clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Cardinals at Miami Dolphins: Keys to the game

The keys to another Arizona Cardinals victory? Let’s take a look.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It's one of the biggest games of the season for the Arizona Cardinals and it happens to be an early, east coast start time, their achilles heel on the 2016 season.

Now, the Miami Dolphins stand in the way of the next step of the Arizona Cardinals quest for a potential playoff berth.

Here are the keys to the game.

Stop Jay Ajayi

This seems simple, but Ajayi has been one of the best running backs in the NFL since he took over full time duties.

The knock on Ajayi, if there is one, is that he runs TO contact instead of away from it. Which could mean he could have a short shelf life. Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals that shelf life won't be tomorrow.

It's gonna be big for the Arizona Cardinals to control the tempo of the game to insure that Ajayi is not to much of a factor tomorrow. In fact…

Control the tempo of the game

That means the Arizona Cardinals need to get up early, lean on David Johnson and keep the ball out of Jay Ajayi's hands.

Ask Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins passing game to beat you and you’ll be in a better spot for it.

Protect Carson Palmer

The Dolphins have a ferocious pass rush when they are on, the issue often is they are not on.

The Cardinals need to make sure that in this game, they are not on.

Controlling Cameron Wake and Ndamokung Suh is easier said than done, but if you can control the tempo, you can put the Dolphins pass rush in check.

Don't let it come down to specials

Simply put, don't allow the weakest part of the 2016 version of the Arizona Cardinals to dictate the outcome of this game, because anytime this season the Cardinals have let the game come down to specials, things have gone off the rails.