NFL Football

34
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 14 10 0 10 34
Arizona 7 10 14 0 31
31
1:25 PM PT2:25 PM MT3:25 PM CT4:25 PM ET21:25 GMT5:25 2:25 PM MST4:25 PM EST3:25 PM CT1:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25 , November 8, 2020
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona  Attendance: 4,200

Dolphins-Cardinals Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals

  1. The Dolphins defeated the Cardinals, 26-23, at home in 2016, the most recent meeting between these teams. Arizona's loss snapped its three-game win streak in the series which was preceded by an eight-game Miami win streak in the first eight meetings between the teams.
  2. The Dolphins defeated the Rams, 28-17, in Miami last Sunday despite being outgained by 326 total net yards. Miami has the best scoring defense in the NFL through Week 8 (18.6 points allowed per game) after finishing dead last in 2019 (30.9). This is the most weeks into a season that a team has led the league in scoring defense after finishing last the season before since Washington in 1954-55 (Week 10).
  3. The Cardinals moved to 5-2 with a 37-34 overtime win over the Seahawks in Week 7 before a bye week. Arizona leads the NFL in total net yards per game (419.1) and its 2934 net yards of total offense is the most through seven games of season by the franchise since the NFL merger (1970).
  4. Kyler Murray threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns against Seattle and rushed for another score, his seventh rushing TD of the season. The only other quarterback in the Super Bowl era to rush for seven TDs in their first seven games of season was Cam Newton in 2011 (7). No QB in that span has had eight rushing TDs in their first eight games of a season -- Newton has six rushing TDs in six games in 2020.
  5. Tua Tagovailoa won his first career start, becoming the second Miami rookie quarterback to do so (David Woodley won first two starts in 1980). Tagovailoa finished second in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting to Kyler Murray. QBs who finished first and second in the same Heisman year have started against each other in the NFL seven times before with the Heisman winner winning the last five such matchups.
  6. The Dolphins and Cardinals have each won their past three games with average scoring margins of +20.4 and +17.0, respectively. From Week 5 to Week 8 -- both teams had their bye week in that span -- those are the two highest average scoring margins in the NFL.
Team Comparison

Miami
 
Arizona
26.9 Points 29.0
233.9 Pass Yds 263.9
98.0 Rush Yds 160.7
13 Takeaways 10
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Quarterback Kyler Murray had a perplexed look on his face after he was informed that Arizona's offense was averaging the most total yards in the NFL.

"Is that real?" he asked a team spokesman.

Yes, Kyler, it's real. It's also real that the Miami Dolphins are giving up the fewest points per game in the NFL. Now the two surprising teams meet in the desert on Sunday while harboring legitimate playoff aspirations as the season nears the halfway point.

The Cardinals (5-2) are averaging nearly 420 yards per game largely thanks to the quick improvement of Murray, who has thrown 13 touchdowns passes and run for seven more scores in a strong half-season. But the 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick said early November is no time to celebrate his team's offensive production despite the winning streak.

"I guess that means we're doing something good," Murray said. "This being Week 9, we've got a lot of work to do."

The Dolphins (4-3) are on a roll mostly because of great defense. Miami has given up just 11.3 points per game during its three-game winning streak. Now the Dolphins get one of their toughest tests.

"We've just got to keep stacking good days, try to keep getting better every week," Miami defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said. "We're playing together, we love each other, we want each other to do well."

GOLD STANDARD

Linebacker Markus Golden will be playing his first game with the Cardinals are being acquired from the Giants in a trade last week. It's a homecoming for Golden, who played his first four seasons in Arizona from 2015-18.

"This is the home team," Golden said. "Even when I was away I was rooting for the Cardinals to do good just because in my heart I'll always be a Cardinal. So you're getting everything out of me, I'm coming back and bringing the energy and doing whatever I can do to help this team win."

Golden was needed after 2019 All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones was lost for the season because of a biceps injury. Arizona will also be without LB Devon Kennard, put on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week.

MURRAY VS. TUA

Murray and Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be facing each other for the first time as pros. The two players met once in college: Tagovailoa led Alabama over Murray's Oklahoma Sooners 45-34 in the College Football Playoff semifinals in 2018. They finished 1-2 in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting, with Murray getting the award.

This will be Tagovailoa's second career start. He replaced veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick after the team's bye week and helped guide the Dolphins over the Los Angeles Rams 28-17 last weekend.

CHASING CHASE

Arizona running back Chase Edmonds is likely to get most of the carries in the backfield because starter Kenyan Drake is battling an ankle injury. Edmonds is a versatile back who has been valuable in the run and pass game this season. He's averaging 6.1 yards per carry and is fourth on the team with 222 yards receiving.

He had a big role in the Cardinals' 37-34 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago, finishing with 58 yards rushing on just five carries and seven receptions for 87 yards.

"I'm going to be ready to answer the bell whatever it is, whatever my role is," Edmonds said.

COACHING TUA

Dolphins quarterbacks coach Robby Brown says Tagovailoa's relaxed manner makes him easy to work with, such as when the rookie's first NFL start last week against the Rams got off to a rocky start.

The first time Tagovailoa tried to throw, he fumbled and was then body-slammed to the turf by 305-pound Michael Brockers.

Brown's reaction?

"My initial reaction is, let's get over to the sideline and let's sit down," Brown said. "I never want to overreact. I mean, everyone knows -- my 4-year old could look at it and say, `Ooo, that's not good.'

"So you don't say that. You sit down. `Hey, what did you see?' And Tua tells you what he saw, and he saw it well. He knew what he saw, he knew what happened, so then you move on."

Tagovailoa threw for only 93 yards but did throw his first career touchdown pass as Miami won.

BREAKAWAY THREAT

Jakeem Grant's 88-yard punt return last week was his fifth career return for a TD, and his third punt return for a score, both franchise records.

"That's just one stepping stone of Mount Everest, and the season is not over, and I can still continue to break that record, and that's my goal," Grant said. "I'm going to continue to try to break it each and every game."

A fifth-year pro, Grant leads the NFL with 227 yards returning punts, one shy of his career high. He played in college at Texas Tech when current Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury was leading the Red Raiders.

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AP Sports Writer Steve Wine contributed to this story.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated November 5, 2020

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