Analyzing The Lions Week 8 Matchup Against The Dolphins

The Detroit Lions now sit at 1-5 following a 24-6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7. At this point in the season, the Lions now hope to show progress. While the start has not been what many were predicting, the Lions still have the opportunity to win games and prove that this regime can turn things around. Progress is the determining factor if head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes are the ones to turn the Lions into a winning team. The Lions need to improve, and must show development going into next season.

The Dolphins come into the matchup after a 16-10 Sunday Night Football win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the Dolphins struggled to put up points against a very strong Steelers defense. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who returned after being in concussion protocol for two weeks, looked rusty and favored from multiple dropped interceptions by the Steelers. The Dolphins sit at 4-3, and look to return to their explosive form that they showed at the start of the season.

Let’s look at some keys to the matchup.

Which Lions’ Defense will show up?
Last week against the Cowboys, the Lions’ defense looked much improved in comparison to weeks past. This improvement can be attributed to the return of multiple injured Lions’ defenders. The pass rush looked much improved, and rookie Aiden Hutchinson looked healthier. A healthier secondary also helped keep the Lions in the game. If this defense can continue to get stops and grow, expect more wins. Before the bye week, the Lions defense looked like the worst in the NFL. If the Lions continue to move away from this atrocious form, expect a few wins to follow.

Which Lions’ Offense will show up?
The Lions offense has not scored a touchdown in their last two games. Through the first four weeks of the season, the Lions looked to have one of the most dominant offenses in the NFL. This dominant offense revolved around an explosive running game. Much of this drastic change has to do with the injuries to both wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and running back D’Andre Swift. On Wednesday, Swift was able to fully participate, while St. Brown was limited to no contact. If both players start on Sunday, expect the Lions’ offense to return to their original form.

Will the Dolphins return to form?
Before Tua Tagovailoa’s scary concussion, the Dolphins offense was clicking. Tagovailoa has a 105.9 passer rating this season, which is the fourth best in the NFL. Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combine for 1,394 yards this season, and both receivers are in the top four for receiving yards. This intense performance to start the season will return at some point. The Lions defense offers a great opportunity for the Dolphins to get clicking again.
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