SERIES HISTORY: 12th regular-season meeting. The Dolphins hold an 8-3 edge in the all-time series, although the Cardinals have won the last three matchups. Three of the last four games have been decided by three points or fewer. This is the Cardinals' first visit to Miami since 2004. In that game, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald finished with five catches for 92 yards to begin his active streak of catching at least one pass in 191 consecutive games, which ranks third on the all-time list. Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass in that game with 19 seconds remaining to secure a 24-23, come-from-behind victory. The All-Pro wideout is the only player on either roster that played in that game.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Miami had its six-game win streak snapped with a 38-6 loss at Baltimore last week. The 32-point losing margin was the Dolphins' largest since 2012 (Titans, 37-3), while the Ravens' 38 points, 496 total yards, and 386 net passing yards were all season highs for a Miami opponent.
Arizona moved within a game of .500 (5-6-1) with a 31-23 home victory over the Redskins on Sunday. While the Cardinals are unbeaten in their last four home games (3-0-1), they are 0-3 in their last three road contests, and just 1-4 on the road for the season. Arizona was 7-1 in road games in 2015.
The Cardinals had 11 players listed on their injury report on Wednesday, although three of them -- quarterback Carson Palmer, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker -- were each given a veteran's day off to rest and were not injury related.
Missing practice due to injuries were receiver John Brown (illness), linebacker Markus Golden (hamstring), safety Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder), who was ruled out Friday, and cornerback Tharold Simon (ankle). Listed as limited were cornerback Justin Bethel (foot/knee), defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (elbow), defensive tackle Corey Peters (foot) and cornerback Patrick Peterson (knee).
In a game where both teams like to control things with a running game, this is not a good matchup for Miami. Arizona is No. 3 in time of possession (31:37) while the Dolphins are 28th; Cardinals running back David Johnson is No. 3 in rushing at 1,005 yards while the Dolphins are 30th in run defense at 130.3; Arizona is No. 2 in total defense while the Dolphins are 25th in offense.
The Cardinals do not take chances when an opponent has a stud receiver who constantly makes big plays, so cornerback Patrick Peterson will shadow Jarvis Landry to make sure Miami's biggest receiving threat doesn't doom Arizona. Peterson has won most of his individual matchups when he travels against an opponent's No. 1 wideout.
The right side of the Cardinals' reshuffled offensive line, consisting of right guard John Wetzel and right tackle Ulrick John, must come up with a way to neutralize Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who could blow things up for the Dolphins if the Cardinals aren't careful.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Cardinals RB David Johnson vs. Dolphins run defense. The run defense gets the focus because Johnson is No. 3 in the NFL with 1,005 rushing yards and the Dolphins are 30th in run defense at 130.3 yards per game. But this could be expanded to Miami's entire defense. Johnson has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in all 12 games this season, so he's also a receiving threat. But with the Dolphins it all starts with stopping the run so they can unleash the pass rush on third down.
--Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. Dolphins DB Bobby McCain. You won't see this matchup all the time because Arizona moves Fitzgerald around, but the future Hall of Famer will give fits to the young McCain. The Rams picked on McCain and got a crucial penalty in the end zone. Look for Arizona to work McCain and, if things fall apart, it could be very costly because it could shred the pass defense the way Baltimore did last week.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT:
--Out: S Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder)
--Questionable: WR John Brown (illness), LB Markus Golden (hamstring),
--Out: C Mike Pouncey (hip)
--Questionable: S Isa Abdul-Quddus (neck), T Branden Albert (wrist), RB Kenyan Drake (knee), CB Xavien Howard (knee), DT Earl Mitchell (back), QB Matt Moore (right shoulder), WR DeVante Parker (back), LB Spencer Paysinger (ankle), G Anthony Steen (shoulder, foot), C Kraig Urbik (knee)
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer. He has taken the lion's share of the blame for the Cardinals' inauspicious 5-6-1 record thus far, but he is quietly posting very good numbers and results despite the team's record. He is piling up 300-yard games and, with his next one, will tie Kurt Warner with his 22nd, the most in franchise history. With two more TD passes, Palmer also will tie Warner (3) and Neil Lomax (3) as the only players in team history to pass for 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in three seasons.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer had exactly 300 yards passing last week vs. Washington, his 48th career 300-yard game. He has 21 as a member of the Cardinals, one shy of Kurt Warner's franchise record of 22.
Cardinals RB David Johnson is the second player in NFL history to gain 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his team's first 12 games. Edgerrin James did it with the Colts in 2005 (first 13 games) and 2000 (first 12). Johnson's 1,709 yards (1,005 rushing, 704 receiving) are the most in the NFL.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill tied a career high with three interceptions last week vs. the Ravens (done five times previously). He was intercepted just once total during Miami's six-game win streak.
Miami DE Cameron Wake had a franchise-record 4.5 sacks in the last meeting. He has 7.5 sacks in the past seven games and is second among active players with 78.5 sacks since 2009.
Neither team is to be trusted, but Miami may be able to pull together at home following last week's embarrassing loss at Baltimore.
OUR PICK: Dolphins, 28-21.