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The Consensus Week 2: A little forward movement for the Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) can't make the catch in the end zone as Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman defends during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Lions and Cardinals played to a 27-27 tie in overtime. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

One down, 15 to go.

The Arizona Cardinals opened the 2019 season with an uneven 27-27 tie against the Detroit Lions last Sunday. The first three quarters were dreadful. The last two (including overtime) showed a lot of promise.

So how did Arizona’s opener shape the opinions of the national power rankings? Pretty positively, as you’ll see below.


High Ranking: #25 (Bleacher Report, Sporting News)

Low Ranking: #31 (The Big Lead)

Average Ranking: 27.3


Outlet Rankings Cardinals’ Rank Movement Comment
Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus the best rookie for each team
#29
▲1
Murray showed why he was the first overall pick in April’s draft during the fourth quarter of a Week 1 tie against Detroit. If it wasn’t for him, the Cardinals wouldn’t have been in position to pull even after three dismal quarters of offense. Murray shined in the fourth quarter, going 15-for-19 for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the final stanza. He finished with 308 yards overall on 29-for-54 passing, and once the offense got into a rhythm, he showed how dynamic he could be, running the Cardinals’ up-tempo offense nearly flawlessly while utilizing his feet and arm.
NFL Power Rankings, Week 2: Packers, Vikings rise; Browns fall
#30
▲1
Through three quarters, the Cardinals’ season opener was shaping up as a worst-case scenario. No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray looked lost, and new coach Kliff Kingsbury didn’t seem capable of pushing any of the right buttons. But then the Cardinals got hot, reeling off 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Murray flashed his enormous potential during the comeback, connecting on a 27-yard touchdown to David Johnson, another score to Larry Fitzgerald and a 2-point conversion pass to Christian Kirk to force the extra period. The Cardinals and Lions traded field goals in overtime, and that was that. Kiss your sister. I can tell you one person who didn’t sleep well on Sunday: cornerback Tramaine Brock, who should have had an interception late in overtime to set up a game-winning field-goal attempt. Instead, the Matthew Stafford pass clanked off Brock’s hands and fell harmlessly to the turf. Doh.
NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 2: Vikings, Ravens, Titans Climb; Steelers, Browns Plunge
#26 (Tie)
▲4
The Kyler Murray-to-Larry Fitzgerald connection might be one of the more fun things to watch this season.
NFL power rankings: Patriots open 2019 season at No. 1, but Chiefs and Ravens in hot pursuit
#26
▲3
More worrisome than QB Kyler Murray’s struggles Sunday was amount of punishment he took. Maybe he can run this offense, but can he survive it?
NFL Power Rankings: With Antonio Brown, when might the Patriots lose a game?
#28
▲3
Kyler Murray was 9-of-25 for 70 yards through three quarters. He had 238 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Cardinals rallied to salvage a tie. So, which Murray is it going to be moving forward?
NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Patriots back at No. 1, Ravens climb into top 10, Jaguars take big tumble
#26
▲4
Kyler Murray struggled for three quarters, but came alive in the fourth against the Lions. Did he figure it out? Or did coach Kilff Kingsbury figure it out?
PFT’s Week Two power rankings
#28
▲3
If someone had told Tramaine Brock not to try to catch a pass with his face, they’d be 1-0.
NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 2
#25
▲5
A tie is how things ended—a fitting conclusion to an odd game that left Gagnon scratching his head. “This team could skyrocket further or plummet next week,” he said. “If indeed the offense started to take off, like in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Lions, we could have something special on our hands. But if that was an anomaly against a bad opponent, it’ll be an up-and-down year. The jury just started deliberating, and this is a complicated case.”
NFL Power Rankings: Chaos in the NFL and upheaval in the poll heading into Week 2
#26
▲5
f our panelists had voted after three quarters of the Cardinals game against Detroit, Arizona almost certainly would have been second-to-last (since no one is bumping Miami from the bottom spot). But then Kyler Murray caught fire and, with some assistance by the faltering Lions, showed the athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability that made him one of the most intriguing quarterback prospects in recent years. There will be plenty more struggles to come for the Cards during Murray’s rookie year (and man, Arizona better figure out how to cover tight ends ASAP), but Murray’s fourth quarter gave them something to build on and gave us reasons to keep watching.
NFL power rankings: Cowboys, Packers rise; Bears, Steelers, Browns stumble into Week 2
#25
▲6
The Cardinals’ offensive line and pass defense will continue to haunt them. But they had to be pleased with how a fourth-quarter Kyler Murray can keep them in every game, not to mention coach Kliff Kingsbury’s ability to make the right adjustments.
NFL Power Rankings Week 2
#31
An encouraging comeback in Kyler and Kliff’s debut, but they looked pretty terrible for three-and-a-half quarters. They can’t rely on the immortal Larry Fitzgerald like this all year.

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