Dolphins rushers vs. Arizona’s offensive tackles
Of the Dolphins’ eight sacks, four and a half came from defensive end Cameron Wake, usually working on Arizona rookie right tackle Bobby Massie, and one and a half came from outside linebacker Koa Misi, who beat Cardinals left tackle D Anthony Batiste. Wake chased Kevin Kolb into Jared Odrick’s sack and affected several other plays. Most significantly, four of Wake’s sacks came on third down. Massie lacked the mobility and the experience to deal with Wake’s speed. This kept Arizona from exploiting the Dolphins downfield most of the game. Winner: Dolphins.
Dolphins receiver Hartline vs. Arizona’s Peterson/Toler
Peterson is earning a reputation as a dangerous man to challenge with his coverage skills backed up by return skills that make him this generation’s successor to Deion Sanders and Ed Reed. Sunday, he not only didn’t erase Hartline, he and Toler found themselves helpless as Hartline caught a franchise-record 253 yards on 12 catches. Toler got an interception on a throw to Hartline, but also got a 17-yard pass interference while covering Hartline. At least Toler and Peterson can take solace in neither being close enough for easy blame on Hartline’s 80-yard TD. Winner: Hartline.
Arizona pass rush vs. Dolphins pass protection
The Cardinals get the nod on landing the bigger punches. Most of the day, the Dolphins kept quarterback Ryan Tannehill from taking the beating Arizona administered to Philadelphia’s Michael Vick last week. Tannehill helped by making smart protection adjustments. But in the fourth quarter, linebacker Daryl Washington crashed the party for a fumble that led to the touchdown that sent the game into overtime. In OT, Paris Lenon’s pass-in-progress shot on Tannehill produced the Kerry Rhodes interception that turned into the game-winning field goal. Winner: Arizona