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Dolphins Digest Week 8: Outlasting the Lions

Allan Dranberg. Shutterstock Images.

The Miami Dolphins overcame a fast start from the Lions to get a second straight win on Sunday. The Lions shredded the Dolphins' depleted secondary, scoring 27 points in the first half as they held a 27-17 lead at the half. However, Miami made necessary second-half adjustments and won 31-27, as Tua Tagovailoa had a big passing day, completing 29 of 34 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Jaylen Waddle had a pair of touchdowns while collecting 106 yards on eight receptions. Tyreek Hill, meanwhile, accounted for 188 yards on 12 catches. It is the first time the Dolphins defeated Detroit since 2006, as they improved to 5-3 on the season. 

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The Lions got off to a fast start, scoring on the game's opening drive, going 75 yards in five plays as Jamaal Williams scored on a seven-yard run. The Dolphins looked to answer with a drive of their own. Miami got across midfield and got a fourth-down conversion as Jaylen Waddle caught a nine-yard pass at the Detroit 35. However, on the next play, Braylon Sanders fumbled after a 13-yard catch. The Lions again went through the Dolphins' defense like a hot knife through butter, scoring on a seven-yard pass from Jared Goff to D'Andre Swift, capping a six-play drive that covered 78 yards. 

The Dolphins got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter, as Jaylen Waddle, scoring for the first time since Week 2, caught a five-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa. Tyreek Hill made two big receptions on the drive, the first going for 24 yards to start the drive and the second going for 36 yards on a third and long. The Lions would need just two minutes to answer as they took a 21-7 lead with Jamaal Williams running into the end zone from the one, as the second quarter began. 

The game began to take on the feel of a shootout as the Dolphins went down the field and scored again, with Waddle catching a 29-yard pass from Tagovailoa. Once again, the drive was started with a big play by Tyreek Hill, as he made a 42-yard reception to get the ball down to the Detroit 33. The Lions again marched down the field, but the Dolphins were able to prevent another touchdown as they settled for a 42-yard field goal by Michael Badgley. As halftime approached, the Dolphins would get a 45-yard field goal from Jason Sanders. Following the two-minute warning, the Dolphins appeared ready to get the ball back, but the Lions ran a fake punt with C.J. Moore taking the snap and going 13 yards for a first down. The Lions would run out of time as Badgley ended the second quarter with a 26-yard field goal. 

The Dolphins got the ball first in the third quarter, trailing 27-17. The Dolphins had their best drive of the game, going 75 yards in nine plays as Alec Ingold crashed into the end zone from the one-yard line. After the Lions' drive started with two positive plays, penalties began to assist the Dolphins in stopping Jared Goff for the first time all day. Two false starts and a holding pushed the Lions back to the 18, as they needed 30 yards for a first down. The drive never got on track, as Miami forced the game's first punt.

The Dolphins would take advantage of the Lions' stumble and went 67 yards in nine plays to take a 31-27 lead as Mike Gesicki caught an 11-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa. The drive's big play was a 29-yard scramble by Tua on third down, taking the ball down to the Detroit 29. 

Leading 31-27 as the fourth quarter began, the Dolphins' defense tightened the ropes around Detroit as Zach Sieler sacked Jared Goff for a ten-yard loss forcing the Lions to punt. The Dolphins would get the ball across midfield, but their drive stalled when Chase Edmunds could not get more than two yards on two carries.

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With 8:19 left in the game, the Lions got the ball back and got the ball down to the Miami 35, where they faced fourth down and one. Goff could not connect with Josh Reynolds, as the Dolphins got the ball back with just under three minutes left. Pounding the ball on the ground behind Raheem Mostert, Miami got the ball across midfield as the Lions began using their three timeouts. An eight-yard pass to Tyreek Hill, on third and eight, would end the game, as the Dolphins had first down at the 24, and the Lions had no way to stop the clock. 

The Dolphins will again be on the road next week, facing the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.