Week 11 NFL Power Rankings Recap: Cardinals inch up after beating 49ers
They say a team should never have to apologize for any win in the National Football League.
I guess that doesn’t apply to the 2016 Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona got a last-second 34-yard field goal from Chandler Catanzaro (hey, progress!) to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 23-20 at University of Phoenix Stadium last Sunday. Apparently that’s just not good enough.
The Cardinals actually fell in four national power rankings despite winning, but saw a minor uptick in their aggregate ranking of 11 outlets. The increase had a lot to do with ESPN’s elevation of the Cardinals to #10 on their list, a jump of six spots.
Here’s a rundown of what some prominent national outlets — and we here at ArizonaSports.com — are saying about the Cardinals:
Cardinals Average Power Ranking: 18.2
(up from 19.0 last week)
High Ranking: #13 (ESPN.com)
Low Ranking: #25 (Sports Illustrated, USA Today)
Cardinals rank: #13 (▲ 2)
Should’ve blown out San Francisco. Win one of next two, still have a chance.
Cardinals rank: #10 (▲ 6)
The Cardinals are 3-1-1 in their past five games, but two of those wins came against the 49ers, a team with just one win. The Cardinals’ schedule picks up down the stretch, with five road games and all seven games against teams no worse than one game under .500. First up are the Vikings in Week 11.
Cardinals rank: #14 (▼ 1)
Not the emphatic win everyone anticipated, but Arizona will take it. At this point, Cardinals fans have figured out (or should figure out) that this season will be a struggle. These are the halcyon days of parity, and the key is to stay with the Seahawks until Arizona travels to the Pacific Northwest on Christmas Eve. (That game should be fun. Maybe it will be 3-3 this time.) As far as Sunday’s game is concerned for the Cards — you know, when they almost let Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers take them to OT — maybe we should forget it ever happened. Next up: at reeling Minnesota.
Cardinals rank: #25 (–)
The Cardinals’ 23–20 win over San Francisco was like one of those September college football games where, like, New Mexico State pushes a mid-tier SEC team to the brink. Arizona is one extended run away from grabbing an NFC wild-card spot. It’s been a long while, though, since it showed any hint of finding the necessary groove.
Cardinals rank: #21 (–)
They beat the 49ers, but something still doesn’t look right. They need to play better.
Cardinals rank: #15 (▼ 1)
Cardinals rank: #23 (▲ 2)
They’ll physically dominate a game from start to finish.
They’ll own the time-of-possession battle.
And they’ll still keep a team around far longer than necessary.
It was almost the same ol’ story for these Cardinals. Then, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd woke up and gave us all a glimpse of what Arizona’s offense could (and probably should) be.
Those two receivers combined for over half of Carson Palmer’s completions and 234 of his 376 total passing yards. Palmer himself underwhelmed; his interception to Gerald Hodges was the biggest of three second-half turnovers.
Arizona is lucky it wasn’t playing a better team in Week 10. The club is also lucky Fitz and Floyd were open for business all game long.
Cardinals rank: #17 (▼ 1)
They might have turned in the least impressive win of the NFL season on Sunday. You should not need a last-second field goal to beat the 49ers at home. There are no signs they’re turning it around this season.
Cardinals rank: #25 (▲ 1)
They were lucky to escape Niners. Next four opponents have winning records, and three will host fading Cards. Salvage job looks tough.
Cardinals rank: #15 (▲ 2)
The Cardinals allowed the lowly 49ers to stick around on Sunday, which is not a good sign for their chances of going anywhere in the future. It’s baffling to see an offense so talented struggle the way Arizona’s has, but feeding David Johnson the ball remains a must for the Cardinals.
Cardinals rank: #22 (▼ 1)
Barely beating the 49ers in the first game after the bye doesn’t bode well for these birds.
- In the face of criticism, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer stays even-keeled
- Dealing Cards: Carson Palmer defends J.J. Nelson, MNF adds a practice day
- Carson Chats: Intelligence, confidence key to Nelson’s game
- Cardinals RB David Johnson: There really is no timeline for injury return
- All-Access with Bruce Arians: Updates on John Brown and Bucannon