Week 9 Preview: Miami Dolphins vs. Arizona Cardinalsby Ethan Hewette November 8, 2020 1 comment
The now 4-3 Miami Dolphins are headed out west to the desert to take on the 5-2 Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins are coming off an impressive Week 8 win against the Los Angeles Rams. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are coming off a bye week and are also currently on an impressive three-game win streak. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is making his second career start this week and will hope to show why the Dolphins took him with the fifth-overall pick.
The Dolphins have quietly been having quite the season. Head coach Brian Flores has built a strong defense in the Sunshine State, and his defense currently has allowed the fewest points in the NFL. Cornerback Xavien Howard is looking like the Pro Bowl cornerback that everyone thought he would be. He now leads the team in interceptions with four, along with eight passes defended. However, one of the more intriguing matchups to watch in this one will be Howard vs. DeAndre Hopkins. This is the second time these two players will have met, and both have been on fire this season. However, the Dolphins are going to have to get more consistent pressure on Kyler Murray if they want any chance of winning this football game.
Offensively, the Dolphins haven’t had much success as of late. Tagovailoa made his first career start last week and tossed one touchdown pass, but the Dolphins had just 145 total yards of offense. Unfortunately for the rookie quarterback, he has lost nearly his entire backfield for this week. The Dolphins placed Myles Gaskin on Injured Reserve, and they officially declared Matt Breida out for the Arizona game. Gaskin currently leads the team in rushing yards with 387. However, the run game was already problematic enough for Miami, and they shouldn’t be holding out hope that Jordan Howard comes in and brings new life.
The offense will have to rely on Tua to find connections with wideouts DeVante Parker and Preston Williams and tight end Mike Gesicki. Arizona’s defense has been rather hit or miss this season. But, in recent weeks with the return of Budda Baker and the potential emergence of Isaiah Simmons, this will be a tough matchup for Miami.
For Arizona, the offense has been lights out in the previous three games. Before their bye week, the Cardinals took part in the game of the year on Sunday night, beating the Seattle Seahawks 37-34 in overtime in Week 7. Murray has accounted for nine total touchdowns the last three weeks and 20 total on the year. Hopkins has been the go-to target hauling in a league-high 57 receptions and 704 receiving yards. Miami’s defense will be put to the test this weekend in slowing down that combo along with the run game potential of Murray as well. Not to mention future Hall of Fame wideout Larry Fitzgerald and third-year wideout Christian Kirk.
Date: November 8th, 2020
Start time: 1:25 P.M. PST
Location: Glendale, AZ
Stadium: State Farm Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: MIA +5.5 (-110) | ARZ -5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: MIA +205 | ARZ -255
Over/Under: O 49 (-110)｜U 49 (-110)
Some might believe this game will be a blowout. However, that is not going to be the case, but Miami’s offense hasn’t shown much life lately. It will likely struggle against a talented Cardinals defense. Take Arizona -5.5 on the safe bet that they win by at least a touchdown in this one.
As mentioned, Miami isn’t going to be putting up a lot of points in this game. However, given the Dolphins’ defensive performance as of late, Arizona won’t be posting a massive number either. Therefore, bettors should sway heavily to the under in this one as the Cardinals defense will stifle Miami’s offense.
Arizona will come out the gates firing in this one. Murray finds Hopkins in the endzone in the first quarter and adds on a rushing touchdown before the Dolphins can even put up a point. However, they close the gap with a touchdown pass from Tua to end the first half. However, Murray continues to confuse Miami’s defense. He adds two more scores in the second half while Miami scrapes together another 10 points to finish the game. Arizona wins this one by a somewhat comfortable margin.
Final Score: Miami 17, Arizona 28