GAME PREVIEW

After a busy offseason highlighted by the arrival of Ricky Williams and Norv Turner, the Dolphins finally get to put their product on the field in a game that means something as they host the Detroit Lions in the regular season opener Sunday afternoon.

The Dolphins enter the season with high expectations, despite the prediction of ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen, who picked Miami last in the AFC East.

And for the players, they're glad the regular season is finally here.

"We get to play a game that means something," said defensive end Jason Taylor. "We're excited about it. We get to open at home. There a lot of things riding on this season and we look forward to getting it started."

What follows is a glance at the Dolphins-Lions matchup.

WHO: Miami Dolphins (2-2 in preseason, 11-5 in 2001) vs. Detroit Lions (1-3 in preseason, 2-14 in 2001)

WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

WHERE: Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Fla.

TV: FOX (Dan Miller, play-by-play; Mark Carrier, analysis)

LINE: Dolphins by 8

COACHES: Dolphins, Dave Wannstedt (3rd year with team, 22-10 record); Lions, Marty Mornhinweg (2nd year, 2-14)

SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 7-2

LAST FIVE MEETINGS: 2000 at Detroit, Dolphins 23-8; 1997 at Miami, Dolphins 33-30; 1994 at Miami, Dolphins 27-20; 1991 at Detroit, Lions 17-13; 1985 at Detroit, Lions 31-21

INJURIES: Dolphins — DE David Bowens (hand) and TE Desmond Clark (forearm) are out; CB Omare Lowe (ankle) is doubtful; S Scott McGarrahan (groin) and CB Patrick Surtain (groin) are questionable; DT Tim Bowens (toe), DE Rob Burnett (hamstring), S Arturo Freeman (hamstring), T Todd Wade (ankle) and TE Jed Weaver (knee) are probable.

Lions — LB Clint Kreiwaldt (foot) is out; C Eric Beverly (calf) is doubtful; T Stockar McDougle (knee), WR Bill Schroeder (hip), T Tony Semple (knee) and RB James Stewart (knee) are probable.


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