On Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins will face one another for the first time since the Cardinals beat Miami 31-10 all the way back in 2008. Kurt Warner threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns and both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin both amassed over 140 yards receiving. Of course, that was the Super Bowl year and Miami had both Chad Pennington and Chad Henne at quarterback.
This time around, Arizona is 3-0 and Miami is 1-2. But Miami is very good at two things -- running the football and defending the run. At over 175 yards per game, Miami's rushing attack ranks fourth in the NFL, led by running back Reggie Bush. They stop the run well. They are third in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up less than 65 yards per game.
Arizona's overall defense, though, is superior. It is ranked 10th overall. What does Miami in is their pass defense, which ranks 29th in the league. This could and should bode well for Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts.
Offensively, both teams are very similar overall. In three games, Arizona has scored 67 points to Miami's 65. Miami has scored eight touchdowns to Arizona's seven, but the Dolphins only have one passing touchdown, and they have been intercepted four times.
Both teams do not control the ball more than their opponents. Arizona averages 29:46 per game in time of possession and Miami 29:42.
Arizona has three players on the roster that were once Miami Dolphins. Kicker Jay Feely played there in 2007. Defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday was there from 2005-2008. Linebacker Jamaal Westerman was cut by the Dolphins this preseason.
Two current Dolphins were Cardinals before. Linebacker Karlos Dansby is the most notable. He was part of the Super Bowl team before signing with Miami as a free agent. Cornerback Richard Marshall played for Arizona last season.
Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson was raised just north of Miami. Four other players played college in Florida.
What do you expect from this game? Chances are it will be a close one. Besides last week's win over the Eagles, Arizona has not won a game by more than six points since the 2011 season opener and more than seven points since the end of the 2010 season.
Join us in our game thread later today to follow along.