Week 12 NFL Power Rankings Recap: Cardinals fall again
The maddening path of the 2016 Arizona Cardinals continued last Sunday in Minneapolis.
The Vikings got touchdowns on a 100-yard interception return from Xavier Rhodes and a 104-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson in a 30-24 win that snapped a four-game losing streak.
For the Cardinals, it continued a streak of underachievement. A popular pick to win Super Bowl XLI in Houston, the Cardinals have yet to sport a record over .500 this season and their best win came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Once again, the Cardinals took a dive in the power rankings, and more importantly, severely damaged their fading playoff hopes with their most recent loss.
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: 21.6
(down from 18.2 last week)
High Ranking: #18 (Arizona Sports, ESPN, Yahoo! Sports)
Low Ranking: #26 (CBS Sports, USA Today)
Cardinals rank: #18 (▼ 5)
Uh, 27 yards in the second half is just not going to cut it.
Cardinals rank: #21 (▼ 11)
Bruce Arians was hospitalized Monday, and we certainly wish him the best. Few coaches have been as successful as Arians. The Cardinals have a .664 winning percentage since he joined the franchise in 2013, tied for fourth best during that time. Arizona plays at Atlanta on Sunday.
Cardinals rank: #18 (▼ 4)
Consider it difficult to win when you let your quarterback get hit on every play. Arizona’s offensive line was so bad Sunday that Carson Palmer got hit twice on some plays. Arizona’s offensive line was so bad that the Vikings rushed four on a third-and-18 late, and three of those guys pummeled Palmer. (I think the other Viking got held.) At one game under .500, there is a better chance than not the Cardinals miss the playoffs. The Giants look to be in line for one wild-card spot, with the Redskins, Vikings, Buccaneers and Eagles ahead in the race for the sixth spot.
Cardinals rank: #25 (–)
Last year’s Cardinals offense set a franchise record by scoring 489 points over the course of the season. This year’s Cardinals would need to average 43.8 points per game the rest of the way to match their 2015 production. It’s just not clicking the way it once did.
Cardinals rank: #26 (▼ 5)
They are 4-5-1 and hardly look like the team they were a year ago. They are almost done.
Cardinals rank: #19 (▼ 4)
It looks like it might be safe to put a fork in the Arizona Cardinals after a 30-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. A week ago, the Cardinals barely survived the San Francisco 49ers, and four of the next five teams on the schedule have winning records.
Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 1)
Breaking news: Old man Carson Palmer isn’t going to win many games when he attempts 38 throws.
Coach Bruce Arians must be in shock. It’s clear he wants his offense to win with video game-like passing stats, running game be dammed.
Therein lies the Cardinals’ biggest problem: Arizona’s offensive line was bulldozing Vikings defenders early on. David Johnson was bursting through crease after crease. But Arians won’t stand for that; Palmer just has to drop back 40 times a game behind a bad pass-protecting offensive line.
That’s when turnovers happen (see: Xavier Rhodes’ pick-six). That’s when your talented defense tires out. And that’s when your offense musters only 290 total yards.
Cardinals rank: #18 (▼ 1)
It’s good to hear that Bruce Arians was released from the hospital on Monday evening and returned home. The lifestyle of an NFL coach isn’t usually healthy, and it’s scary to hear when there’s a medical issue for one of them.
Cardinals rank: #26 (▼ 1)
Here’s hoping Bruce Arians prioritizes his health over everything else. The NFL (and Planet Earth) is a much better place with Arians in it.
Cardinals rank: #20 (▼ 5)
The Cardinals realize their best player is David Johnson and tend to lean on him offensively. That’s a good thing. However, Carson Palmer is a shell of his younger self and can’t be relied upon to protect the football. His poor play has hurt the Cardinals of late despite the roster being littered with talent. With the Seahawks running away with the division, the Cardinals’ season is getting dangerously close to being over.
Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 1)
“Next on Season Two of All or Nothing, more nothing.”
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