The Arizona Cardinals stifled Tom Brady and battered Michael Vick.
Next comes Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who leads the Dolphins (1-2) onto dangerous turf on Sunday.
He will face a Cardinals defense that has allowed just two touchdowns this season, fewest in the NFL. Overall, they've given up 40 points, second only to Seattle's 39 through three games.
"It's a fast defense," Miami running back Reggie Bush said. "They do a good job at getting a lot of guys to the ball carrier. They thrive off turnovers. They do a good job at creating turnovers and stripping the ball."
Arizona could be the league's biggest September surprise, one of just three unbeaten teams in the league (the others are Atlanta and Houston). The Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time in 38 years, a statistic that is a testament to the franchise's many seasons as an NFL wasteland. The combination of a stout defense, standout special teams play and an offense that has been good enough under the controls of quarterback Kevin Kolb have led to the fast start.
But this is the first game the Cardinals, winners of seven in a row at home, are favored to win, and there could be a natural tendency for this defense to ease up a bit.
" Not at all," safety Kerry Rhodes said. "We've been schooled on that all week. We're not great. We're not where we want to be yet. We've got work to do. Nobody's slacking off. We'll be ready to go."
Bush, knocked out of last Sunday's tough 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets with a bruised knee, proclaimed early in the week that he would play at Arizona, before acknowledging he was not the coach.
The Cardinals are preparing for a strong Miami rushing game regardless, but it's much more dangerous when Bush is the ball carrier.
"He's been great this year," Rhodes said. "He's been running the ball in between the tackles, something that was a question mark for him I guess before he got to Miami. But he's been running well, running hard. He looks like an every-down back.
"It's not just him. It's a running back by committee thing. But he is 'the' guy, he's the go-to guy."
The strong running game eases the pressure on Tannehill, who has earned a mix of praise and criticism from Dolphins coach Joe Philbin.
"Frankly, he's got to throw the ball more accurately than he did last Sunday," Philbin said. "That's just the bottom line. There's no other way to cut it with the film. We try to be honest with our guys if we can. If you watch the tape of him, he's doing some very good things, but on Sunday he's got to make great decisions and he's got to throw the ball more accurately for us to win the game."
Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell says his team has to defend the run, then worry about Tannehill. Despite the overall success, the Cardinals rank 17th against the run.
"We've given up more yards than we wanted to give up, and they're a very good rushing team," Campbell said, "but I think we have a good game plan in store. Like always, (defensive coordinator) Ray Horton draws up something good for us, and we go out and execute it. As long as we continue to just to play our game, we're not too worried about what anybody does."
It's the second time Arizona has played against a rookie quarterback. The Cardinals faced Seattle's Russell Wilson in his NFL debut in the season opener, a game Arizona won 20-16 when three of Wilson's passes fell incomplete from the Cardinals 4-yard line as the game ended.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Dolphins "have done a nice job with their young quarterback, and when you have a strong running game like they do, it helps."
Tannehill, Campbell said, "doesn't look like a rookie quarterback when you see him on film."
"He makes good decisions, he gets rid of the ball fast. You can tell why he's a starter in this league," Campbell said, "but we're going to see what he's made of. We're going to see how he handles the blitz and stuff. He's a good quarterback, but first things first. Shut down the run, try to put the games in his hands, then go out there and try to see what he's made of."
Arizona's offense, coming off its best performance in a 27-6 victory over Philadelphia, will be without running back Beanie Wells, out for at least seven games with a severe turf toe injury. That will mean a bigger role for Ryan Williams, who missed all of his rookie season a year ago with a knee injury. Williams fumbled the ball away in his first two games but rushed for 83 yards in 13 carries against the Eagles, most of them in a late drive that led to the final Arizona field goal.
Kolb completed 17 of 24 passes for 222 yards against the Eagles. Since coming in for the injured John Skelton in the season opener and directing the winning touchdown drive, Kolb has completed 38 of 59 passes (64 percent) for 428 yards and four scores. He fumbled in the team's victory at New England but has yet to throw an interception.
Last week he finally got Larry Fitzgerald into the mix. The Cardinals' franchise leader in virtually every receiving category, Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, making him the youngster player to reach 700 catches.
Despite the recent success, Kolb said there's no reason for his team to have even a hint of overconfidence as it seeks the 500th victory in franchise history.
"Not if you understand the NFL," he said. "Not if you understand that every team is tough, and they (the Dolphins) could very easily be 2-1. They're a tough team. They're a team that's very physical. They are tough-minded. Those type of teams, if you don't bring it, they'll beat you down the first quarter right away. Our focus has to be on this week and not looking ahead. If we win three games, in the end, that means nothing; 3-0 is a nice start but it doesn't prove anything."