The Miami Dolphins’s final non-AFC East opponent this season will be the Arizona Cardinals, who will head to Miami in Week 14. The Cardinals will be the fifth different 2015 Playoff team Miami faces in the 2016 season, joining the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Miami is 8-3 all time against the Cardinals, but those three losses have been the last three times the teams played. Arizona won the 2004 meeting in Miami 24-23, then won in Arizona in 2008 (31-10) and 2012 (24-21).
Over the past couple of weeks, we have worked our way through the Dolphins’ 2016 schedule, posting team previews from each club as we go. Below, you will see Miami’s schedule, as well as links to the previews already completed and a link to the team’s SB Nation blog site.
(Note: We would recommend going ahead and joining the team sites for each of Miami’s 13 opponents this year if you are not already a member of their site. This will prevent you from running into any waiting period those sites may have established for membership, allowing you to join in pre-game discussions with their fans.)
Week 8 - BYE
Week 14 - vs. Arizona Cardinals team preview - Revenge of the Birds
On to Week 14’s contest against Arizona. Thank you to Revenge of the Birds for taking the time to give us a closer look at the Cardinals.
Notable free agent additions: Evan Mathis (OG) and Tyvon Branch (SS)
Notable free agent departures: Bobby Massie (OT) and Jerraud Powers (CB)
Trades: Traded Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round pick for Chandler Jones
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
DT Robert Nkemdiche (1st Round) May not start in 2016, but is expected to be part of a much improved pass rush for the Cardinals
The rest of the class is promising down the line, but barring injury CB Brandon Williams (3rd round), C Evan Boehm (4th round), S Marqui Christian and OT Cole Toner (5th round) and CB Harlan Miller (6th round) will be special teams contributors and valuable depth.
Biggest offseason addition: Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche. The Cardinals defense biggest weakness was inability to rush the passer, they spent their first two 2016 draft picks addressing the issue. Jones is a proven nine sack a year player, Nkemdiche can be a dominant interior rusher early, it should improve the Cardinals biggest weakness.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: The growth of DJ Humphries at right tackle, how much does Evan Mathis have left in the tank at RG and can AQ Shipley man the center position for the year. The Arizona Cardinals have an offense loaded with talent, but the three question marks on the offensive line can throw a wrench in that plan.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: How does the new Arizona Cardinals secondary hold up? Justin Bethel is now cornerback two, Tyrann Mathieu may not be ready for game one so who assumes the role of free safety and nickel cornerback? The only guarantee for game one is Patrick Peterson, even Tony Jefferson is a battle for the starting job, everyone else is an unknown or returning from injury.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Tyrann Mathieu had a second ACL tear, will he be able to get back to being the most versatile defender in the NFL?