Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Arizona Cardinals (A) – Our Predictions

Last week’s win was good, wasn’t it? Yet I came away feeling underwhelmed at our Offense for the second game in a row. That blowout of the Jets wasn’t that great at all, our third-down offense has been abysmal. And yet I’m hopeful, I’m hopeful that in Tua Tagovailoa’s second start the O will start to open up a bit. Tua looked good, in segments on Sunday, and in others, he didn’t or was ‘protected’ by Chan Gailey. Mike Gesicki and Preston Williams combined for what felt like a million drops, which could have improved Tua’s stat line.

But in reality our offense didn’t need to score when the other two phases play as lights out as they did. Our Miami Dolphins defense our now Number 1 in scoring, only allowing 18.6 points per game. That’s incredible. In fact, the defense is a turnover machine. We’re averaging a turnover differential of +0.6 per game, whilst in the past three games they lead the league in turnover differential with +1.3 per game.

We won’t be able to get away with inconsistency on the offensive side of the ball this week however, as the Miami Dolphins travel to Phoenix to challenge the 5-2 Arizona Cardinals. Both teams are on three-game win streaks, and will be there or thereabouts in December. This game is getting a lot of national media attention, as most Dolphins games down the stretch will be, now that Tua Tagovailoa is the starter. This is the first big ‘rivalry game’ for Tua in the NFL, he knows Kyler Murray very well and came second in the Heisman voting in 2018 to K1.

Anyway, you’re here to see how we think this matchup might pan out, so here you are.


Shane – I see this as a ‘back to earth’ game for the Dolphins. We have failed to deal with QBs with running ability so far and Kyler Murray has that in abundance. We will need a better offensive showing to be in the game. Whichever mixture of players we use to rush the football need to make an impact and our receivers have to do a better job of getting open.
I think we’ll look a bit better on offense this week but fall just short as the defense is kept on their toes this week. Dolphins 20-24 Cardinals

Jay – This game has the potential to give us a real indication of how far we’ve come as a team and if we should be mentioned in conversations about the playoffs. This is a very different matchup from our two previous games and historically we haven’t been great against mobile quarterbacks. That said the defense is coming off the back of a monster performance and I can see them utilising a spy on Murray to limit the impact he can have with his legs.

On the other side of the ball if there were ever a game to step up it would be this one. The last two outings haven’t been spectacular by any stretch of the imagination but that was largely by design as the defensive performances meant the offense wasn’t relied on as heavily.

With so many injuries at RB whoever starts really needs to step up. I can see Tua let off the leash a bit more in this game and he seems to be developing a nice understanding with Grant so maybe we’ll see some more of him. Overall I think it’ll be close but if the defense can contain and the offense start firing I think we just beat them. Dolphins 23-21 Cardinals.

Rich – This feels a more difficult game to predict than the Rams game; the Cardinals aren’t coming off a Monday night game nor the Dolphins off a bye week. Also, the Dolphins have history of being poor against rushing quarterbacks. For me, it’s a coin toss game.
I’ve been pretty positive about backing the Dolphins so I think I’m going to have faith that this time, Flores and Boyer will improve the defensive game plan to counter Murray and Edmunds/Drake.

I like Tua to find his receivers and get more help from them this week, and they’ve had another week to work together in practice and scheme up something offensively. Dolphins win a relatively low scoring game, a nail biter! Dolphins 24-22 Cardinals

Andy – This will be another test for Tua and this Dolphins defense. Tua had an average debut against the Rams, but that was just his first game. His defense meant he didn’t need to be at his best. The Miami defense has another test against the Cardinals, with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. If the Dolphins can take Hopkins out of the game and stop the run, they have a chance. Sadly, I think the Cardinals win this one. Dolphins 17-27 Cardinals

Gareth – I think we’ll win but it’ll be a close one. Tua will have another comfortable game where it’ll be a team victory. The Lions confused Murray and we’ll follow suit. I think the running game will surprise as the Cards will be unsure who they are playing against. A really good test for our defense. Dolphins 24-14 Cardinals.

Me – I have a slight feeling we might lose this one, but that won’t be too bad if I see more from Tua. We can’t run the ball, which is an issue, and now with Gaskin and Breida out we’re down to Jordan ‘short-yardage’ Howard and Patrick Laird. They are going to have to step up.

We can’t stop the run very well either, which means Chase Edmonds will probably have a big day on the ground, and so will Kyler Murray. If the Cardinals establish the run which I expect them to, they will win. I’m confident our pass defense can limit DHop a little but that won’t be enough as our O will once again let us down. Cardinals by ten. Dolphins 17-27 Cardinals

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