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The Consensus Week 7: Cardinals take first substantial leap of the year

Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown in the second half of the NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons at State Farm Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Falcons 34-33. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

A winning streak?

The return of their best defensive player?

Both of these things are a reality for the Arizona Cardinals heading into this week. Kliff Kingsbury’s team found a way (and got some help) to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-33 to push their record to 2-3-1 on the year.

Patrick Peterson’s six-game PED suspension has expired, and the eight-time Pro Bowler will supply some much-needed support to a leaky pass defense.

Yeah, that’s probably optimism you’re feeling — something that’s been absent ’round these parts for quite some time.

Here’s a quick rundown of what some of the leading national rankings are saying about the Cardinals and where they rank heading into a Week 7 visit to the New York Giants.


High Ranking: 19 (Bleacher Report)

Low Ranking: 28 (SI.com, Pro Football Talk)

Week 7 Average Ranking: 24.8 (Up from 27.1 in Week 6)


 

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus every team’s biggest weakness

This Week: 27 

Movement: ▲1

Comment: The Cardinals have given up a league-high 599 yards to tight ends this season and Falcons tight end Austin Hooper became the third tight end to record 100 yards receiving against the Cardinals in six games. For perspective, the next-worst team at defending tight ends is Tampa Bay, which has allowed 497 yards — 102 fewer than Arizona.


 

NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: 49ers eyeing No. 1; Texans surge

This Week: 27 

Movement: ▲1

Comment: Now that is the performance Cardinals fans have been waiting for. On Sunday, Kyler Murray played Matt Ryan to a draw in an exciting showdown between the 2016 MVP and a first overall pick who has the potential to win his own trophy one day. That won’t be in 2019, but Murray’s performance in the Cardinals’ win — 27-of-37 passing, 340 yards, three TDs, zero picks, 32 rushing yards — served notice that Arizona has a quarterback who is as talented as any young player in the NFL. Murray will need time to develop, of course, and it’s on Cardinals brass to improve the roster around him. But against the Falcons, we saw how he can tie an opposing defense into knots with his dual-threat capabilities.


 

NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 7: Unbeaten 49ers at the Top; Eagles, Rams, Cowboys Sliding

This Week: 28

Movement: —

Comment: Kyler Murray engineered his second late fourth quarter, go-ahead drive in as many weeks and was rewarded for his efforts with a missed PAT from the Falcons. Sometimes it’s best to be good and lucky.


 

NFL power rankings: Texans rocket into top five, while Cowboys tumble from top half

This Week: 26

Movement: ▲2

Comment: Look who’s on a mini win streak. However most compelling angle around this team now is whether they’ll trade reinstated Patrick Peterson.


 

NFL Power Rankings: Eagles and Cowboys haven’t been as good as advertised

This Week: 27

Movement: ▲1

Comment: Cornerback Patrick Peterson returns and the Cardinals need him. Their defense has been awful, but at least the Falcons’ defense was worse on Sunday.


 

NFL Week 7 Power Rankings: 49ers are for real at No. 2, Chiefs take huge fall, Vikings rise into top 10

This Week: 23

Movement: ▲4

Comment: All those who questioned the Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury pairing might want to revisit that. Suddenly, they are putting up a lot of points.


PFT’s Week Seven power rankings

This Week: 28

Movement: —

Comment: The most intriguing team in the NFL is quietly racking up the wins, albeit against really bad teams.


NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 7

This Week: 19

Movement: ▲5

Comment: Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray is getting better by the week. He threw for 340 yards with three scores and no interceptions and ran for another 32 yards against the Falcons.

The Cardinals have the unfortunate distinction of being stuck in a loaded NFC West, but if the team makes some defensive improvements in the offseason, Arizona could be ready to make some real noise in the division in 2020.


NFL power rankings: 49ers jump Saints; Vikings, Texans rise; Cowboys, Eagles fade into Week 7

This Week: 20

Movement: ▲5

Comment: We all can stop thinking about whether Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury can make their shotgun spread stylings work in the NFL. They can, and it helps that they have playmakers such as David Johnson, Chase Edmonds and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals are already one win away from matching last year’s total.


NFL Power Rankings: NFC dominates the top five, while the AFC is wide open after Week 6

This Week: 23

Movement: ▲4

Comment: Oh, what’s that? The Cardinals have an actual winning streak going on, and they get their best player, cornerback Patrick Peterson, back this week? OK, then. Let us know if and when Peterson helps the Cardinals defense start covering tight ends.


NFL Power Rankings Week 7

This Week: 25

Movement: ▲2

Comment: Another W for Kliff and Kyler! The offense is finally finding the endzone, and shaping into a good unit as a result. The defense remains a disaster, though.

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