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Dolphins Score Early Knockout

November 06, 2000|From Associated Press

PONTIAC, Mich. — The Miami Dolphins had the game in hand before Detroit Lion fans had settled into their seats.

Lamar Smith ran for two touchdowns Sunday to give the Dolphins a 14-point lead en route to a 23-8 victory over the Lions.

Miami returned the opening kickoff to midfield, scored on Smith's 46-yard run on its first play and recovered an on-side kick--all in 25 seconds. Ten plays later, Smith easily ran in for an eight-yard touchdown.

The Lions were down by two touchdowns before they had even run a play.

"It kind of took the air out of them," Miami safety Brock Marion said. "They battled, but you could tell they were stunned at that point."

The Dolphins continued to make plays on offense, defense and special teams to keep Detroit (5-4) from getting back into the game. They led, 23-0, before the Lions scored early in the fourth quarter.

Miami (7-2) moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC East after the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets lost Sunday.

The Dolphins' Jay Fiedler completed 13 of 18 passes for 112 yards and didn't throw a touchdown or an interception. Olindo Mare kicked three field goals.

The Lions' Charlie Batch, who completed eight of 16 passes for 95 yards, was knocked out of the game by Miami's Jason Taylor midway through the third quarter with a concussion. Stoney Case replaced Batch and completed seven of 11 passes for 74 yards with an interception.

Detroit Coach Bobby Ross seemed to take the loss especially hard.

"This is one of the most embarrassing losses I have ever had," he said. "We showed right from the start of the game that we weren't ready to play, and ultimately, that is my responsibility. I won't back down from that.

"This loss is going to be very hard for me to digest. I'm going to have to go home and reflect on some things and talk them over with my wife."

The Dolphins did about as much as a team can do in the first minute.

Autry Denson returned the opening kickoff to Detroit's 46. Then Smith ran through a huge hole and sprinted untouched for the touchdown. He finished with 125 yards.

Miami surprised the Lions with an on-side kick, which was recovered by Terrance Shaw.

"We decided to do that about two seconds before we did it," Miami Coach Dave Wannstedt said.

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