Week 13 NFL Power Rankings Recap: Cardinals flatlining
How low can you go?
For the Arizona Cardinals, not much lower.
The Cards’ most recent loss — a 38-19 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons — dipped the team’s record to 4-6-1 on the season. Much of the postgame chatter centered around chemistry and selfishness, which doesn’t exactly instill any confidence in anything resembling a late-season turnaround.
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: 24.5
(down from 21.6 last week)
High Ranking: #22 (NFL.com)
Low Ranking: #26 (CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, USA Today)
Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 5)
It’s called a football. Catch it, Michael Floyd.
Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 2)
Carson Palmer has already taken more sacks than he did all of last season, and he has equaled his interception total (11) from last season. The Cardinals are 1-3-1 in their past five games, and you have to wonder if the 36-year-old Palmer will be in Arizona much longer.
Cardinals rank: #22 (▼ 4)
Wonderful to watch the first half Sunday and see Bruce Arians on the sideline coaching his squad. Although, for his sake, kind of wish he didn’t have to watch the second half. That’s when any chance of competing in Atlanta — and perhaps, competing for a wild-card spot — escaped the Cardinals’ grasp. At 4-6-1, Arizona must win out to even have a chance at that sixth spot. The Giants are 8-3, currently in line for the fifth spot. And given that the Redskins are 6-4-1 (with Kirk Cousins playing like Kurt Warner), running the table probably gives Arians’ group a 50-50 shot — at best.
Cardinals rank: #25 (–)
Bruce Arians said the idea of tanking for a better draft pick would be “absolutely asinine,” even though his team can max out at 9–6–1 and likely will be an underdog at least twice more. But at some point, the line between losing on purpose and just being flat out bad becomes rather blurred anyway.
Cardinals rank: #26 (–)
It seems like anything that could go wrong has gone wrong this season. It’s hard to believe they have a losing record.
Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 6)
If there was any doubt that the Arizona Cardinals are cooked, a 38-19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons should put those doubts to rest. And there was reason for doubt. After all, the Cardinals finished 13-3 last year and opened the 2016 season with a close loss to the Patriots followed by a beatdown of the Buccaneers.
But since then, the Cardinals’ only wins have come against the hapless San Francisco 49ers (twice) and New York Jets.
Cardinals rank: #26 (▼ 2)
Want to know the surefire sign of a bad team?
Just look at the trenches. If five offensive linemen can’t consistently block three or four pass-rushers, there’s a problem. I’m looking at you, Arizona.
Defensive issues persist as well. Patrick Peterson gave Falcons drives new life with two interference calls. D.J. Swearinger dropped a pick, and the Falcons scored soon thereafter. And Calais Campbell (who was dominant all afternoon) let Atlanta put the frosting on the blowout cake by jumping offside on a punt.
David Johnson is about the only watchable part of this team in 2016. Everything else stinks.
Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 7)
Last season’s dynamic offense, when it seemed like anyone could make a play at any time, is a distant memory. It’s just David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald this season. Nobody else has been reliable, including quarterback Carson Palmer of course.
Cardinals rank: #26 (–)
Don’t blame David Johnson for their disastrous season. He’s gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in all 11 of Arizona’s games.
Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 4)
The Cardinals have been the season’s biggest disappointment while boasting one of the best defenses in the league. The offense should have been top-notch as well, but there’s just been no consistency. Their season is over.
Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 2)
They were supposed to be better. They’re worse. Much, much worse.