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Miami @ Cardinals 2020 Preview

Setting the Stage
Rams surprisingly are 4 & 3 and own second place in the very competitive AFC East. They made a gutsy (and somewhat controversial) move last week when they elevated rookie QBOF Tua Tagovailoa to starter when the Dolphs were 3 & 3.

Sunday's surprise win over the Rams have crowned them one of the AFC's " teams to watch" and the latest in a series of "media darlings." Tua is talented, but he's also a rookie. The combination of Miami's defense and Tua's natural skills were enough to take apart the Rams. Will it be enough to assure success throughout the balance of the season?

The 5 & 2 Cards are coming off a Bye week and, before that, an upset win over Seattle.

What we don't know about the Cardinals is whether they have the juice to remain competitive against the very talented teams on their second half schedule and whether they can stay consistent throughout the balance of the year.


Most Recent Seattle Game
Last Sunday, marked the debut of standout rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa in a 28 - 17 win over the Rams. Reports were along the general lines of "Tua performed well-enough as a rookie, but it was the defense that won the game for the Dolphs."

Miami posted all of its 28 points during the first half. Two of its TDs came as the result of long "home run" plays on a fumble recovdery and punt return

1st Quarter

LA 3:47 Robert Woods 4 run (Kai Forbath Kick) Rams 7 - Miami 0

Mia 15:00 DeVante Parker 3 pass from Tua Tagovailoa (Jason Sanders Kick) Rams 7 - Miami 7

2nd Quarter

Mia 4:59 Andrew Van Ginkel 78 fumble return (Jason Sanders Kick) Miami 14 - Rams 7

Mia 6:16 Jakeem Grant 88 punt return (Jason Sanders Kick) Miami 21 - Rams 7

Mia 12:13 Myles Gaskin 1 run (Jason Sanders Kick) Miami 28 - Rams 7

LA 14:49 FG Kai Forbath 23 Miami 28 - Rams 10

3rd Quarter

No Scoring

4th Quarter

LA 5:02 Robert Woods 11 pass from Jared Goff (Kai Forbath Kick) Miami 28 - Rams 17

 

Final Score - Miami 28 - Rams 17


Miami Offense

Quarterbacks
QB ...01 Tagovaiola...14 Fitzpatrick

Running Backs
RB...37 Gaskin...22 Breida...34 J Howard...32 Laird...26 Ahmed
FB...27 Cox

Wide Receivers
WR... 18 P Willims..19 Grant Sr...10 Perry...15 Bowden
WR...11 Parker...84 Ford...86 Hollins

Tight Ends
TE...81 Smythe...88 Gesicki...80 Shaheen

Offensive Line
LT...77 J Davis...70 Davenport
LG..75 .E Flowers
OC..67 Karras...63 Deiter
RG...66 Kindley...78 Pankey

RT...68 Hunt

Miami Defense

Defensive Line
DE.
...94 Wilkins...92 Sieler
NT ...98 R Davis
DE....91 Ogbah...58 Strowbridge

Linebackers
LB...90Lawson...43 Van Ginkel
LB...44 Roberts...48 Munson
LB...55 J Baker...51 Grugier-Hill
LB...53 Van Noy...49 Eguavoen

Secondary
LCB...24 By Jones...40 Needham
RCB...25 X Howard...23 Igbinoghene...33 J Perry
SS...21 Rowe...42 Fejedelem
FS....28 McCain...35 Frazier...29 Br Jones

Special Teams
P......02 Haack
K.....07 J Sanders
LS..50 .Ferguson
H ....02 Haack

PR ...19 Grant Sr
KR ...19 Grant Sr

Statistics

Stat..............................Miami....Opponents........Cards........Opponents

1st Downs......................144..................133...................181..............170

Offensive Yds...............2271...............2632.................2934............2649

Rushing Yards...............686.................876...................1125...........918

Rush Yds Per Play........3.6...................4.9.....................5.2............4..7

Passing Yds................1585..................1756................1809...........1731

Pass Yds Per Play......7.4....................7.1.......................7.3............6.9

Intercepted................7..........................7...........................7................6

Sacks...........................19.....................11.........................19.............9

TDs...............................20....................17.......................25..............16

Turnover Ratio.............+4...............................................+1...............

Time of Possession.....30:19...........29:40....................29:09........32:14

Player Stats

Passing

Murray 169 of 253 for 1847 yds, 66.8% 13 TDs, 7INT, 9 sacks...93.8 Rating

Tagovailoa 14 of 24 for 102 yds 58.3% TD 0 INT Sacked 1 Times 82.3Rating

Rushing

Murray 65 for 437 6.7 YPA 7 TDs

Drake 119 for 512...4.3 YPA...4 TDs

Gaskin 100 for 387...Brieda 17 for 128

Receiving

Hopkins 57 for 704, 3 TDs

Fitzgerald 29 for 2070 TD

Edmonds 26 for 222 2 TDs

Kirk 18 for 277 5 TDs

Parker 30 for 367 3 TDs

Gaskin3- for 198 0 TDs

Gesicki 19 for 289 2 TDs

Tackles -

Hicks 59

Campbell 57

Baker 59

Murphy 24

Baker 59

Rowe 38

Needham 32

Van Noy 28

Sacks

Reddick 5

Peters, Phillips, Kennard and Baker 2 ea

Ogbah 6

Van Ginkel 2.5

Baker, Van Noy, Lawson 2 apiece

Interceptions

Baker and Peterson 2 ea

Howard 4 (3 others 1 apiece)

Cardinals Depth Chart

Quarterbacks
01 Murray, 15 Streveler, 07 Hundley

Running Back
41 Drake, 29 Edmonds, 38 Ward 26 Benjamin

Wide Receivers
WR - 11 Fitzgerald...17 Isabella
WR - 13 Kirk....19 KS Johnson
WR - 10 Hopkins 16 Sherfield

Tight Ends
TE - 82 Arnold 81 Daniels 80 J Thomas


Offensive Line
LT- ...74 Humphries ....66 Miles
LG - 67 Pugh 73 Garcia
OC- 52 Cole 65 Galliard
RG- 64 Murray
RT - 68 Beachum...79 J Jones

Defensive Interior Line
DT - 95 Fotu, xx Mauro
NT - 98 Peters
DT - 97 Phillips 92 Blackson

Linebackers
OLB - 43 Reddick...49 Fitts
ILB - ..59 Campbell 48 Simmons 47 Z Turner
ILB - 58 Hicks 51 Vallejo
OLB - 42 Kennard 45 Gardeck

Defensive Backs
CB - 21 P Peterson...27 K Peterson
CB - 20 Kirkpatrick 33 Murphy Jr
S - 38 Banjo...28 C Washington
S - 32 Baker...35 D Thompson .
40 Tillman*

Cardinals Special Teams
P - ...02 Lee
K- ....05 Gonzalez
H - ...02 Lee
LS - 46 Brewer
KR -29 Edmonds
PR - 17 Isabella


Matchup: Miami Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
Tagovailoa made his rookie debut last Sunday, didn't make any huge mistakes and threw for his first TD. His key receivers were Parker, their RB (Gaskin) and their TE (Gesicki). Highest # of receptions topped out at 30. If Tua's first outing is any indicator, look for Miami to keep things short and conservative and let the defense win it for the Dolphs.

With C Jones out for the year, look to Vance Joseph to spread blitzing responsiblity around to B Baker, Reddick, Gardeck and (if he's activated in time) Golden.

Key Matchups - P Peterson vs. Parker Baker vs Gesicki...Gaskin vs. Gardeck


Matchup: Miami Rushing Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
Gaskin and Breida are the two leading Miami rushers. Neither has set the world on fire, but we seem to recall Brieda being a handful for the Cardinals when he played for the Niners. (probable Miami rushing success would be a function of its OL blocking.

Key Matchups
Gaskin or Breida vs. Campbell and Gardeck


Matchup: Cardinal Passing Attack vs. Miami Pass Defense
No surprises here - D-Hop has been everything expected and more. How big a factor Fitz will be varies from game to game depending on how much attention opposing defenses devotes to the Cardinal elder statesman. Kirk's receiving responsibility has increased steadily as the season progresses. The three starting WRs are as solid a unit as you'll find in the NFL. Greater expectations for Arnold, but ans are waiting for a breakout game from the Cardinal TE. Suprise cog in the Cardinal passing machine has been Chase Edmonds (short passes/YAC yardage).

Other than X Howard, othing stands our in the Miami secondary, but - at 4 & 3 in a tough division, they must be doing something right.

Key Matchups:
Hopkins vs. Howard... Kirk vs. By Jones..Edmonds vs. Rowe. Ogbah vs. Humphrey


Matchup: Cardinal Running Attack vs. Miami Run Defense
Watching Drake's and Edmonds divvy up the playing time has been interesting. It appears to us that Drake is being used more in short-yardage/between the tackles situations with Ednmonds being used more as a screen, misdirection and perimeter factor.

(Note - where to put Murray - When he takes off and runs on a a passing play...is it a pass play or a run play)?

Key Matchups
Drake vs...R Davis...Edmonds vs. Wilkins....Murray vs. VanNoy

Matchup Miami Special Teams vs. Cardinal Special Teams
Don't know much about Hack or Sanders and assume
the Cards have the edge with Gonzalez and Lee. In the return game. Grant Sr. is used to return kicks and punts. Don't know much about him. Lee and Gonzalez have the edge in the kicking and punting game. Gonzalez is capable of booting long and accurate, but will occasionally break your heart with a make-able shank.

We are still waiting for Isabella and Edmonds to blossom in the return game.

Key Matchups
Edge to Gonzalez and Lee. Grant vs. Isabella and Edmonds a wash until proved otherwise.

Last Word
Miami comes into State Farm Stadium sporting a brand new QB superstar and a 4 & 3 record.
Fourteen of their 28 points came off long plays (a punt return and fumble recovery). Other than that, the Miami game plan appeared to play things close to the vest, keep mistakes to a mininum and win the game via the offensive and defensive "big play" route.

Seems to this writer that the key to winning this one will be thru effort, sound fundamentals and mistake-free football, with Murray being the difference-maker, judicially picking his spots.

 
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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 03/25/2013