Week 9 Recap: Miami Dolphins vs. Arizona Cardinalsby Ethan Hewette November 9, 2020 1 comment
The Arizona Cardinals were the favorites against the Miami Dolphins coming off a huge win and a bye week. However, Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami offense took command early and never looked back. This was a high-scoring, electric matchup that featured two of the young stars of the NFL.
For the Cardinals, quarterback Kyler Murray did what he always does. The young phenom led his team in rushing yards with 106 and also a rushing touchdown. Not only that, but he also dished out three touchdown passes and totaled 283 passing yards. Running back Chase Edmonds ran for 70 yards on 25 carries. Meanwhile, wideout Christian Kirk hauled in five passes for 123 yards. However, a Murray fumble early ended up being the deciding factor as Miami’s defense took the fumble back for the game’s first score. This was the second straight week that Miami’s defense had scored six points. Despite the turnover, the Cardinals offense still put up 442 yards of offense, had 26 first downs, and went two for three in the red zone.
However, the work of Tua saved this game for Miami. The rookie threw for 248 yards, two touchdowns and completed 71 percent of his passes. In the first quarter, a touchdown run from Jordan Howard and a second-quarter touchdown pass from Tua saw Miami with a 24-17 lead at halftime. However, Tua tossed an absolute dime to Mack Hollins in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 31 a piece, which was set up by a dazzling 17-yard scramble that saw him evade a collapsing pocket and somehow manage to escape for the first down. DeVante Parker led the Dolphins with six receptions and 64 yards, while Preston Williams caught Tua’s first touchdown pass.
Miami then took a three-point lead when Jason Sanders nailed a 50-yard field goal with just over three minutes left in the game. Murray and the Cardinals started cooking as the second-year veteran hooked up with Kirk for a 35-yard gain. However, after the Cardinals failed to convert on 3rd and one, Zane Gonzalez came out to attempt a 49-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. Gonzalez was on target but came up just short, and Miami was able to run out the remaining 1:53 to escape with a win.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 8, 2020
Murray hooks up with Kirk for a 56-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
.@Tua said SEE YA
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 8, 2020
Tua dazzles with a 17-yard scramble.
First catch? It’s a TD. @mackhollins
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 9, 2020
Tua tosses a dime to Hollins to tie the game late.
Moving forward, the Cardinals can feel confident in their offense thanks to Murray’s dual-threat abilities. However, just one too many mistakes by the offense resulted in a loss due to the defense not making clutch stops late in the game. The Cardinals had a chance in Miami’s final drive but failed to stop them from converting on third down. While some of this is just luck, situational awareness from the defense will be critical moving forward.
For Miami, Tua is starting to show that he is the future of the franchise. After throwing a beautiful pass late in the game to tie it up and showing the wheels on an out-of-this-world scramble, Tua has silenced the doubters, at least for now. Defensively, it’s tough to slow down Murray, and the Dolphins certainly did not. They gave up over 400 yards of offense and 31 points. However, they made a huge play early in the game that ended up being a difference-maker.