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It’s officially Tua Time in South beach. The 5th overall pick out of Alabama got his career as a starter off to a winning start but he didn’t really have to do much to do it against a Rams team that couldn’t keep themselves in the game.
If he wants to add to that, he will likely have to show much more this week in the desert of Arizona. The 5-2 Cardinals are looking to keep the heat on Seattle at the top of the NFC North and won’t be in any mood to hand the Dolphins anything easy.
Money line: Dolphins 11/5 Cardinals 4/11
Points Spread: Cardinals -5.5
7/2 for Chase Edmonds to have 100+ Yards and a TD is a good bet. Likewise, DeVante Parker is 20/1 for a TD in each half.
With the change in Quarterback for the Dolphins comes uncertainty for the rest of the players in that offense. DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki in particular had established an understanding with Ryan Fitzmagic that helped them become solid fantasy options. They will have to build that all over again with Tua under center now.
The Fins would have been looking to establish a good run game to take the pressure off Tua but have been hit by injuries to both Matt Breida and Myles Gaskin. So, Jordan Howard may have a chance to make his way back in from the cold after being a healthy scratch for the last 3 games. He will be competing with Patrick Laird for game time. Howard is probably the safer call of the 2 as he carries more of a TD threat but it’s not ideal to be relying on either.
The prize fantasy asset in the Dolphins ranks has become the defense. Brian Flores has recreated the ‘bend, don’t break’ style defense he was involved with in New England and are 1st in the NFL for Points allowed per Game. The one Achilles heal they have shown thus far, however, has been containing mobile Quarterbacks. Josh Allen and Cam Newton both had big games against them, although both were way back in the 1st 3 weeks of the season. But Kyler Murray is a serious threat to expose that defense again.
Again, Kyler Murray is in a great position to have a big day. If he can avoid turnovers his dual threat ability should be a massive problem for the Dolphins.
Their receiving corps face a tough task, up against one of the best, if not the best, cornerback tandems in the NFL. But if anyone has the receivers to hit them for big numbers, it might just be the Arizona Cardinals. De’Andre Hopkins can be absolutely unplayable when on form. Christian Kirk and the legend that is Larry Fitzpatrick provide good running buddies.
With ex-Dolphin Kenyan Drake an injury absentee, the RB slot falls to Chase Edmonds. Don’t be surprised to see him take full advantage of this opportunity, he’s a very productive back.
I hate predicting Dolphins games. I generally taper my expectations of them, and the 25 years of mediocrity usually makes that a good decision. But damn it, Chris Grier and HC Brian Flores are getting my hopes dangerously high again. I believe the Cardinals are an emerging powerhouse, so much so that I stuck a €20 flyer on them to win the SuperBowl at the start of the year and everything tells me that they will have more than enough to see off the Dolphins. But on more than one occasion, I have been accused of being a bit mental. So, I’m going full biased.
Dolphins by 5