ReFo: Dolphins @ Lions, Week 10

The Lions and Dolphins offenses both spluttered, but it was the Lions who got over the hump and took the victory. Cole Schultz breaks down the standout performers

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Dolphins @ Lions, Week 10

2014-REFO-WK10-MIA@DETFresh of a 37-0 dismantling of the San Diego Chargers, Miami’s offense had a much harder time playing against a real defense this week in Detroit. Held to negative yardage in the first quarter, the Dolphins’ 16 points actually overstate their offensive production- their only touchdown came thanks to a blocked field goal returned three yards shy of pay dirt which Ryan Tannehill quickly cashed in on a swing pass to Mike Wallace.

That’s not to say that the Lions’ offense was miles ahead, even with Calvin Johnson back in the lineup for the first time in more than a month, but when the game was on the line, Matthew Stafford took advantage of some questionable time management by the opposition and connected with Theo Riddick for the go-ahead touchdown with under a minute to play. The Lions have now won four straight and owe much of their 7-2 record to excellent defensive play, but the schedule doesn’t get any easier with trips to Arizona, New England, and Green Bay looming in the season’s second half.

Miami Dolphins – Performances of Note

Mike Pouncey, RG: -4.9

Breakdown: Maybe he’s still hampered by a bad hip, or maybe this is just what Ndamukong Suh has been doing to interior linemen his whole career. Pouncey allowed two sacks and four hurries (most of which was to Suh) and only by sending aide through consistent double teams was Pouncey spared the same shame in the run game that he experienced attempting to pass protect.

Signature Play: Q1, 5:41. Suh grabs both of Pouncey’s arms and tosses him aside before blasting inside and taking down Tannehill at the top of his drop.

Brent Grimes, CB: +1.1 coverage

Breakdown: Tasked with covering the unholy catching machine that is Calvin Johnson for significant portions of the game, Grimes can come away feeling proud of the work he did against Megatron. Though he was responsible for a touchdown and 90 of Johnson’s 113 yards, he was in close coverage on every single target and came away with a pass deflection and a pick on two of the eight passes thrown his direction.

Signature Stat: Facing a short field after a Ryan Tannehill interception midway through the second quarter, Stafford took a second shot deep to Johnson. Grimes high-pointed the underthrown ball with an incredible one-handed interception to kill the Lions’ drive before it could begin.

Earl Mitchell, DT: +2.7

Breakdown: With an embarrassment of riches along the defensive line, it’s time to give due to someone who’s forced to split time in Miami, but would be an every-down  player on most other rosters. The fifth-year pro tallied two tackles for a loss and a couple of hurries as he squeezed the absolute most out of just 22 snaps.

Signature Stat: Mitchell now has 18 defensive stops on the year without a missed tackle.

Detroit Lions – Performances of Note

Ezekial Ansah, DE: +4.9

Breakdown: Continuing on his sophomore surge, Ansah showed that he doesn’t need Matt Kalil across from him to have a good day. Two sacks and three hurries are a fine return, but he really made waves in run defense, nearly always in control of his block and quickly shedding, earning four stops on the day.

Signature Play: 14:20, Q3. Fighting against a thoroughly overmatched Ja’Wuan James, Ansah worked his way inside to strip the ball from Daniel Thomas while simultaneously drawing a holding penalty.

Ndamukong Suh, DT: +7.0

Breakdown: Continuing on a string of performances that will ensure someone will be backing up a Brink’s truck to his house in March, Suh made life miserable for Miami’s interior offensive line, collecting a sack, two hits, and four hurries while also notching two tackles for a loss in the run game.

Signature Stat: Suh has recorded two or more pressures in every game this year besides Week 1, and he has a positive run defense grade in all but two games. As it sits, he leads all defensive tackles with a +23.2 grade.

Dominic Raiola, C: -4.1

Breakdown: As good as they were in the trenches defensively, Detroit’s offensive line was a mess. It might not be fair to single out just one, but Raiola’s struggles were the most pronounced, as he gave up three hurries and compounded that with some less than stellar run blocking. He was one of six linemen for the Lions to allow at least three pressures on the afternoon.

Signature Play: Q1, 4:06. It helps when your quarterback can move in the pocket and throw a touchdown pass in spite of pressure, but there’s no excuse for letting a defensive tackle 10 yards into the backfield as quickly as Raiola did here.

PFF Game Ball

With multiple standouts on defense, it was Ndamukong Suh who made the biggest impact.


  • Dohkay

    Stafford under pressure: 9-16, 152 yards, 2 TDs, 128.1 QB Rating with 3 sacks yields a -1.7 grade.

    Rodgers under pressure: 5-10, 84 yards, 2 TDs 118.3 QB Rating with 0 sacks yields a +1.6 grade.

    Both of Stafford’s TDs were excellent throws into the endzone so I’m really confused by this… do the 3 sacks (out of 19 dropbacks) really drag his grade down THAT much?

    • Chris

      Possibly. Each throw itself is also graded individually so if Stafford was more inaccurate on his incompletions while Rodgers was a bit safer that could factor in too.

      That said great win for the Lions. I thought this would be a very close game and it was. The defense still looked top 5 without Fairley, although it would be nice to see some more production out of the offense.

      • Dohkay

        I have no doubt Stafford was more incaccurate than Rodgers (goes without saying) but there weren’t any egregious throws that I recall. His two TDs were perfectly thrown as well so I would have thought they’d at least outweigh any truly bad throws. Just puzzling to see them graded so differently.

        • Chris

          As far as offensive struggles, I was meaning that with Johnson injured they were having trouble topping 20 points. They had him back yesterday but were going up against a very tough defense as well. So I expect to see some better days in the future now. AKA I’m not hitting the panic button yet on the offense, but they need to produce a bit better on that side of the ball to give their defense some help come playoff time.

          • Dohkay

            No doubt but look at the three elite QBs that have faced Miami. Brady, Rodgers, and Rivers averaged 22-40, 217 yards, 1.3 TDs and 1 INT. Even accounting for the Rivers stinkbomb, Brady and Rodgers averaged 27-49, 256 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs.

            Stafford’s 25-40, 280 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT doesn’t look too shabby against that defense. New England had 315 yards of offense, Green Bay had 369, and San Diego had 178. The Lions put up 351. Hard to be down about that performance.

          • Chris

            Fair enough. Miami does have a very good defense, that’s why I said I’m holding off judgement on the Lions’ offense now that Johnson is back for another week. They’ve shut down plenty of good teams this year as you mentioned.

          • Dohkay

            This just further infuriates me: Wilson under pressure was 2-6, 63 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. Sacked twice. His grade? -1.4.

          • Chris

            But hey, Wilson improved his record when his team allows less than 24 points?

          • Dohkay

            He added another clutch GWD yesterday too. Sure, it took place with 14 minutes left on the clock and involved handing the ball off to Lynch but it’s a GWD!

          • Troll Chris

            Hey look, Chris is talking to himself yet again

          • Chris

            Hey you’re right. I created two accounts, one of which is a Bengals fan and the other is a Lions fan, all so I could troll Russell Wilson because I have nothing better to do with me time. It’s the perfect plan and you just ruined it!! Now what am I going to do with all this free time in my mom’s basement???

          • eYeDEF

            It’s transparently obvious Troll Chris is [email protected] with way too much basement time in his mom’s house. It must get pretty cold for him this time of year so he does this as his way to keep warm. The better solution for him would be to get a job.

          • Bobby Noyes

            Stafford was at home, you cannot dismiss that. Both Brady and Rodgers were playing in Miami if I recall.

          • Dohkay

            Correct but both of those QBs haven’t struggled much away from home anyways. Their passer ratings are higher at home but still excellent on the road when you take out the Miami games. I’m not saying Stafford is better than those two, just that his performance looks pretty good in relation to theirs.

        • eYeDEF

          Seriously? Stafford has been been very impressive this year there’s no doubt. But I think thats in large part due to caldwell not giving him the green light. I think that if you want to see them continue to be successful you would not want to see Stafford be fully trusted. Historically that’s when he’s been at his very worst. let the defense win games for the lions, and let Stafford do his thing on an occasional basis when needed. That seems we working out the best so far.

          • Dohkay

            He’s never had this many weapons before. Typically it’s Calvin and a bunch of garbage. This is the first time he’s had a legitimate number 2 WR (Burleson and Durham are not playing this season which shows how bad they were) and he has a legitimate TE to boot. Now they have had a lot of injuries so we haven’t seen much yet but I think Stafford has proven he can take care of the ball and he’s also proven capable of winning games by himself. It’s time to let him play.

    • corners

      stafford through a int in the endzone

      • Dohkay

        Not under pressure which is what I’m confused about grade-wise.

        P.S. *threw 😉

        • Troll Chris

          P.S.: No one cares

  • straw walker

    Raiola’s play has been disappointing at times..Not just in pass plays but in run support.

  • tee

    This is three strait games in Arizona? Doesn’t seem fair.