The surprising Arizona Cardinals host the Miami Dolphins in Week 4 NFL action on Sunday, September 30th. This is a rare meeting between these teams as they have only played twice since the turn of the century. The Cardinals won both matchups, including a 31-10 home victory in their most recent meeting in 2008. Larry Fitzgerald caught six balls for 153 yards in the win.
Oddsmakers have installed a line of Arizona -5.5 over Miami and a total set of 39 points.
The Cardinals have been the surprise of the league this far. They are one of only three teams to open the season 3-0. What makes their start so impressive is the fact that they have beaten the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles, which are three really good football teams. They even knocked off New England on the road in Week 2.
Many thought that Arizona might let down after their win in New England, but that certainly wasn’t the case last week. It took care of business at home with a 27-6 victory over Philadelphia. This contest was essentially over by halftime as the Cardinals stormed out to a 24-0 lead thanks to a 93-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by James Sanders on the final play of the second quarter.
Arizona limited Philadelphia to just 307 total yards while forcing three turnovers. Kevin Kolb was efficient against his former team, completing 17 of 24 passes for 222 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Larry Fitzgerald caught nine balls for 114 yards and a touchdown, and Ryan Williams led the ground attack with 83 yards on 13 carries.
The Cardinals certainly haven’t been winning games because of their offense. They rank just 31st in the league in total offense (262.3 yards/game), but they’re not turning the ball over, which has been huge. The stop unit ranks 10th in the league in total defense (316.0 yards/game), including 2nd in scoring defense (13.3 points/game).
After getting blown out by the Houston Texans in their opener, the Dolphins bounced back with a 35-13 home victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. Miami looked like the better team against New York for the majority of the game in Week 3, but it ended up losing 20-23 in overtime.
Dan Carpenter was the goat in this one, missing a 47-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, while also missing a potential game-winning 48-yard attempt in overtime. After his second miss, the Jets drove down the field and set up Nick Folk’s game-winning 33-yard field goal in the extra session.
More bad news for the Dolphins came when Reggie Bush left the game with a knee injury after he had rushed for 61 yards on 10 carries. Daniel Thomas took his place, rushing 19 times for 61 yards and a score. Ryan Tannehill had a game he’d like to forget, completing just 16 of 36 passes for 196 yards with an interception. It’s uncertain whether Bush will be available Sunday as he tries to recover in time for this contest.
Miami was expected to be down this season offensively, but that really hasn’t been the case. It ranks 12th in the league in total offense at 369.3 yards/game. It’s strength coming into the season was supposed to be on the other side of the ball, but that also hasn’t been the case. The Dolphins rank 22nd in total defense (373.7 yards/game) through the first three weeks.
The Dolphins are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record. The Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
The Under is 22-8 in Dolphins last 30 road games. The Over is 20-8 in Cardinals last 28 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
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