Gameday Primer: Dolphins @ Cardinals

This week the Cardinals play their first game of the season at University of Phoenix Stadium. After a triumphant outing in Northern California, the team must prove that week one was no fluke. Kurt Warner should not have a problem carving up the Dolphins' D. But, can Adrian Wilson and company be able to slow the two-headed monster of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams?

When the Dolphins Pass:

Although the quarterback situation is much improved from last season, it is still not anywhere near where Bill Parcells wants it. Chad Pennington provides a stable short- term option for the Dolphins. It remains to be seen if John Beck can be the QB of the future. As far as a passing game goes, the Dolphins will rely heavily on their tight ends. Look for Ted Ginn Jr. to have a minimal impact on the passing game. While his speed is lethal, he is not nearly physical enough for the revamped Cardinals defense.

When the Dolphins Run:

Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have the potential to one of the best running back duos in the league. The two keys to that happening are Williams' ability to lay off the "hippie lettuce" and Brown's continued recovery from reconstructive knee surgery.

First round draft pick Jake Long was uncomfortable in his debut. While he showed physical skills, his mental lapses proved costly. Eventually he will be a top tier tackle, but luckily for the Cardinals that will not happen this week.

The weakness of Pennington's arm will allow the Cardinals to play the run with even more ferocity. If Karlos Dansby and Adrian Wilson are firing on all cylinders, yards will be hard to come by for the Dolphins.

Just For Kicks:

Rookie Dan Carpenter has taken over for the Dolphins squad and has yet to make a field goal in his NFL career. Undrafted out of Montana, Carpenter has to prove that he is capable of the pressure kick. Brandon Fields enters his second year as punter and has proven to be consistent but not spectacular.

Ted Ginn Jr. will certainly be involved with the special teams unit and the Cardinals must pay close attention to him throughout the game. When the Dolphins drafted him they had visions of another Devin Hester. While that is not quite the situation, Ginn Jr. is still a dangerous threat.

When the Cardinals Pass:

Kurt Warner returns for week two attempting to continue to show that Coach Whisenhunt made the correct decision. All the Cardinals need to do in order to go 2-0 for the first time since 1991 is defend their home turf against the Dolphins. The Dolphins are winless in their last 10 road games and have shown few signs of life during the last decade. Encountering the notorious high-flying Cardinals will certainly not ease their pain. Anquan Boldin played like he was planning on being a life-long Cardinal. Larry Fitzgerald faced double coverage all day, yet still managed a TD reception. Given enough time, Warner is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league when it comes to carving up zone defenses.

Leonard Pope should play a vital role in the game plan this week as the Dolphins are weak at linebacker. Pope's size almost guarantees at least a few red zone looks for the tight end. Steve Breaston picked up right where Bryant Johnson left off and should allow for an easy transition.

When the Cardinals Run:

Tim Hightower recorded his first NFL touchdown and showed that he is capable of producing during the regular season. Edgerrin James enjoyed a quiet 100 yards rushing and should be poised to continue his success against the Dolphins. With Coach Whisenhunt's ball control offense hoarding time of possession, Cardinal running backs have plenty of work ahead of them. Hightower and James should have a productive week against a terrible Dolphins squad. While the Fins may have improved from last year, that is not exactly hard to do. Expect Coach Whisenhunt to build a solid lead and then milk the clock just like last week.

Just For Kicks

Aside from an awful 35-yard miss, Neil Rackers enjoyed a solid opening week. Rackers' biggest issue is mental confidence. Dirk Johnson proved that he is a worthy option at punter after pinning the 49ers inside their own 10 multiple times. At home against a lesser opponent the Cardinals should have no problem flexing their newfound muscles and getting to that coveted 2-0 mark.

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