There are a number of similarities between the 2021 Arizona Cardinals and the roster that the Miami Dolphins have been building this offseason.
After the Miami Dolphins recently pulled off the latest crazy 2022 offseason trade that blew people’s minds, the Arizona Cardinals have a lot of lessons to teach them. First off, let’s compare how these teams are similar.
Both the Cardinals and Dolphins have a franchise quarterback they drafted in Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa, both teams recently traded for star wide receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill, Miami is very optimistic about what their offense can do in 2022 just as Arizona felt heading into the 2021 season, and both teams had defenses that performed near the same level last year.
The ways that are these two teams are different is in the offensive line (since they acquired Terron Armstead, the Dolphins’ current group is expected to be slightly better than Arizona’s was in 2021) and the fact that Mike McDaniel is in his rookie year as Miami’s head coach.
Lessons the Miami Dolphins can learn from the 2021 Arizona Cardinals
Lesson No. 1:
- Develop the run game
Even after former Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds joined the Dolphins this offseason, Miami’s rushing attack doesn’t seem like will improve much in 2022.
The Dolphins’ offensive line is going to have to do a great job at opening up holes as an offense becoming one-dimensional can only be escaped by one quarterback for so long (just ask Kyler Murray).
Lesson No. 2:
- Don’t overthink easy coaching decisions
Kliff Kingsbury has made Arizona a mockery when it comes to easy decisions. Most Cardinals fans will never forget the last time they faced Miami in 2020 when Kingsbury went for it on fourth down early in the game, only to try a 49-yard field goal instead later in the fourth quarter. That decision cost Arizona the game as Zane Gonzalez missed the kick.
There is also the debacle from the Cardinals’ 2021 matchup against the Detroit Lions where Kingsbury refused to run the ball on a short goal-to-go situation. As a result, they failed to convert, and Arizona got embarrassed by Dan Campbell’s Lions.
Lesson No. 3:
- Don’t forget to throw the ball to the guy you traded for
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in 2021 didn’t perform anywhere close to the level he played at in 2020. Of course, Hopkins got hurt and missed time, but Murray didn’t throw the ball to his top receiver enough when he was on the field anyways.
Murray never forced the ball to one of the best-contested catchers in the league and it cost Arizona wins during the 2021 season.
Tyreek Hill isn’t a guy whose vertical and reach is that of Hopkins. But the point still remains that Hill needs to have 100-plus targets next season.
If Miami can do all of this and stay relatively healthy, then they will have more success than Arizona did in 2021. They just need to know how similar these situations are.