Of the three remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals have to be considered the most unlikely. But all one has to do is take a look at the teams the Cardinals have beat this season—Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots—to understand Arizona is a legitimate contender.
Next up for the Cardinals is a home game against the 1-2 Dolphins where they are a 5.5-point favorites. The over/under in this likely defensive struggle is 39 points.
To that point, spurring the new dawn in Arizona has been an aggressive, athletic defense that has held sway over each of its opponents this season. Arizona’s defense was visually impressive in its win against the Eagles last week and the seasonal numbers back up the view. The Cardinals are No. 2 in the NFL picks in points allowed at 13.3 a game and its 12 sacks also rank second-best in the NFL.
Offensively, things haven’t been quite as good. Quarterback Kevin Kolb certainly provided a spark when beating his former team last week, going 17 of 24 for 222 yards with two touchdowns. With that said, the Cardinals come in ranked 31st in total offense and 29th in rushing yards in the NFL. There will need to be at least some improvement on that side, but that is always possible as long as All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald is lined up on the outside.
Arizona should also benefit this week with the addition of some key players that are returning from injury. Adrian Wilson, the Cardinals’ Pro Bowl safety, is expected to be in action as is Todd Heap, the former Pro Bowl tight end.
Despite all the good news, the Cardinals could be in serious danger of a letdown against the Dolphins following their sky-high start. Miami is 1-2 with a rookie quarterback. Arizona is not only 3-0 straight-up, but against the spread as well. It almost sounds too good for the NFL. The advice is to tread lightly if laying the 5.5 points.