The Miami Dolphins wrapped up Detroit's Barry Sanders and the AFC East title - and gave scooter-bound coach Don Shula another milestone victory.

Dan Marino threw for 285 yards and Bernie Parmalee scored three touchdowns in a 27-20 victory over Detroit Sunday night that continued Miami's roller-coaster December."We had good pressure on the quarterback and holding Sanders. Defensively we were just swarming, making good plays and putting pressure on the quarterback," said Shula, who notched victory No. 319 to surpass the regular-season mark he'd shared with the late George Halas.

The Dolphins (10-6) were on the verge of blowing a 17-point lead until an interception off Lions quarterback Dave Krieg with 3:41 left.

Miami held Sanders, the NFL's leading rusher, to 52 yards on 12 carries. Sanders needed 169 yards to become the third 2,000-yard rusher in NFL history.

Miami shared first place in the AFC East with New England but won the division title by virtue of beating the Patriots twice during the season.

The victory gives the Dolphins some badly needed momentum going into the playoffs. The Dolphins had lost four of six going into Sunday night - including a devastating 10-6 loss to Indianapolis last week that cost the team a bye week in the playoffs.

"We have run out of time to fix our inconsistencies," linebacker Bryan Cox said. "We need to start right now and play the best we can in the playoffs."

Miami will play host to Kansas City for the second time this year at Joe Robbie Stadium in the first round of the playoffs next weekend. The Dolphins beat the Chiefs 45-28 on Dec. 12 in a game that Kansas City quarterback Joe Montana sat out because of injury.

"We played well against them but this is a different season. They'll be a lot better," Shula said.

The coach, still recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, presided over the victory while roaming the sidelines on a motorized scooter.

The Lions (9-7), who had won four straight, missed a chance to win the NFC Central title. Detroit now must await the outcome of the Minnesota-San Francisco game Monday night.

A Vikings victory means the Lions will travel to Green Bay next weekend. A Minnesota loss means Detroit will visit the Vikings.

"It doesn't make any difference," Lions coach Wayne Fontes said of his preference. "One place will be cold, one will be hot."

Leading 7-3, Miami scored 20 points in the second quarter, sparked by a swarming defense that notched five sacks in the game.

"Our attitude was to shut Barry down first and then to put pressure up the middle," Cox said.

Miami led 27-10 at intermission on the strength of Parmalee's touchdown runs of 1, 1 and 6 yards.

Marino passed for 222 yards in the half, spreading the ball around to eight receivers. He was 26-of-35 for the game.

The Lions' first score came in the second quarter when Johnnie Morton took a kickoff 93 yards for the touchdown to cut Miami's lead to 24-10. It was the third touchdown Miami's special teams have allowed in as many games.

It seemed as if it might be the only touchdown Detroit would muster until Krieg started moving the Lions in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't keep the ball long enough to do anything," Krieg said. "Twelve plays without a first down is futility at its finest."

Krieg, limited to 5 passing yards in the first half, led the Lions on an 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter. He connected with Aubrey Matthews on 5-yard pass with 5:46 left in the game to cut Miami's lead to 27-20.

The Lions got the ball back with four minutes left, but Krieg's pass was picked off when Gene Atkins tipped a ball intended for Morton into the hands of Michael Stewart. The Dolphins ran out the clock.

Krieg finished with 211 yards, completing 21-of-46.