The NFL’s current scheduling procedures call for the Dolphins and Cardinals to play each other every four years and that sounds like a bad thing given the way Sunday’s game between the teams played out.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa turned in starring performances in an entertaining game that you’d like to see more often. As it stands, though, Murray’s going to have to wait a while for a shot at beating the Dolphins.
Zane Gonzalez was short on a 49-yard field goal attempt just after the two minute warning and the Dolphins were able to run out the clock on a 34-31 win. Tagovailoa got the final yard needed for the fateful first down and that was a fitting end for the rookie’s day.
Tagovailoa was 20-of-28 for 248 yards and two touchdowns. His second scoring pass was Mack Hollins‘ first catch as a Dolphin and it tied the score with just over 11 minutes left to play in the game. He then drove the team for a 50-yard Jason Sanders field goal that put them up with 3:30 left.
Sanders’ kick was set up by the biggest defensive play of the game. The Dolphins stuffed Chase Edmonds on fourth-and-one at the Dolphins’ 40-yard-line to give Tagovailoa a short field to work with.
The choice to use Edmonds on that play and on two plays ahead of the missed field goal is one that should lead to questions for head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Murray ran 11 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, including 15 yards on that drive and 28 yards on a previous fourth down run.
Murray also completed 21-of-26 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, but he was incomplete to Christian Kirk one play before Gonzalez’s kick. That made for a tough finish for the 2019 first overall pick and he’ll try for a better outcome against the Bills next week.
Tagovailoa and company will be back home to face the Chargers. They’ll carry a four-game winning streak into that matchup of 2020 first-round quarterbacks.