The Cardinals' 3-0 record is even more impressive when looking at their opponents. They have beaten the Seahawks and the Patriots, and they dismantled the Eagles last week. These are three teams that will all likely wind up battling for playoff positions.
It has been an impressive run for the Cards. The Dolphins have not enjoyed as much success, but they have been impressive in their own right.
Miami is 1-2, but this is a team that looked terrible going 0-4 in the preseason, and many figured they'd struggle to get a win all year.
Where: U of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
When: Sunday, September 30 at 4:05 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Cardinals -6.5, according to Football Locks on Sept. 26
At the time of publication, the official injury report was not available.
Check out NFL.com for the report, as it should become available sometime Wednesday afternoon, and it will update as the week goes on.
What They're Saying
The Cardinals defense has been outstanding. They have led the turnaround of this franchise, and their rise to dominance has come under the guidance of defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
NFL.com's Bucky Brooks has more:
When Horton was appointed the Cardinals' defensive coordinator following a successful seven-year stint as the Pittsburgh Steelers' secondary coach, most expected Arizona would run a hybrid 3-4 with unique blitz pressure concepts.
Horton certainly hasn't disappointed, installing a high-pressure scheme that routinely features five- and six-man blitzes from a variety of fronts. The pressures are complemented by a bunch of pre-snap movement that is designed to create confusion for blockers at the point of attack. When coordinated with tight coverage in the back end, the heavy blitzing overwhelms ground attacks and forces quarterbacks to throw under duress.
Reggie Bush is a big topic of fantasy conversation for this game, and I'd recommend sitting him. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Bush missed practice on Wednesday. He also notes there is still a good chance he will take the field on Sunday.
However, given his knee injury, it is unlikely Bush would have a full load in this game. Combine that with the fact that he is going against a tough Cardinals defense, and it is best not to count on Bush for this game.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins are 29th in passing yards allowed, so absolutely start Larry Fitzgerald, and Andre Roberts could be worth a look if you are hurting for wide receivers.
What's at Stake?
This game provides the Dolphins with a chance to not only prove they won't be a disaster this season, but that they could actually contend for the playoffs.
For the Cardinals, it is a chance to jump out to 4-0, which, as history suggests, would almost guarantee them a trip to the playoffs.
Key Matchup: Cardinals' Passing Offense vs. Dolphins' Passing Defense
As we stated, the Dolphins' pass defense has not been good. Luckily for them, the Cardinals' pass offense is similarly inept, as they are 29th in the league in passing yards.
Granted, that number is a bit skewed due to Arizona not wanting to throw the ball given they have won all three of their games, and they have used Kevin Kolb and John Skelton as their QBs.
Still, there are points in every game when a team needs to make big plays with the pass game, and if the Dolphins make that easy for the Cardinals, they are done.
Prediction: Cardinals 23, Dolphins 13
I am fully on board the Cardinals bandwagon. Going back to last year, they have won 10 of their last 12 and they have not allowed more than 20 points in any of those games. They will control this one from start to finish.
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