The pressure is on for both teams as the Miami Dolphins play undefeated Arizona Cardinals at home. The Cardinals aim to be 4-0 and the Dolphins want to show they can be a competitive rival. Miami LB Karlos Dansby has made a bold statement that the young team he plays for now is better than the ’08 Arizona Super Bowl team led by Kurt Warner. He could be trying to cast a shadow of doubt on his former Cardinals or rally the Dolphins to team-winning confidence with his statement. Either way, Week 4 will tell the tale.
Both teams have growing to do and something to prove this season. The Dolphins have much to develop on their team behind QB Ryan Tannehill. There is a disconnect between Tannehill and his wide receivers with missed catch opportunities and dropped balls.
Arizona is second in the NFL defensively when you consider they are giving up an average of 13 points a game. The defense for Miami has only four sacks under their belt, but three of those are attributed to DT Randy Starks, a force to be reckoned with.
Miami will depend on generating a pass rush to stop QB Kevin Kolb from helping WR Larry Fitzgerald explode with another “Offensive Player of the Week” worthy performance. Although Miami RB Reggie Bush has expressed that he will play this week, he is officially listed as questionable with a knee injury and is another reason the Dolphins will be primarily playing a defensive game.
Other injuries may affect the chemistry on the field for the Cardinals, but this team is used to switching it up and have played good football despite the constant changes to their lineup. Safety Kerry Rhodes is back full force and although Adrian Wilson is listed as questionable, he will likely play Sunday. DT Darnell Dockett is listed as “doubtful,” along with RB Stephens-Howling and TE Todd Heap. RB Beanie Wells is out with turf toe and Arizona has re-signed Alfonso Smith as a result of this.
RB Ryan Williams will also take on more of the workload this game. After being jeered at by fans, Williams gained 83 yards against the Eagles and a mini pep talk from QB Kolb in the locker room. Kolb knows what it feels like to be in those shoes, and both players are more than ready to continue to prove themselves to the fans this week.
There are only three teams left undefeated in the NFL, and the Cardinals are clearly making their own statement, regardless of what Dansby has to say.