Sept. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams (34) is congratulated by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 27 - 6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Cardinals Face Tougher Than Their Record Miami Dolphins

We all know it’s the Karlos Dansby homecoming this weekend as the Miami Dolphins face the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Dansby of course, was the one who earlier this week declared that this year’s Miami team is more talented than the team he was on in 2008 that went to the Super Bowl in February 2009.  Hopefully that was a comment more to fire up his current group of teammates rather than to knock his former ones because let’s be honest, that’s not true.

That’s not to say this Dolphins squad doesn’t have talent.  Oh, this team is chalk full of good players.  They are 1-2 but much tougher than their record suggests.  Their two losses are to the Houston Texans and New York Jets.  They lost to the Jets last weekend after kicker Dan Carpenter let them down by missing a couple of field goals that could have won the game, a game they eventually lost 23-20 in overtime. Their lone victory is over the Oakland Raiders two weeks ago, a Raiders team that defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

Dolphins Running back Reggie Bush is averaging six yards per carry so far this season.  He has 300 yards on 50 carries.  Pretty impressive for a guy who has his skeptics and thought to be on the downside of his career.  Its been awhile since Bush has been a featured back.  Bush, however, got hurt last week in the loss to the Jets.  His status for this week is still up in the air.  If he does play, the Cards will need to focus on containing him.

As for the Dolphins passing game, well, it is off to a slow start, but they have prized rookie Ryan Tannehill.  Tannehill has completed 52 percent of his passes so far and only has one touchdown to go with his four interceptions.  He has been sacked four times.  I imagine the Cards could double that total this weekend.

The Dolphins defense also has talent.  With Dansby, they also have cornerback Richard Marshall, who was with the Cards last year.  Marshall has an interception already this season.  The Dolphins defense has four sacks and three interceptions through three games.  It’s not a dominating defense, but it has been enough to keep them in games and that’s all you can ask of a team. Defensive end Randy Starks will be the guy to watch out for.  He has three of the four team sacks.  Not bad for a guy in his ninth season in the NFL.

I predict this won’t be the blowout we saw last week.  The Cards historically play to the level of their competition.  Maybe this team is different but they’ll have to prove that Sunday and over the course of the next couple of weeks.  I still think they win since this game is at home.  I just don’t think Miami has the fire power to win against this defense.  Of course I thought the same thing of the Cards two weeks ago against the New England Patriots.  Anything can happen.  I will take the Cardinals 26-14.

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