Ricky Williams and Robert Edwards both scored two touchdowns to lead the Dolphins, with Chris Chambers and rookie tight end Randy McMichael also scoring on TD passes from Jay Fiedler and Trent Gamble scoring a fluke touchdown on special teams.
Williams' debut with the Dolphins ended after the third quarter after he had rushed for 111 yards.
The game basically was over by halftime as Miami built a 28-7 lead. It was the most point the Dolphins had scored in a first half since 1986.
The Dolphins' first drive of the season ended in a manner too reminiscent of last season with Williams getting stuffed for no gain on third-and-1 from the Detroit 46-yard line.
But the offense got going on its next possession, with Williams capping a 90-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge on first-and-goal. The big play of the drive was a 19-yard completion from Fiedler to fullback Rob Konrad.
The Dolphins then got a great break when Mark Royals' punt on the second play of the second quarter bounced off Detroit's Chris Cash at the 7-yard line and rolled into the end zone, where Gamble scooped it up for the gift touchdown.
After stopping Detroit on three plays, the Dolphins increased their lead to 21-0 with a 64-yard drive that began and ended with passes from Fiedler to McMichael. The touchdown came on a 16-yard play on a second-and-8.
Detroit responded with an 80-yard touchdown drive capped by quarterback Mike McMahon's 2-yard quarterback draw.
After the teams traded punt, the Dolphins got the ball back at their 34-yard line with under two minutes left in the half with only one timeout remaining.
Instead of playing it safe, the Dolphins went on the offensive and used two completions of 14 yards to Edwards and two passes to Chambers to march 66 yards for the touchdown. The score came when Chambers easily beat veteran cornerback Eric Davis on an inside move to complete a 9-yard connection with Fiedler.
Things only got worse for Detroit early in the second half when Brock Marion intercepted McMahon's first pass of the third quarter and returned it to the 2-yard line to set up Williams' 2-yard touchdown run.
After Detroit scored to make it 35-14, the Dolphins answered back with two touchdown drives, one capped by a 4-yard pass from Fiedler to Edwards and the other on a 1-yard run by Edwards.
After that, the game became the equivalent of a preseason game, with the main focus being on running the clock out.