Big Red Blog: Cards ripe for an upset?

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For the first time this season, the Cardinals will head into a Sunday afternoon as a favorite. Are they ripe for an upset following three straight emotional wins?


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Ripe for an upset?

Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Friday, September 28 - 9:00 AM


For the first time this season, the Cardinals will head into a Sunday afternoon as a favorite. This week, the Dolphins will assume the underdog role as they head to the desert looking pull the upset card.

On paper this may look like an easy game for Arizona but coming off three consecutive emotional wins puts the team in a tough spot. A letdown will certainly be possible against a 1-2 Miami squad, something that the Cardinals will have to overcome in order to improve to 4-0.

Although they have a new head coach and a rookie quarterback, the Dolphins have gotten off to a respectable start. Yes, they suffered a 30-10 defeat in Houston but the Texans are considered to be one the top teams in the NFL this year. Furthermore, had kicker Dan Carpenter hit a 48-yard field goal in overtime a week ago, Miami would enter this game with a winning record.

An area where the Dolphins have excelled this year is the running game – on both sides of the ball. Miami currently ranks fourth in rushing yards per game (176) and third in rushing yards allowed per game (66). While Reggie Bush may miss Sunday's tussle – or at least be limited – the Dolphins still have Daniel Thomas and a host of other capable running backs.

Coincidently, the running game is an area where the Cardinals have struggled.

Arizona ranks 26th in the NFL averaging only 81 yards per game while they rank 18th defensively allowing 106 yards per game. Things won't be any easier this week as Beanie Wells was placed on IR and is out indefinitely. The majority of the load will fall on Ryan Williams – who will have the same lackluster offensive line in front of him.

If Miami can win in the trenches – as it has done so far this year – they should be able to make a game of it.

The Cardinals are due for a letdown here and an upset is a real possibility. However, look for special teams or the defense to do just enough to sneak by with a closer than expected victory.

Prediction: Arizona 23 Miami 21


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Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com



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Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com



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