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Dolphins offense to face huge test in Arizona

Associated Press Modified: September 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm •  Published: September 26, 2012
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DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Reggie Bush wants to play this weekend. Against the Arizona Cardinals, the Miami Dolphins could certainly find use for him.

The Dolphins' running back, who was knocked out of last Sunday's game against the New York Jets with a bruised left knee, would certainly give Miami a much-better chance this weekend when it heads out to face the unbeaten Cardinals — easily one of the NFL's best teams on the defensive side of the football.

"Fast defense," Bush said on Wednesday. "They do a good job on getting a lot of guys to the ball. They thrive off of turnovers, they do a good job at creating turnovers and stripping the ball from ballcarriers."

Just about anyone in the Dolphins' locker room who was asked about Arizona's defense on Wednesday said the same thing — speed, speed, speed.

And for an offense off to a bit of a slow start, at least from a consistency standpoint, that could be a problem.

The Cardinals (3-0) are the only NFL team to not surrender even a 20-point game so far this season, and given the way they finished last year, it's no surprise that they're ranking among the league's leaders in a slew of defensive categories. After allowing at least 30 points in four straight games early last season, the Cardinals almost have been as good as anyone, especially defensively.

Since last November, the Cardinals are giving up 17.1 points per game — fifth-best in the NFL — and their 10-2 record over that span is the best in the league, one game better than Atlanta, Baltimore, Green Bay, New England and San Francisco.

"There is no going in underestimating that Arizona defense," Miami offensive lineman Richie Incognito said. "I mean, they're talented up front, they're fast, they're physical. I think everybody knows about them."

The Dolphins scored 35 points in their Week 2 win over Oakland — and have managed 30 points, total, in their two losses to Houston and the Jets. And Miami has won only twice in its last 10 trips away from home, perhaps one of the reasons why the Dolphins are heading out to Arizona on Friday instead of the customary Saturday departure for a Sunday game.

The way Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has it figured, the length of the flight combined with a three-hour time change makes the extra day of acclimation a smart move.

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