The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Dolphins at State Farm Stadium:
No. 1 With A Bullet
Kyler Murray was surprised when he was told this week the Cardinals were tops in the NFL in offense (measured by yards). But it explains a little bit how good this offense could be if it every got all its stuff together. There are still hiccups, but it feels like it is steadily improving, including back-to-back games of 38 and 37 points. The Cardinals will have to lean on Chase Edmonds with Kenyan Drake down, and they are going against the top scoring defense in the NFL in the Dolphins. But the offense needs to carry the day, given the missing pieces on the Cards' defense, and that should be expected. If the Cardinals can avoid the turnovers the Rams gifted the Dolphins last week, there is a chance to have another big day for the top-ranked offense in the league.
Taking On Tua
Tua Tagovailoa did not have gaudy stats last week — he didn't even throw for 100 yards — but he won, thanks to all the other facets of the game. Now Vance Joseph, who was able to confuse Russell Wilson in overtime, gets a chance to do the same to a rookie QB with hardly any experience. The Cardinals are down Devon Kennard and Byron Murphy, but they have guys like Budda Baker, Haason Reddick and newcomer Markus Golden to try and wreak some havoc. The Cards made it tough for the inexperienced Dwayne Haskins earlier this season and rookie Daniel Jones last year. Make Tua miserable, and the chances you win the game go way up.
Bye Bye, Bye
Time to embark on the post-bye portion of the schedule, a three-game stretch where the teams are a combined 16-6 and the Cardinals will quickly get to show if they can continue their pre-bye success. The next two are at home, against AFC East teams that must come cross country. The Bills, next week, are in first place. But the Dolphins, even with a 4-3 record, are a team the Cardinals must find a way to topple when playing at State Farm Stadium. The idea that the Cardinals would come out flat like they did in last year's post-bye loss to the Rams seems unlikely, not under the current conditions. But being competitive and winning the game can be separate things, and for the Cards to stay in the NFC West race, they need the two-fer.