The League

David Larimer
Two-time defending Gameday pick-em champion

David Larimer

An assistant NFL editor at the The Washington Post

Miami at Arizona, Week 2

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Sunday, 4:15 p.m.

If the picture doesn't look too pretty, applying a little statistical Vaseline to the lens can't hurt. On that note:

Today's game features the greatest quarterbacks of all time! (By completion percentage: Chad Pennington is at 65.5 percent for his career; Kurt Warner, 65.1.) Arizona has the hottest offense in the NFL! (If you only consider its stretch of games with 20 or more points, which at nine is the longest current streak in the league.) The Cardinals are a pretty darn respectable 6-3 in that stretch! (The wins came against teams with a combined record of 37-64 since the beginning of last season. None of those opponents ranked higher than 21st in total defense last season.)

But despite extending their scoring streak, the Cardinals' offense should have done better than 23 points last week against the 49ers, considering they forced five turnovers and started four drives, not counting one at the end of the game in which they knelt, in San Francisco territory. The 49ers' nearly bereft offense finished with more yards than the Cardinals'.

And alas, there isn't much that can be done to soften the edges of the Dolphins' passing game, which has some catching up to do between new quarterback Chad Pennington, who is still learning the system, and a thoroughly green corps of wide receivers. "There's a lot of learning going on," Pennington said to reporters.

The Dolphins' top returning receiver from last season is a running back, Ronnie Brown, who had 39 catches. In their 20-14 loss to the Jets last week, only six of Pennington's 26 completions were to wideouts. The inability to stretch the field -- which might be a problem all season, given Pennington's below-average arm strength -- stifled the running game. New York committed to stopping Brown and Ricky Williams, and held Miami to 49 rushing yards on 17 attempts. Pennington did however, strike up instant rapport with tight ends Anthony Fasano and David Martin, who combined for 12 receptions for 137 yards and both touchdowns.

By David Larimer  |  September 11, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  | Category:  Post Gameday Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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