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The Consensus Week 11: Cardinals dip after squandering TB opportunity

Devin White #45 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cant get to a touchdown pass to Christian Kirk #13 of the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter of the game on November 10, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images)

Remember when the Arizona Cardinals were the owners of a three-game winning streak?

Well, now Kliff Kingsbury’s team has been saddled with three straight losses, the most recent coming in a wild 30-27 road loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While the latest defeat had a lot of promising elements to it, the frustrating themes of third-down defense and red-zone offensive execution remain for Arizona.

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 11 visit to Santa Clara to take on the no-longer-undefeated San Francisco 49ers.


High Ranking: 23 (USA Today, The Big Lead)

Low Ranking: 27 (NFL.com, Bleacher Report)

Week 10 Average Ranking: 25.1 (Down from 22.9 in Week 10)


 

Week 11 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus biggest game left for each team

This Week: 24 

Movement: ▼1

Comment: Most important game left: Dec. 8 vs. Steelers

This is the Cardinals’ next-best chance at getting another win. Arizona has been beating teams it should, and while the Steelers topped the Rams last week, Pittsburgh is playing with a backup quarterback. If the Cardinals can’t win that contest, their next — and possibly last — chance to get a victory would come the week after against Cleveland.


 

NFL Power Rankings, Week 11: Seahawks hit top 5; Ravens at 2

This Week: 27 

Movement: ▼2

Comment: That’s three straight losses for the Cardinals following their three-game winning streak. On Sunday, they competed for 60 minutes on the road against the Bucs, but they were unable to find a way (or get a pass-interference call on Kyler Murray’s final heave as time expired). Speaking of Murray, the rookie quarterback threw his first interception in six weeks. He went 211 passes between picks, an NFL rookie record. Murray joins Deshaun Watson, Daunte Culpepper and Cam Newton as the only players since 1950 with 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts. We got some intrigue on Monday when Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury revealed that he kept David Johnson on the bench in the final quarter so they could keep Kenyan Drake “rolling.” Johnson, who led the NFL in touches (373) and scrimmage yards (2,118) in 2016, hasn’t been the same player this year as he’s battled multiple injuries. Could his time in Arizona be close to an end?


 

NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 10: Patriots in Top Spot After 49ers Loss, Ravens Climbing

This Week: 25

Movement: —

Comment: You had to figure Jameis and his merry band of swashbucklers were going to win a tight one sooner or later. A late mistake from Kyler Murray took three points off the board and led to a long game-winning drive the Cards D couldn’t stop. Growing pains were expected, but they doomed Arizona in a winnable game.


 

NFL power rankings: With Saints, 49ers going down, who takes over No. 1 spot?

This Week: 23

Movement: ▼2

Comment: Christian Kirk snagged three TD passes Sunday, matching the output from his first 18 games. If he gets going, “Air Raid” could reach new level.


 

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers could have, and should have, taken a tie

This Week: 25

Movement: ▼1

Comment: Christian Kirk had 138 yards and three touchdowns. Kirk hasn’t been consistent this season but he has a lot of potential in this offense. He and Kyler Murray should continue to grow together.


 

NFL Week 11 Power Rankings: Lamar Jackson is legit and so are the Ravens, Vikings make big jump

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼1

Comment: They are competing and the offense has done some good things – see Christian Kirk – but they just aren’t good enough yet. It will take some time.


PFT’s Week 11 power rankings

This Week: 26

Movement: ▼2

Comment: “What Could Soon Be” will be the name of their official 2019 highlight video.


NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 11

This Week: 27

Movement: ▼5

Comment: If last week’s hard-fought loss to the undefeated San Francisco 49ers was a step forward for a young Arizona Cardinals team, then Sunday’s sloppy setback in Tampa represented two steps back.

The Cardinals made just about every kind of mistake against the Buccaneers that will cost an NFL team a win. There were turnovers. Eleven penalties. Curious play-calls from first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. And terrible clock management from Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray on the last drive of the game.


NFL power rankings: Ravens, Packers, Vikings head north; Chiefs, Cowboys slip; Colts go south for Week 11

This Week: 26

Movement: ▼4

Comment: The Cardinals may have been robbed by the officials late in comeback mode against the Buccaneers, but the bottom line is their future looks bright with Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk as the principals for Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.


NFL Power Rankings: The Raiders(!) are in the Top 10 and the Seahawks are in the Top 5 after a wild week of action

This Week: 26

Movement: ▼4

Comment: A third straight loss for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, and this one probably stings worse because (1.) It was the most “winnable” game in a difficult four-game stretch that includes two games against the 49ers and a trip to New Orleans; and (2.) The chances were there to beat former head coach Bruce Arians and the Bucs on Sunday, from Maxx Williams’ dropped touchdown to an offside call that wiped off a missed Tampa field goal to Murray’s fourth-quarter fumble and the non-PI call on Murray’s final throw. (That last item should lead to a question about what is a Hail Mary and how those plays are officiated in the age of instant replay review for pass interference, but that’s a different column.)


NFL Power Rankings Week 11

This Week: 23

Movement: ▼2

Comment: When you’re a team as young as the Cardinals, you find positives in defeat, and this was another week full of signs that Kyler & Kliff is a viable combination.

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