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The Consensus Week 3: Steady rise for Cardinals in NFL power rankings

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella, right, celebrates a first down with teammate Dan Arnold during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It feels good to be back among, at the very least, the middle-rung of the NFL.

The Arizona Cardinals moved to 2-0 with a decisive, 30-15 win over the Washington Football Team in Week 2, further legitimizing themselves as a playoff contender for the first time since the 2015 NFC Championship Game run in 2015.

Kliff Kingsbury’s crew has not yet cemented the team as a top-10 squad, but the Cardinals are firmly among the top-15 in a consensus of Week 3 power rankings across the sports media landscape. Arizona is ranked as high as No. 7 and as low as No. 13, and it’s the teams ahead of them keeping pace that saw the Cardinals rise just a tad in this week’s power rankings.


High Ranking: #7 (Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, CBS, USA Today)
 

Low Ranking: #13 (NFL.com)
 

Average Ranking: 9.5
 

Biggest Jump: #15 to #12 (ESPN) and #10 to #7 (Sports Illustrated)


Outlet Rankings Cardinals’ Rank Movement Comment
Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus surprise fantasy finds
#12
▲3
Under-the-radar fantasy standout: WR Andy Isabella. The second-year wideout won’t get a ton of looks this season because of the cache of talent ahead of him on the depth chart. But when he makes a play in 2020, it’ll probably be a big-splash one — like the 54-yard catch he had Sunday against Washington. Isabella averaged 21 yards per catch as a rookie in 2019, but of his 11 career catches, three have gone for 50 yards or longer.
NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: A new No. 1! Steelers, Seahawks hit top 5
#13
▲1
Kyler Murray is running the ball in a way he never did during his rookie season, and it has made him one of the most dangerous players in football. A week after befuddling the Niners with his legs, he did the same to the Washington Football Team in an easy 30-15 win. Murray scored on two impressive scrambles on Sunday and is currently averaging 45 more rushing yards per game this season than he did during his Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign in 2019. Meanwhile, the QB’s connection with his new No. 1 receiver remains strong: DeAndre Hopkins led Arizona in targets (nine), receptions (eight) and receiving yards (68) for the second straight game.
NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks Soar to Top Spot, Vikings Plummet
#7
▲3
Kyler Murray’s transition from rookie of the year to established star was fast, but so it goes when you’ve been mastering a version of this offense since high school. Will anyone come up with a more effective way to spot and tackle him on the run?
NFL power rankings: Ravens replace Chiefs for No. 1 spot after Week 2
#7
▲1
This is Arizona’s fifth 2-0 start since 2008, each of the previous ones (with the exception of 2012) resulting in trips to the playoffs.
NFL Power Rankings: Behind too-early MVP candidate Josh Allen (seriously), the Bills are dangerous
#12
▲1
Rookie first-round draft pick Isaiah Simmons played just seven snaps on defense against Washington and his only stat was a special-teams tackle. Simmons is talented, and it’s surprising how little he’s playing. The Cardinals haven’t needed him yet but they’ll likely require some contribution from him before the season is done.
NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Patriots soar behind Cam Newton, Eagles plummet after blowing big lead
#7
▲1
Kyler Murray is in the MVP conversation and his offense will be tough to stop for any defense. The defense is also much improved over a year ago.
PFT’s Week Three power rankings
#11
▲1
The Cardinals could be undefeated when a national audience finally gets a chance to fully appreciate Kyler Murray and company on a Monday night in Dallas.
NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 3
#7
▲1
With three straight games on tap against teams who are a combined 0-6 (vs. Lions, at Panthers, at Jets), the Cardinals could well roll into their Week 6 Monday nighter against the Dallas Cowboys undefeated. After that comes the biggest test to date: a home date with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
NFL power rankings: Seahawks, Bills, Steelers get closer to top; Eagles, Vikings in a free fall for Week 3
#8
▲1
The Cardinals have seen Kyler Murray give opponents the run-around with a big assist from DeAndre Hopkins. They also have to be pleased how their defense is rising behind Chandler Jones and in front of Budda Baker. Kliff Kingsbury is an early coach of the year candidate.
NFL Power Rankings: The War of Attrition Leaves Some Teams Scrambling
#12
▲1
The Contenders: 7. Los Angeles Rams (2-0); 8. Tennessee Titans (2-0); 9. New Orleans Saints (1-1); 10. New England Patriots (1-1); 11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1); 12. Arizona Cardinals (2-0); and 13. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 3: Little change at the top
#9
▲2
Kyler Murray is downright frightening in open space. Ask Troy Apke.


Phillips Law Group

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