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The Consensus Week 14: Cardinals plummet after stinker vs. Rams

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 01: Tyler Higbee #89 of the Los Angeles Rams makes a leaping catch against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at State Farm Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Rams won 34-7. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have been reliably competitive in 2019 … until Week 13 that is.

The Los Angeles Rams continued their recent domination of the Cardinals with a 34-7 win at State Farm Stadium last Sunday, and the game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.

Persistent problems (converting third downs, defending the pass) were present and the result was ugly enough for Arizona to fall in nine of 11 NFL Power Rankings tracked by The Consensus.

Here’s a quick rundown of what some of the leading national rankings are saying about the Cardinals and where they stand heading into their Week 14 home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

High Ranking: 24 (Yahoo!, CBS Sports)

Low Ranking: 30 (Pro Football Talk)

Week 14 Average Ranking: 26.3 (Down from 24.3 in Week 13)


Week 14 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus who’s under fire in the final month

This Week: 25

Movement: ▼2

Who’s under fire: Vance Joseph, defensive coordinator

The Cardinals’ defense is the worst in the NFL. It’s ranked 32nd in yards per game and in passing yards per game allowed — and that all falls on the shoulders of Joseph. If those numbers weren’t bad enough, there’s more: The Cardinals are allowing the most first downs per game and have allowed the most passing yards to tight ends by 152. Four tight ends have had more than 100 yards against Arizona this season. The Cardinals’ offense has been coming along slowly, but the defense hasn’t done its share of carrying the burden. And that might cost Joseph his job.


NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: Ravens supplant 49ers at No. 1

This Week: 29 

Movement: ▼2

Comment: Burn the tape! Destroy the evidence! Never speak of it again! These are all commands one could imagine coming out of Cardinals headquarters after Sunday’s embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Rams, a game that featured almost nothing in the way of positives for the home team. The defense gave up a season-high 549 yards, and the offense didn’t cross 100 yards until the fourth quarter. This was the fifth consecutive loss for Arizona, but all losses are not created equal, especially for a rebuilding team. In the three defeats that preceded their Week 12 bye, the Cardinals hung tough and looked ready to hit their stride behind rookie Kyler Murray. Week 13 represented a step back, and it cost at least one player his job. Starting cornerback Tramaine Brock was released on Monday. It won’t get any easier for Murray this week, when the red-hot Steelers bring their swarming defense to town.


NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 14: Seahawks Climbing, NFC East Sinking

This Week: 26

Movement: ▼2

Comment: The Rams are fighting for their playoff lives a year after making the Super Bowl, and the Cardinals were victims of circumstance after an embarrassing prime time blowout loss for L.A. Still, six sacks of Kyler Murray, under 200 yards of offense and just two third down conversions aren’t going to help.


NFL power rankings: How do Week 13 losses affect Patriots, Cowboys?

This Week: 29

Movement: ▼5

Comment: Inevitable “Air Raid” offense would eventually kill Air Raided defense, now ranked dead last after surrendering nearly 500 ypg over past five outings.


NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys lead the NFC East, perhaps NFL’s worst division ever

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼1

Comment: Arizona has become one of those teams in which you have no idea what you’ll get from week to week. The same team that should have won at San Francisco was trailing 34-0 at home to the reeling Rams. Just part of the growing pains for a young team.


NFL Week 14 Power Rankings: Patriots fall, but it’s too early to bury them, Seahawks rise to No. 2 spot

This Week: 24

Movement: ▼1

Comment: The defense has been brutal at times this season, especially last week against the Rams. The offense didn’t do much either.

Week 14 power rankings

This Week: 30

Movement: ▼2

Comment: The record doesn’t reflect it, but there’s plenty of hope for the future. As long as they can get Kyler Murray some help.

NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 14

This Week: 27

Movement: ▼4

Comment: At the seven-game mark of the 2019 season, the Arizona Cardinals appeared to building up a nice head of steam. The Redbirds had peeled off three straight wins and sat at 3-3-1 for the year.

Since then, the Cardinals have dropped five in a row. And while that slump comes with the caveat that four of the losses were against teams with winning records, after the latest debacle it’s fair to ask whether this year’s Cardinals are that much better than last year’s mess of a team.

Sunday in Phoenix, the Cardinals were dominated in just about every way a team can be. Offensively, Arizona was completely shut down, generating just 198 yards of total offense and one touchdown well after the game was out of hand.

Defensively, Arizona was roasted to the tune of 549 yards.

This is a game from which you burn the film. And then bury the ashes.

NFL power rankings: 49ers, Patriots, Cowboys and Eagles fall; Steelers, Saints surge for Week 14

This Week: 26

Movement: ▼1

Comment: The Cardinals came off a bye looking worse than they have all season with Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray at the controls. It’s difficult to play offense, however, when the defense can’t stop tight ends, wide receivers or running backs.

NFL Power Rankings: How did the marquee matchups of Week 13 impact our order?

This Week: 25

Movement: —

Comment: The Cardinals went through a gauntlet before their Week 12 bye and there was certainly some reason for optimism that things might be easier for Kyler Murray and company after a week off. The Rams shattered that illusion within minutes Sunday, as the Rams battered Murray (the one-handed sack by Aaron Donald was just straight-up nasty) and it’s hard to feel good about the Cardinals’ prospects for progress for the rest of the season.

Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

This Week: 25

Movement: —

Comment: A tough day for Kliff Kingsbury’s squad as they were summarily dispatched by the Rams at home. All things considered, their first thorough beatdown coming in Week 13 seems like a win in of itself.

Phillips Law Group

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