The Consensus Week 8: Third straight win pushes Cardinals up rankings
It’s been a long time since the Arizona Cardinals have experienced a three-game winning streak.
But Kliff Kingsbury’s team knows that feeling after a 27-21 win over the New York Giants that evened Arizona’s record at 3-3-1 — the first three-game march since 2015, when the Cardinals played for the NFC Championship.
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 8 trip to the Big Easy to face the New Orleans Saints.
High Ranking: 16 (Sporting News)
Low Ranking: 26 (SI.com, USA Today)
Week 8 Average Ranking: 22.4 (Up from 24.8 in Week 7)
This Week: 23
Comment: After starting 0-3-1, the Cardinals have won three straight. Granted, those wins were against teams that have gone 3-18, but the Cardinals are beating teams they should. Now that Arizona sits at 3-3-1, a six- or seven-win season is not out of the question. If the offense continues to evolve and improve while the defense gets to the quarterback like it did against the Giants, then the Cardinals could be looking at eight or — dare I say — nine wins. They’d have to beat some good teams, but Kliff Kingsbury has shown the ability to adapt to coaching in the NFL and be creative offensively while doing it.
This Week: 25
Comment: Have a day, Chase Edmonds. The backup running back played his college ball at Fordham University in The Bronx. On Sunday, he went from small school to big star of the Cardinals’ 27-21 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Edmonds, subbing for a banged-up David Johnson, set career highs in carries (27), rushing yards (126) and touchdowns (three) on a day when the Cardinals needed someone to step up alongside Kyler Murray. Edmonds was the star on offense; on defense, there were stars everywhere. Arizona sacked rookie quarterback Daniel Jones eight times, with Chandler Jones accounting for half that total. Patrick Peterson also contributed, finishing with a sack and a forced fumble in his first game back from suspension. The Cardinals have won three straight against opponents with a combined three wins on the season. Things tighten up considerably in the next two weeks, with the Saints and Niners looming.
This Week: 26
Comment: It may be time to take the training wheels off as Kyler Murray rolled through his third bad team in three weeks. Credit to the Cards D for shutting down the Giants late, but a much stiffer test on both sides of the ball awaits next week in the Superdome.
This Week: 26
Comment: CB Patrick Peterson finally returns, and Arizona picks off its first pass of 2019 (courtesy LB Jordan Hicks). Funny how that works.
This Week: 23
Comment: Chandler Jones had four sacks against the Giants, and has 8.5 for the season. Jones has had four straight seasons with double-digit sacks and is about to make it five in a row.
This Week: 22
Comment: They’ve won three straight games and they’ve done it different ways. The defense was dominant against the Giants.
This Week: 23
Comment: Three straight wins would usually push a team out of the bottom third. But when those wins come against teams in the bottom five, it’s going to take something bigger than that to bust out.
This Week: 17
Comment: It looks like the Arizona Cardinals might be onto something.
After going winless over the first four weeks of the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray era, they have peeled off three wins in a row to make it back to .500. They have now won as many games as they did all of last season and are .500 or better this late in the campaign for the first time since 2016.
Kingsbury’s offense and Murray’s scrambling ability are proving problematic for opposing defenses. Young tailback Chase Edmonds, 23, has given Arizona another weapon. And while the defense remains a work in progress, the team played maybe its best game in that regard against the Giants.
This Week: 16
Comment: Turns out this Kliff Kingsbury offense with Kyler Murray at the controls can work well in the NFL, especially against bad defenses. Speaking of defense, the return of Patrick Peterson was a game-changer against the Giants for a much-improved group under Vance Joseph.
This Week: 21
Comment: So what if the wins were against the Bengals, Falcons and now the Giants, it’s still quite notable that the Cardinals are on a three-game winning streak. We’re going to enjoy it while it lasts because the next two weeks are brutal: at New Orleans and a Thursday night game against San Francisco.
This Week: 24
Comment: The Cardinals are feelin themselves! That’s three wins in a row for this young squad. Kyler Murray looks like the real deal. Lots to like, even if the Giants aren’t formidable opponents.
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