to get more out of its ground game because it will have to adjust to Osweiler becoming its full-time starter and in the meantime, Gore has been plenty effective as the primary rusher. The Dolphins are a team in transition, but it has been good at home. Winning this week will require putting a stop to Stafford, so expect the blitzing to be frequent, often–and early, as Miami tries to set the tone on its homefield.