The Miami Dolphins head into their second game with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback with plenty of questions needed to be answered on offense as they face the Arizona Cardinals.
Our 305 Sports Dolphins team gave their prediction on if the Dolphins can earn a road-victory in Arizona.
Jamie Bahamas, Dolphins Lead Writer (Season Record: 4-3)
30-17 Miami: I have concluded that I am not qualified to make picks for Dolphins games this year. Every week this year, I’ve looked at the team’s at first glance and say that I am going to pick against Miami. Then I do research on both teams and convince myself that the Dolphins will be victorious. That is because deep down I am a fan and a little bit biased.
The trend continues this week. Arizona has the third rank rushing offense mainly led by their quarterback (flashbacks to Cam Newton and Josh Allen). As good as Miami’s defense has been, they have surrendered a lot of yards on the ground. Nevertheless, I am ignoring this nuance. Miami has had time to work on improving their run defense since the first two weeks of the season. Kyler Murray is a young quarterback and is susceptible to being confused by Miami’s stellar pass defense.
I also think the Tua led offense will show some fireworks this week. Miami wins this game and continues on the path of being this year’s Cinderella story.
Michael Yero, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 6-1)
24-17 Miami: Unlike the Dolphins’ defensive led win over the Rams, I see a collection of production from Miami’s tight end duo of Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen making Tagovailoa’s second starting nod much easier. Such usage is bound to bring leeway to the offense, even without Myles Gaskin on the field.
Anthony Yero, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 6-1)
27-20 Arizona: The Dolphins are in for a challenge as Murray leads all NFL players with 6.7 yards per carry and is third with seven rushing touchdowns this season. On the other hand, Miami’s run defense is the fifth-worst in the league.
The Dolphins’ three losses all came to mobile quarterbacks — Newton, Allen and Russell Wilson — and we’ll need to see a drastic change to the run defense for Murray not to light them up.
Scott Cusick, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 4-3)
30-20 Arizona: Tua and company face a tough defense. One that held the Seahawks somewhat in check. A defense that likes to blitz almost 40% of its defensive snaps. Another game that seems Miami is capable of winning but not with less than 100 yards passing. Miami’s young QB has another big challenge ahead of him as does the offensive line.
With new bigger rolls in the running game for Howard, plus Miami traveling to the West Coast, this could make for a long day for the Dolphins. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see the magic on defense and special teams carrying this team to victory again.
Kyle Murphy, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 6-1)
24-21 Arizona: If the Dolphins want another victory courtesy of a dominant defensive performance, it will come down to two key factors: bringing down Murray for sacks and whether or not Xavien Howard and Byron Jones can contain DeAndre Hopkins, which they haven’t been able to do in the past. Hopkins and Jones played in 2018, when Hopkins was a Texan and Jones was a Cowboy. Hopkins went off for nine catches and 151 yards. When Howard matched-up with Hopkins, he had six catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Dolphins are down two running backs with Matt Breida and Myles Gaskin out, leaving Jordan Howard as the biggest name in the Dolphins running back room. This will force Chan Galiey to trust Tagovailoa more.
The defense should keep it close, but even with Dolphins stifling the Rams last week, I still find it difficult to see the defense stopping Murray more times than the Cardinals defense stops the Dolphins’.