MIAMI, Fla. – Matt Prater booted four field goals as the Detroit Lions beat the Miami Dolphins 32-21 in an NFL battle played amid the Sunday afternoon heat and humidity at Hard Rock Stadium.
Despite having a worse record and being on the road, the Lions entered the contest as 2 1/2-point favorites. That was due chiefly to Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill being ruled out of the game due to a right shoulder injury, and being replaced by backup signal-caller Brock Osweiler.
Detroit put together a scoring drive on its very first possession, culminating in a 15-yard TD pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to tight end Michael Roberts for a 7-0 advantage with 9:12 showing on the clock. That margin stood until the initial break.
In the second stanza, the Lions went up 10-0 on a 29-yard field goal by Prater at the 12:34 mark. But the Dolphins responded with a lengthy drive that produced a 5-yard scoring pass from Osweiler to Kenny Stills for a score of 10-7 with 7:30 left until intermission.
Detroit retaliated with a big drive of its own that ended on a 2-yard scoring run up the middle by LeGarrette Blount for a 17-7 edge with 1:02 left, which stood until the break.
The Lions also started the scoring in the third quarter, with Prater booting a 28-yard field goal for a 20-7 gap at the 8:32 juncture. But Miami came back quickly, however, as Kenyan Drake galloped 54 yards for a TD to close to within 20-14 at the 7:06 mark.
Stafford then found Roberts for his second TD catch of the day, this one from 5 yards out, and a two-point conversion run failed for a 26-14 Detroit advantage that remained in effect at the end of the period.
In the final frame, Prater kicked his third field goal of the day for a 29-14 Lions bulge with 10:04 to go.
Osweiler then connected with Danny Amendola for a 25-yard touchdown to cut Detroit’s margin to 29-21 with exactly 6:00 displayed on the scoreboard.
Prater then converted a 50-yard field goal for a 32-21 lead with 1:55 to play to complete the scoring.
The Lions were coming off their bye week and now sport a 3-3 record. Next up for Detroit will be a home date at Ford Field against the Seattle Seahawks at 1 p.m. next Sunday.
The Dolphins now stand 4-3. Miami faces a short week and will be right back in action on Thursday night when it visits the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.