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The Consensus Week 7: Cardinals see a jump after MNF win vs. Cowboys

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) runs the ball against the Dallas Cowboys in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Talk about stepping up to the primetime stage.

The Arizona Cardinals had the Cowboys’ number from the first whistle, upending Dallas 38-10 on Monday Night Football to move to 4-2 on the year.

Second-year quarterback Kyler Murray tossed two touchdowns and ran for another, while starting running back Kenyan Drake expolded under the bright lights with 164 yards and two touchdwons on 20 carries (8.2 yards per attempt).

Defensively, safety Budda Baker was all over the field. He finished the evening with a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, seven tackles and a pass deflection.

The Cardinals’ return to MNF went about as good as it could have gone against a Cowboys team struggling to stay afloat.

For the most part, the Cardinals moved up in most of the national power rankings. But given the putrid Dallas defense, the needle didn’t move much — if at all — for some.

High Ranking: #10 (

Low Ranking: #18 (USA Today)

Average Ranking: #14

Biggest Jump: #24 to #10 (

Biggest Drop: #17 to #18 (USA Today)

Outlet Rankings Cardinals’ Rank Movement Comment
NFL Power Rankings Week 7: 1-32 poll, plus each team’s most impactful injury
Jones has been the best pass-rusher in the NFL since entering the league in 2012; his 97 sacks are the most over that stretch. He tore his right biceps in Arizona’s Week 5 win over the Jets and had surgery last week. Losing Jones, who only had one sack this season, will have a domino effect on the defense. Teams were keying on Jones, who had 19 sacks last season. He was getting consistent double-teams and chips this year, and his presence opened up rushing lanes for the rest of the defense. Without Jones, offensive lines can key on both sides of the pass rush, which will make getting to the quarterback more difficult.
NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Steelers, Titans crack top three
The Cardinals had a ball on Monday night in Dallas, dominating action in all phases en route to a 38-10 win over the reeling Cowboys. Kyler Murray celebrated his North Texas homecoming with three scores, including a rainbow deep ball strike to Christian Kirk for an 80-yard touchdown that effectively settled matters in the second quarter. Vance Joseph’s defense also stepped up, making life miserable for an overmatched Andy Dalton. Safety Budda Baker was outstanding, finishing with a sack, interception, forced fumble and two QB hits. A huge measuring-stick game looms Sunday against the undefeated Seahawks. The Cardinals shouldn’t enter that showdown with a lack of confidence.
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We know the Cardinals have firepower, which they showed on Monday night against a depleted Cowboys team. At their best, they are certainly good enough to compete in the NFC’s second-tier. But they are also a young team that could face some growing pains, as we saw in the back-to-back losses to the Lions and Panthers. But I’m definitely buying the future of the Kliff/Kyler Cardinals and excited to see them engage the Seahawks in a shootout next week.
NFL power rankings: Packers’ meltdown leads to another change at No. 1
Beating up on highly depleted Dallas reveals little. The real test comes Sunday, when undefeated Seahawks kick off month-long homestand in desert.
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We saw why Budda Baker is the highest-paid safety in NFL history. He was phenomenal on Monday night against the Cowboys. His versatility is the biggest asset the Cardinals defense has, especially with Chandler Jones out with an injury.
NFL Week 7 Power Rankings: Steelers are new No. 1, Bears climb into top six, Packers slide
They have won two straight and look to have the offense clicking. Now they face a big division game against undefeated Seattle.
PFT’s Week Seven 2020 power rankings
Kyler Murray needs more prime-time exposure in order to be fully appreciated.
NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 7
Frankly, it’s fair to wonder whether Monday night’s blowout in Dallas says more about how good the Arizona Cardinals are or how bad the Dallas Cowboys are. This was a game in which Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray completed nine of 24 passes as the Cardinals scored 38 points. A number of Redbirds stepped up in the stomping. Running back Kenyan Drake had easily his best game of 2020, rolling up 164 yards and two scores. Wide receiver Christian Kirk also found the end zone twice. And safety Budda Baker was a force, notching seven solo tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception.
NFL power rankings: Steelers, 49ers, Titans keep climbing; Patriots, Eagles plummet into Week 7
The Cardinals’ defense lost a big piece in Chandler Jones and they’re not getting enough plays being made, period. Kyler Murray and the offense needed to get even more explosive, diverse and balanced to offset that.
NFL Power Rankings: Ryan Tannehill Is Proving Last Year Was No Fluke
The Contenders: 9. Indianapolis Colts (4-2), 10. Los Angeles Rams (4-2), 11. Cleveland Browns (4-2), 12. Chicago Bears (5-1), 13. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2), 14. New Orleans Saints (3-2), 15. Arizona Cardinals (4-2), 16. New England Patriots (2-3).
Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Cardinals jump up 3 spots
Yes, it was against Andy Dalton, but the Cards defense looked hungrier than it has all year.

Phillips Law Group

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