What happens when a dolphin fights a lion? Nothing, silly, because lions can’t swim and dolphins can’t walk so they’d never fight. That’s why it’s good to have the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions because it gives us a chance to see a real-life Dolphins versus Lions battle. Okay, enough with the shenanigans. The Dolphins and Lions have had incredible players throughout the years that include big names like Dan Marino, Larry Csonka, Calvin Johnson, and Barry Sanders. Continue reading for a more in-depth look at this great matchup.
While the Lions have spent a lot of years in the basement during the last 20 years, they are the fourth-oldest NFL franchise, founded in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio. In fact, they started off as the Portsmouth Spartans until 1933. In 1934, the team relocated to Detroit where they became the Lions, a name that is an ode to the city’s baseball team, the Tigers. On a sad note, the Lions are the only team in the NFL that’s existed for the entirety of the Super Bowl Era (1967) that still hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Actually, they haven’t even made a Super Bowl! They did, however, win four championships prior to the Super Bowl era, with three of those titles coming in the 1950s (‘52, ‘53, and ‘57). In his career against the Dolphins, running back Sanders went 1-2 although he rushed for 332 yards and a touchdown over those three contests.
Now, what about that team from South Florida? Their history goes back to 1960 and the majority of their success came in the 1970s with the winningest head coach in NFL history, Don Shula. He would take the Dolphins to three Super Bowls in the ‘70s, winning two, including 1973 to top of an undefeated season, which continues to be the only undefeated season in NFL history. Speaking of which, one of the most memorable games of this series came on Christmas day, 1994 when the Dolphins beat the Lions 27-20 to earn the AFC East title and, more importantly, Shula’s 319th victory, helping him surpass coach George Halas for most wins ever.
The Odds and Ends
Detroit must be a place for defense because from 2000-2014, these teams have met three times in Motown and the scores have been pretty low. Check it out: over those three games, the teams combined for an average of 34.7 points. However, from 2010-2018, the teams faced each other three different times and combined to score an average of 50 points per game with the 2010 game going for 61 points in a 34-27 Lions victory in Miami. Two games of recent memory in 201 have shown relatively even teams as the games have been decided by an average of only 7 ½ points. That’s quite a big change from the games between 2000-2006 when the scores were decided by a lopsided 20 points per game. The closest games, however, happened in the ‘90s when the teams played each other very close, averaging wins by only 4.7 points over three games in that decade.
Why You Should Watch It
First things first: the matchup is a bit like finding a diamond. It’s very rare so when it comes, you better sit down and watch it. You never know what you’ll get with these teams but chances are it will be a close game, which always makes for good TV. In addition, you have one of the NFL’s oldest franchises in the Lions and the only franchise with an undefeated team in one season in the Dolphins. You also can’t beat the color schemes with these teams as you get that aqua, orange, and white of the Dolphins against those silver and Honolulu blue uniforms for the Lions. Park yourself in your recliner for this battle because you will not be disappointed!