The Miami Dolphins look to continue their winning with a tough road game against the Cardinals.
The Miami Dolphins are heading into their second game with Tua Tagovailoa as quarterback but how does the offense stack up against the Cardinals?
As the Dolphins enter game two of the Tua era, they travel to Arizona and visit the Cardinals. In his first game, Tua threw for 95 yards on 12 for 22 passes. He also threw for his first career touchdown to DeVante Parker. The resulting win over the Rams, their third straight win, solidified the team in second place in the division trailing the Bills, and also put the team over .500 at 4-3 for the season. Now the first road test for the Tua led Dolphins against the 5-2 Cardinals. How does the Dolphins Offense matchup against the Cardinals Defense? Let’s take a look.
Miami Offensive line v Cardinals defensive line – The offensive line for the Dolphins has been playing exceedingly better compared to previous seasons. Solomon Kindley, Ted Karras, Robert Hunt, Ereck Flowers, and Jesse Davis have definitely unified and done very well to protect the quarterbacks as well as help in the running game. Austin Jackson returned to practice and is eligible to return to play against Arizona. I would expect that if he is able to return, he will be on a snap count and possibly be in a reserve role to start at least.
This week won’t be any easier for the group playing against the Cardinals defensive line. Former Dolphin Jordan Phillips has been a force along the defensive front for Arizona, with 10 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery so far this season. Corey Peters also has accounted for 2 sacks and 12 total tackles from the defensive tackle position.
Edge – Dolphins offensive line. The offensive line for the Dolphins has just been playing much improved over last season and this season they are playing better each week. Although it will be a battle in the trenches, the Dolphins should continue their improved play.
Miami Quarterback and Running Backs v Arizona Linebackers –
Eyes will continue to be on the young quarterback for the Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa had his first win last week against the Rams in an average start to his career. How will he build on his effort to do more and improve against the Cardinals? His athletic ability as well as his ability to make the right throws.
The running game will be a work in progress. Injuries to leading rusher Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida prompted the team to trade with the Kansas City Cheifs for DeAndre Washington and a 2021 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick. Jordan Howard and Patrick Laird are poised to get the bulk of the carries. Arizona has allowed 918 yards on the ground so far this season.
As for Arizona, the linebackers are led by Jordan Hicks and De’Vondre Campbell that have both been tackling forces for the Cardinals with 59 and 57 total tackles respectively. Hassan Reddick leads the team with five sacks so far as well. The Cardinals’ defense plays aggressively and attacks the opposing offenses very well.
Edge – This is going to be an interesting matchup to keep an eye on. I feel hopeful that the Dolphins running game can find their legs and be another dimension for the offense in general. Also, Tua should be able to build on his performance from last week as well. A tough matchup for sure and an interesting one to watch. Feels like a toss-up as far as who has the edge.
Dolphins Receivers and Tight Ends v Cardinals Secondary – The Dolphins receivers started where they left off last season and have been playing well. DeVante Parker has led the way with 367 yards so far this season. Mike Gesicki and Preston Williams have also been solid contributing over 200 yards each. The trio has also tallied eight of the teams 11 passing touchdowns. The quarterback play as well as improved and increased production in the running game will help Parker and company post more numbers. The added dimension lately of tight ends Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen (three touchdowns and 115 yards between them) have only benefitted the team.
The Cardinals secondary is anchored by safety Budda Baker who has 59 total tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble so far. Cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Patrick Peterson form a formidable duo accounting for three interceptions and 51 total tackles between them.
Edge – I really like our receivers. They are playing really well and have worked extra with the young quarterback on their timing together. The extra practice will only help. In the two losses for the Cardinals, they allowed 546 yards through the air. The receivers should match up well against the secondary of the Cardinals. I’ll give the edge to the Dolphins receivers and tight ends in this match up. I think in the end there are too many targets for the Cardinals secondary to contend with.