Detroit, MI- The Detroit Lions are making a habit of giving the fans their money’s worth when they come out and watch them play. Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins was no exception as the Lions were able to pull off another come-from-behind victory against the Dolphins 20-16 at Detroit’s Ford Field. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw the game winning touchdown to Theo Riddick with 29 seconds to propel the team to a 7-2 record and remain in first place in the NFC North. Calvin Johnson made his long anticipated return and recorded seven catches for 113 yards including a 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Golden Tate was superb again, recording 11 catches for 109yards. Stafford finished the game 25-40 for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
After leaping over Dolphins corner back Brent Grimes for his touchdown, Grimes got his revenge in the second quarterback when after a James Ihegdibo interception put the ball in Dolphins territory, Grimes made a leaping one-handed interception in the end zone. It was a battle of defenses as both did not let up and the Lions made sure Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was roughed up all game, getting sacked three times and was hit constantly throughout the match up. Detroit had an 10-0 lead early in the game, but kicker Matt Prater’s 42-yard field goal was blocked and recovered by Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan, who returned it all the way to the three yard line, making way for a Mike Wallace touchdown for Miami. Tannehill finished the game 27-38 for 215 yards and a touchdown. Lions’ running back Reggie Bush was again a non-factor as he is still recovering from an ankle injury earlier in the season.
The final drive of the game was when Stafford was at his best, going 7-9 passing on the final drive. Now known to be a “gunslinger,” Stafford made the biggest throw of the day when he side armed a pass to Riddick in the back of the end zone for the winning score. The pass appeared to go under the Dolphins defender and only Riddick was able to make a play on the ball. It was only Riddick’s second catch of the game, but it was the one that gave the Lions their fourth straight victory. The Lions know all about falling apart in the second half of the season as they started 6-3 last season before going 1-6 in the second half to finish 7-9. That doesn’t look like it will be the case this season as the Lions appear to be locked and loaded and are trying to win their first division title in over 20 years.
The Lions’ next game is going to be their toughest of the season as they take on the best team in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals defeated the Lions last season and right now have the best record in the NFL with an 8-1 record. They are coming off another victory, this time against the St. Louis Rams. The Cardinals did however lose starting quarterback Carson Palmer to a knee injury early in the game. Palmer who just signed a new three-year $50 million contract with the Cardinals, may have torn his ACL after being tackled by a Rams defender. He has already missed three games this season with a shoulder injury. But backup and former MSU standout, Drew Stanton, has won two of the three games he’s played in this season. Since the game will be played in Arizona, the game will start at 4:30 EST.