‘Interesting’ Cardinals ranked 18th in Peter King’s NFL power rankings

Jun 7, 2020, 6:50 AM | Updated: 2:21 pm
Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)...
Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

A belief that the Arizona Cardinals will improve year-over-year in 2020 isn’t an uncommon one. How much they improve is more up for debate.

NBC Sports’ Peter King did a power ranking of all 32 NFL teams and put the Cardinals at 18th, in the bottom half of teams, while acknowledging the arguments for and against a big improvement.

In the first season of the Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray era, Arizona went 5-10-1 while struggling defensively. Five of the Cardinals’ losses were decided by seven points or fewer. But with the additions of projected starters on defense and a trade that gave Arizona one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, it’s easy to see the Cards improving.

King called running back Kenyan Drake “underappreciated” and said receiver DeAndre Hopkins is “instantly … the NFL’s acquisition of the year.”

In all the excitement about the offensively intriguing Cardinals — has there ever been the kind of national sis-boom-bah about a team coming off a five-win season? — it’s good to remember a couple of things. As compelling as the Kyler/Kliff Kards are entering year two of their marriage, they were 21st in total yards and 16th in points last year, and 29th in Red Zone efficiency. But I have them rising nonetheless.

King also said the defense gives him pause, noting that it finished 32nd in yards allowed and 28th in points allowed. Still, he liked the selection of Isaiah Simmons to help out in that department, not even mentioning the adds of Devon Kennard, Jordan Phillips and De’Vondre Campbell with cornerback Robert Alford returning from injury.

So many interesting teams to watch in 2020… Arizona’s in the top five.

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‘Interesting’ Cardinals ranked 18th in Peter King’s NFL power rankings