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The Consensus Week 12: Close loss to 49ers drops Cardinals … a bit

Running back Jeff Wilson Jr. #30 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the football past safety Jalen Thompson #34 of the Arizona Cardinals en route to scoring on a 25 yard touchdown during the second half of the NFL game at Levi's Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Another week, another close loss.

This one felt a little different for the Arizona Cardinals, though. They jumped out to a 16-0 lead on the San Francisco 49ers, squandered it and then were able to regain an advantage on two different occasions.

The 49ers were able to take the lead for good with under a minute to go, but it’s hard to walk away from this loss from an Arizona perspective without acknowledging positives (even though the loss itself was painful and frustrating.)

At 3-7-1, Kliff Kingsbury’s team hasn’t done much to improve their win total this year, but another promising performance from rookie QB Kyler Murray as well as taking one of the league’s best teams to the limit once again has pretty much kept the Cardinals where they were in most outlets’ pecking orders.

Here’s a quick rundown of what some of the leading national rankings are saying about the Cardinals and where they rank heading into their Week 12 bye.


High Ranking: 23 (Sporting News, The Big Lead)

Low Ranking: 27 (Pro Football Talk)

Week 12 Average Ranking: 25.2 (Down from 25.1 in Week 11)


 

Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus each team’s most underrated player

This Week: 24 

Movement: —

Comment: Most underrated player: Chandler Jones, LB

It might sound crazy, but Jones doesn’t get the respect he deserves around the league, despite being arguably the best edge rusher in the NFL over the past five years. He leads the league in sacks yet again with 12.5, but Jones didn’t make the NFL Network’s Top 100 ranking. He is a game-changer every week who forces offensive lines to prepare accordingly for him, yet he is widely forgotten about outside the Cardinals locker room.


 

NFL Power Rankings, Week 12: Rams, Raiders climb; Texans fall

This Week: 26 

Movement: ▲1

Comment: The Cardinals were aggressive. We’ll give them that. Leading San Francisco 26-23 with 37 seconds to play, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph called for an all-out blitz to win the game. Unfortunately for Arizona, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo recognized the pressure and spotted running back Jeff Wilson Jr., who shook free from Chandler Jones, caught Garoppolo’s pass and coasted to the end zone for the game-deciding score. A tough way to lose, no doubt, compounded by the fact the Cards had a 16-0 advantage in the second quarter over the NFC West leaders. This would have been a massive building-block victory for Kliff Kingsbury. Instead, it’s another narrow defeat. “I’m used to winning,” a dejected Kyler Murray said after the game. “I’ve always won, and to be in situations when you go up 16 or are in position to win and you should win, it’s disappointing.” Better days will come, young buck.


 

NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 12: Patriots and Ravens Tied at No. 1

This Week: 25

Movement: —

Comment: A second tight loss to the 49ers had Kyler Murray feeling some feelings. There are plenty of silver linings in the desert, but blowing leads of 16-0, 19-17 and 26-23 against one of the NFC’s best hurts in the midst of a 3-win season.


 

NFL power rankings: Cowboys, Saints on move as stars like Dak Prescott, Alvin Kamara heat up

This Week: 25

Movement: ▼2

Comment: Per Next Gen Stats, Kyler Murray’s average “Air Yards to the Sticks” is minus-2.1. Yep, you’ve got much to learn … about AYTS and whatever significance it has.


 

NFL Power Rankings: Ravens have a fantastic QB, and a defense to match

This Week: 26

Movement: ▼1

Comment: The Cardinals acquitted themselves well in San Francisco against a good team. This was a truly bad team last season. Arizona isn’t going to have a great record, but it’s clear there is progress with coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray. There are still a lot of things the Cardinals need to fix, but this was never going to be a one-year turnaround.


 

NFL Week 12 Power Rankings: Raiders have legitimate shot at playoffs, not much movement at top

This Week: 24

Movement: —

Comment: They are certainly getting better on offense, which is a good thing for the future. Kyler Murray has the look of a future star.


PFT’s Week 12 power rankings

This Week: 28

Movement: ▼2

Comment: They’re not far away from becoming a contender.


NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 12

This Week: 23

Movement: ▲4

Comment: For the second time in three weeks, the Arizona Cardinals gave the NFC’s No. 1 seed all it could handle—a sign that the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray Redbirds are getting better.

For the second time, that didn’t matter—a sign the team isn’t that good.

Arizona didn’t just hang with the 49ers in the first half—it dominated, racing out to a 16-0 lead. The defense, however, had no answer for San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw for 424 yards and four scores.


NFL power rankings: Ravens jump Patriots; Cowboys, Colts climb; Steelers, Eagles dip for Week 12

This Week: 27

Movement: ▼1

Comment: The Cardinals tried their best to win a shootout with the 49ers a second time but were denied again. Kyler Murray keeps growing to raise their offensive efficiency, but the defense is an absolute mess against the pass, even with Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson as the headliners.


NFL Power Rankings: Week 11 brought out the best in the Ravens, the very worst in others

This Week: 26

Movement: —

Comment: The Cardinals take a four-game losing streak into their bye week, and this latest loss seems to sting the worst, considering they were up 16-0 on 49ers before collapsing in the second half. Aside from encouraging progress by quarterback Kyler Murray and a league-high 12.5 sacks for Chandler Jones, there’s not much else positive to say here.


Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

This Week: 23

Movement: —

Comment: The Cardinals stepped up and nearly stole one from San Francisco at home. Kyler Murray is very fun to watch, and while this Arizona team still isn’t very good, there’s a lot of potential to play late-season spoiler to playoff hopeful opponents.

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