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.