Nate Caminata - Publisher
The Lions' defensive front four will prevent the Dolphins from moving the football effectively, but can Lions' quarterback Mike McMahon and the Detroit offense move the ball against a formidable Miami defense? That seems to be the lingering question. The AFC East is recognized as the most competitive division in football, and Miami is competing for the top slot for a reason -- they are a solid football team. This contest is being played outdoors, which never favors the Lions, against one of the NFL's most respected football clubs. Detroit will keep it close, but let's keep a realistic outlook.
Prediction: Dolphins 20 - Lions 10
Mike Fowler - Beat Writer
This figures to be a low scoring game because two very good defenses will be facing two tepid offenses. Miami's offensive line is very banged up. Their starting five have played on four snaps together this preseason. Robert Porcher ought to have a big game going against Miami tackle Mark Dixon who will start at the position for the first time in his career.
Conversely, Detroit will be going against one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison and Jamar Fletcher form possibly the best trio of corners in football. Without a 100% James Stewart, Detroit's running game will have a tough time moving the football.
Miami's Ricky Williams will also find tough sledding running behind a patchwork line and Detroit tough front four led by tackles Shaun Rogers and Luther Ellis.
Special teams and defense will decide this one. Detroit comes close, but also comes up empty.
Prediction: Dolphins 17 - Lions 10
Paul Wezner - Contributing Editor
This won't be a blowout, but that's more because Miami is overrated than because the Lions are underrated. Ricky Williams won't be the problem, the problem will be the Lions lack of talent at Cornerback. Chris Cash is possibly the most talented CB, and he's a nickel CB on a good team, at best. Mike McMahon will continue how he's been playing, make some nice plays but make some bad ones as well. The Offensive Line play will be below average, but not a complete joke. All in all, not a terrible way to start off the season, but a win would be better.
Prediction: Dolphins 27 - Lions 17
Frank Bunker - Columnist
Blitz Ahoy. The Lions come prepared to Miami with a game plan designed to take advantage of the Dolphins' less-than accomplished offensive line and Jay Fiedler's jittery pocket presence. The 'Fin QB exits stage right and doesn't return for a curtain call after Robert Porcher and Luther Ellis give him a stomping ovation. Then, after Chris Claiborn and Shaun Rogers introduce themselves, Ricky Williams is so taken he swallows his tongue stud. For the Lions offense, it's Shark Attack. Deep completions to Bill Schroeder and Scotty Anderson open up the middle of the field for Az-Zahir Hakim and Michael Ricks. James Stewart pounds the ground as needed, helping soften Zach Thomas enough to allow him a fish-eye view of Aveion Cason speeding by on those quick screen passes we never saw in the pre-season. Then there's Running Foot, Mike McMahon, always trodding away for a first down when a blowhole-breather would least expect him. Special teams? Glad you asked, Desmond Howard provides decent field position all afternoon, while Jeff Gooch flattens a few 'Fins, enabling Donte' Curry to recover a pair of fumbles. All in all, not a bad opening day performance.
Prediction: Lions 41 - Dolphins 10
Adrian Donofrio - Columnist
The Lions will come out swinging and get confidence early, but the Dolphins defense will wake up and start clicking, shutting them down with good corcornerback play. The lack of a Detroit running game won't help the cause, either. The Lions defense will keep giving the offense opportunities, but they just won't cash in on them.
Dolphins 28 - Lions 24
Justin Vanfulpen - Resident Draft Expert
The game rests in the hands of Mike McMahon if he can make the simple plays and can complete around 55% of his passes -- only then will the Lions will have a shot. McMahon will have to move around in the pocket because the Miami defense will bring the pressure on him and the Lions offensive line. The defense will stop the run but will give up some plays in the passing game.
The Lions will keep it close but will lose 24-20 because McMahon can't make the simple plays when he needs to.
Prediction: Dolphins 24 - Lions 20