Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/29/12

The Arizona Cardinals have an excellent chance to move to 4-0 on the season when they welcome the Miami Dolphins to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Sunday. Let's take a look at how these two teams match up:

Miami (1-2)

The Dolphins enter Sunday's game off a very tough 23-20 overtime loss to the Jets. It looks like star running back Reggie Bush will probably play – he missed half of the Jets game with a left knee injury but returned to practice on Thursday. Bush's presence is doubly important because he can help set up play action for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Texas A& M product has struggled so far, tossing one touchdown pass along with four interceptions. He'll be facing one of the best defenses in the NFL these days in the Cardinals, who have allowed a league-best two touchdowns through the air. Arizona has allowed just 13.3 PPG (second in the NFL), rank second in sacks (12), and are tied for second in the league in forced fumbles (five). Quite a tough matchup indeed for Tannehill. Brian Hartline and Devon Bess are his top receivers these days. Do you think the Fish miss Brandon Marshall? They sure do.

Bush could find the going tough as well because he'll be facing a Red Birds defensive unit that has not allowed a rushing TD this season. On the positive side, he is averaging over six yards per carry after his break-thru season as an every down back in 2011. He'll need to be in top form to give Miami a real strong chance of winning.

Arizona (3-0)

This is Ryan Williams' chance to really shine. Beanie Wells was placed on the IR/Restricted Return List earlier this week with turf toe - he cannot return until Week 12 at the earliest – so the Virginia Tech product will be the main man in Arizona's backfield for quite a while now. He got off to a great start last week against the Eagles, rushing for 83 yards on just 13 carries. He ran with speed and power – you can see why the Cardinals brass drafted him so highly last year. He'll be facing a tough test though – the Dolphins rank third in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 66 yards a game.

Enter Kevin Kolb. Since taking over for the injured John Skelton late in Game One, Kolb has been terrific. He has not thrown an interception yet and is coming off a 17-24, 222-yard, two touchdown pass performance against Philadelphia last Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald was the beneficiary of most of those targets last week – the All-Pro wide receiver was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week with nine catches, 114 yards receiving and a TD. He'll be facing a porous Miami secondary – they allow 307 yards a game via the air, the fourth worst mark in the league. Look for Kolb and Fitzgerald to have big games here.

Look for the Cardinals to put sustained pressure on Tannehill, forcing him into mistakes. Ray Horton's aggressive 3-4 defense is primed for a matchup like this.

Prediction: This is a real tough spot for the Dolphins. The Cardinals are looking for their eighth straight home win and 11th victory in their last 13 games overall. Bush needs to play to give Miami any chance - even if he does it will not be enough. Arizona is red hot and Kolb, Fitzgerald and their defense and special teams are playing at a very high level. The Red Birds soar to 4-0 with an impressive triumph. Cardinals 31, Dolphins 16.  



Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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