Lions 34

(5-10, 2-6 away)

Dolphins 27

(7-8, 1-7 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 26, 2010

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 3 7 7 1734
MIA 3 14 7 327

Top Performers

Passing: C. Henne (MIA) - 278 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: R. Williams (MIA) - 14 CAR, 71 YDS

Receiving: B. Marshall (MIA) - 10 REC, 102 YDS

Lions win three straight games for first time since 2007

Associated Press

MIAMI -- The Detroit Lions swapped back slaps and handshakes. Players checked their cell phones for congratulatory text messages. Laughter came from the hallway, and the stereo blared a rapper's command, "Party y'all all night."

The visiting locker room at the Miami Dolphins' stadium has been in party mode most of the season.

The road team won again Sunday, when the Lions came up with two interceptions to score 17 points in the final 4:37 and rally past the stunned Dolphins 34-27.

Miami (7-8), eliminated from the playoff race last week, blew a late 10-point lead to finish 1-7 in its stadium. That's the worst home record in the league, and it matches a franchise low.

"We should all be embarrassed," coach Tony Sparano said.

His players agreed.

"For us to be out there playing like that is a total embarrassment," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "I want to apologize to the fans for our poor play this season."

The Miami meltdown did nothing to help Sparano's wobbly job security. Owner Stephen Ross, who attended the game, hasn't commented on Sparano's status.

"At the end of the day, you're evaluated on wins and losses," a downcast Sparano said.

The Lions (5-10) extended their winning streak to three games, impressive for a team that hadn't won even two in a row since 2007. The surge comes with a slight caveat: Detroit was out of the playoff race in November.

"We're obviously not going to the Super Bowl," said tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who caught a touchdown pass. "We just want to get it done and lay a foundation for next year."

The Lions were plagued with bad field position for much of the game, and Miami outrushed them 154-67. But Shaun Hill went 14 for 26 for 222 yards and a score on a windy afternoon, and the Lions showed the sort of resilience that has become characteristic lately.

"Very gratifying," Hill said. "I was just standing there on the sideline watching the defense put it away."

DeAndre Levy and Nathan Vasher intercepted Chad Henne, who threw for 278 yards and helped the Dolphins score three touchdowns at home for the first time this season before they self-destructed. The loss was their second in a row at home to a division cellar-dweller.

"The Detroit Lions?" Miami cornerback Vontae Davis said. "They shouldn't come in and win this game. We've got way more talent."

The Dolphins led 24-14 with five minutes to go when the Lions forced a punt, and on the first play Jahvid Best turned a short pass from Hill into a 53-yard touchdown.

Three plays later, Henne overthrew a receiver and Vasher was there, setting up a 47-yard field goal by Dave Rayner to tie the game with 2:44 remaining.

Two Miami plays netted 2 yards before Henne threw another interception. Intended receiver Davone Bess fell as the ball arrived, and Levy grabbed it, then zigzagged 30 yards to the end zone for Detroit's third score in less than 2½ minutes.

"Definitely not Chad Henne's fault," Bess said. "I've got to stay on my feet."

Miami drove 74 yards to the Detroit 28, but following a short completion the clock ran out.

The Lions lost six games by a touchdown or less before their recent winning streak, with the three victories by a total of 14 points.

"There's some experience gained from playing in close games," coach Jim Schwartz said. "I don't think that's a game we would have won earlier in the season."

The Lions netted 11 yards on their first three possessions, then mounted an 80-yard drive that ended with Pettigrew's 20-yard touchdown catch.

Detroit made the score 17-all with a 14-play, 86-yard march capped by Maurice Morris' 5-yard run. Hill completed three third-down passes to keep the drive going.

Bess fumbled a punt return and Landon Johnson recovered to set up a Lions field goal. Still, when Ricky Williams' 28-yard run from the wildcat set up a field goal for a 10-point Dolphins lead, it appeared they had a victory sewed up.

Game notes

Lions WR Calvin Johnson sat out the fourth quarter after he aggravated an ankle injury. Schwartz said his status was day to day. ... Detroit CB Chris Houston injured his shoulder in the first half. ... Miami TE Anthony Fasano hurt his knee in the fourth quarter, and T Lydon Murtha suffered a head injury. DB Nolan Carroll left the game with a concussion in the first half ... Richie Incognito started at C for the first time in his two seasons with Miami. ... The Lions last beat the Dolphins in 1991, and they won for the first time in five games in Miami.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1428
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays4983
Total Yards275425
Yards per play5.65.1
Total Drives1112
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks - Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-23-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

detFG10:56Dave Rayner 39 Yd 30
miaFG00:30Dan Carpenter 40 Yd 33
detTD12:17Brandon Pettigrew 20 Yd Pass From Shaun Hill (Dave Rayner Kick) 103
miaTD06:13Lousaka Polite 4 Yd Run (Dan Carpenter Kick) 1010
miaTD00:30Davone Bess 13 Yd Pass From Chad Henne (Dan Carpenter Kick) 1017
detTD05:49Maurice Morris 5 Yd Run (Dave Rayner Kick) 1717
miaTD00:05Ronnie Brown 1 Yd Run (Dan Carpenter Kick) 1724
miaFG09:44Dan Carpenter 28 Yd 1727
detTD04:37Jahvid Best 53 Yd Pass From Shaun Hill (Dave Rayner Kick) 2427
detFG02:44Dave Rayner 47 Yd 2727
detTD02:11DeAndre Levy 30 Yd Interception Return (Dave Rayner Kick) 3427

Research Notes

Dan Carpenter had 2 FG vs the Lions, giving him 30 for the season. That is tied for the 3rd-most FG in a single season in franchise history.

ESPN Stats & Information