Written by Luis Sung at 10:30 AM EST | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Despite the emotional turmoil involved in the Dolphins loss against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, there were definitely some positives to be drawn from it. One of them is the obvious strength of the Dolphins secondary, which faced its greatest challenge to date in trying to stop the NFL's best wide receiver, Calvin "Megatron" Johnson.
The thing about facing the NFL's best receiver, however, is that you can't really "stop" him, but rather slow him down. At the beginning of the game, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a deep pass into the endzone that cornerback Brent Grimes had no hope of defending for various reasons.
“The touchdown pass was just a deep post, he had good position. I couldn’t get around his body, he made a great catch." Grimes said. "I mean, Calvin Johnson makes plays, that’s what he does."
"We knew he was going to make some plays." cornerback Cortland Finnegan said about Johnson. "He’s a big, tall receiver, but for the most part, I think we weathered the storm in the first half and even in the second quarter we were good to go and even coming back at halftime. I honestly think they made one more play than we did."
It seemed after that play that Johnson would be causing the Dolphins defense problems all day long. But surprisingly enough, Johnson was actually not as big of an impact as everyone initially expected, thanks to the incredible efforts of the 5'10" corner who many believed had no business covering the 6'5" Johnson.
After an interception by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the very next play saw "Optimus Grimes" leaping high into the air for a one-handed interception in the endzone which robbed "Megatron" of another touchdown reception, and that play was quickly spread all over the internet and was featured in highlight reels all over the networks.
"On the interception it was just another ball that I got a chance to make a play on it. I made a play.”
Despite losing the way they did, the Detroit Lions offensive players gave credit to the Dolphins secondary for making it tougher on them the whole game than it should have been on paper.
“That’s a good team. (Brent) Grimes and Cortland (Finnegan) are extremely good players." said Lions wide receiver Golden Tate. "You saw that by Grimes, that was a heck of a catch that he made in the end zone to get that pick."
Again, the pain of the loss was incredible, but there were definitely positives to be taken from it. Sometimes there's just no way to beat a perfect throw by a quarterback, and Stafford did just that. The secondary did everything within their power to stop Detroit, and if there had been even the smallest error on Stafford's part, the game would have belonged to Miami.
Even if they failed to get the victory at the end of the game, that doesn't take away from the fact that the Dolphins secondary is a force to be reckoned with, and any team that decides to sleep on their ability will pay through the nose for doing so.