Cardinals Overwhelm Dolphins 31-10

With a chance at their first 2-0 start since 1991 on the line, the Cardinals seized the opportunity with a 31-10 win over the Miami Dolphins. After dominating the first half, Arizona cruised to an easy victory down the stretch. AZRedReport.com's Brad Wilbricht wraps up Sunday's action from University of Phoenix Stadium.

Unlike last week, the Cardinals offense got off to a fast start against the Miami defense. After committing penalties on their first two plays, QB Kurt Warner connected with WR Anquan Boldin on a 79-yard touchdown strike. Boldin worked up the seam in between defenders and galloped into the end zone untouched.

Warner found Boldin again on Arizona's second offensive possession, this time reaching pay dirt from three yards out. On the previous play, WR Larry Fitzgerald was tripped up at the Miami 4-yard line after reeling in an acrobatic 75-yard pass. The Cardinals offense flashed its big play ability all day, racking up 445 total yards while averaging 14 yards per pass.

The two players completed the hat trick after Warner hit Boldin for a third touchdown on an 8-yard score in the third quarter. In addition to his career high three receiving touchdowns, Boldin finished the game with six catches for 140 yards. Although Fitzgerald was held out of the end zone, he added six catches of his own for 153 yards.


RB Tim Hightower
(Getty)

Despite committing eight penalties, the Cardinals were extremely efficient in their home opener. Arizona converted 7-of-13 third downs while holding the Dolphins to only 3-of-12. Warner was tremendous throughout the game completing 19-of-24 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Backup QB Matt Leinart relieved Warner late in the fourth quarter. Rookie RB Tim Hightower continues to impress as he gained 44 total yards and scored a touchdown for the second straight week.

Meanwhile, Miami QB Chad Pennington struggled as the Dolphins were unable to consistently move the ball on offense. Pennington finished 10-of-20 for only 112 yards. Rookie QB Chad Henne saw his first playing time of the season with the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Miami's running game wasn't much better as Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown were held to 53 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals benefited from costly errors by the Miami defense. Following a missed Rackers field goal attempt, the Dolphins were penalized for 12 men on the field. Later on the same drive, LB Joey Porter committed a personal foul face mask penalty allowing the drive to continue yet again. The Cardinals took advantage of Miami's miscues as Hightower scored on a short touchdown run.

After being shutout in the first half, the Dolphins offense got a 32-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter midway through the third quarter. However, that was the extent of their scoring until a late touchdown run. LB Karlos Dansby and the Cardinals defensive line kept the Miami offense in check most of the afternoon. Dansby led Arizona with eight tackles while Bertrand Berry and Bryan Robinson each chipped in one sack each.

On special teams, punter Dirk Johnson continues to pin back opponents deep in their own territory. Johnson landed two punts inside the Dolphins 20-yard line and now has four punts inside the 20-yard line on the season.

Arizona takes to the road again next week against the Washington Redskins on the first of two consecutive East Coast road trips. The Cardinals don't return home until an Oct. 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.


Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com

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