ARIZONA CARDINALS

The Consensus Week 9: Cardinals’ stock dips a bit after loss to Saints

Oct 29, 2019, 3:46 PM | Updated: 5:57 pm
Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints sacks Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals at Merc...
Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints sacks Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals at Mercedes Benz Superdome on October 27, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Almost 40 minutes into last Sunday’s game in New Orleans, the resurgent Arizona Cardinals were down four points to the Saints, one of the top teams in the NFL.

Following a rare interception by Patrick Peterson, head coach Kliff Kingsbury decided to go for a 4th-and-1 at his team’s own 30-yard line. The play — a run attempt by Chase Edmonds — was stuffed, the Saints took over and proceeded to outscore Arizona 21-3 the rest of the way en route to a 31-9 win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The 22-point loss didn’t do much to affect the perspective on the Cardinals heading into the second half of the season.

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 9 Thursday night home game against the undefeated San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium.


High Ranking: 20 (Sporting News)

Low Ranking: 25 (NFL.com, USA Today)

Week 9 Average Ranking: 23.5 (Down from 22.4 in Week 8)


 

Week 9 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus players who need to step up

This Week: 24 

Movement: ▼1

Comment: Player who needs to step up: David Johnson, RB

Johnson has yet to have a breakout game and has been hampered by injuries in the first half of the season. To step up in the second half, Johnson needs to produce 100-yard games on a regular basis, whether that’s rushing or receiving. And to do that, he needs to be more consistent hitting holes, making players miss and creating after the catch.


 

NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: 49ers reclaim No. 2; Bears plunge

This Week: 25 

Movement: —

Comment: The final score doesn’t quite tell the story of the Cardinals’ 31-9 loss to the Saints. Arizona did a nice job hanging around with an NFC powerhouse, until a gutsy call by Kliff Kingsbury brought disastrous consequences. The scene: Trailing 10-6 with less than eight minutes to play in the third quarter, the Cardinals faced fourth-and-1 from their own 30-yard line. Kingsbury elected to go for it, and Chase Edmonds was flattened for no gain. The Saints took over and reached the end zone five plays later. Game over. Kingsbury knew the Cardinals had to be bold to beat the Saints, but the execution simply wasn’t there. Speaking of Edmonds, the running back exited early with a hamstring injury, and the team subsuquently acquired running back Kenyan Drake from the Dolphins on Monday. Drake is a talented runner — it will be interesting to see where he fits in long-term in a crowded but banged-up backfield.


 

NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 9: Top Teams Holding Steady

This Week: 24

Movement: ▲2

Comment: Playing the Saints on the road indeed proved to be a stiffer test than the Bengals, Falcons and Giants. With the 49ers in town on Thursday night, it could be another tough week for Kyler, Kliff and co.


 

NFL power rankings: Have undefeated 49ers proven they’re now No. 1 team in NFC?

This Week: 25

Movement: ▲1

Comment: You know your running back depth is in serious jeopardy when you have a losing record but have to trade for a guy (Kenyan Drake) who will be a free agent after eight more games.


 

NFL Power Rankings: Mediocre AFC might give Patriots a free ride to Super Bowl

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼1

Comment: The Cardinals have won some games, but they’re still miles behind the other three teams in the NFC West. They’re rebuilding. So why are they trading a draft pick for Kenyan Drake, whose contract expires after this season? How does that logically fit into their organizational philosophy?


 

NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Patriots, 49ers steady at the top, Rams rise back into top 10, Bills plummet

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼2

Comment: They have been moving the ball, but they need to score more points. Kyler Murray has to get the touchdown passes going.


PFT’s Week Nine power rankings

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼1

Comment: The reward for giving the Saints a closer game than the final score suggests is a short-week showdown against a team that is capable of blowing the Cardinals out of their own stadium.


NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 9

This Week: 21

Movement: ▼4

Comment: After reeling off three wins in a row, Week 8 presented the Arizona Cardinals with a litmus test on just how improved the team is: a trip to New Orleans to battle the one-loss Saints.

It did not go well.

The Cardinals hung around for the first three quarters, but Arizona’s defense eventually wore down. With young tailback Chase Edmonds joining David Johnson on the shelf, the Cardinals managed just 40 rushing yards for the game and were shut out of the end zone.

It was something of a reality check for the Redbirds. That the team is better is undeniable—Arizona has already won as many games in 2019 as it did all of last year.

But this is still a team with a first-year head coach, a rookie quarterback and a defense that was torched for 510 yards Sunday.


NFL power rankings: 49ers, Packers inch up; Seahawks, Eagles fly higher; Bears, Bills slide into Week 9

This Week: 20

Movement: ▼4

Comment: Kyler Murray has been cooling off against better teams, and Arizona’s defense seems to have interchangeable problems against run and pass. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is dealing cards well from the deck he has, but there is still a significant rebuild ahead.


NFL Power Rankings: Patriots remain No. 1, but should they stay there?

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼3

Comment: There might not be a more difficult back-to-back than what Kyler Murray and Co. are embarking on this week. Just four days after losing 31-9 to the Saints in Drew Brees’ return, they get the undefeated San Francisco 49ers on a short week. Yikes.


NFL Power Rankings Week 9

This Week: 23

Movement: ▲1

Comment: This young team predictably fell apart heading into New Orleans to take on Drew Brees. They’re fun, but there’s still a long ways to go.

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