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The Consensus Week 9: Cardinals see positive movement despite bye week

Cornerback Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates in the end zone his interception of a pass by quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals might not have added to the win-loss column in Week 8, but the team still moved up most of the power rankings across the nation.

The Cardinals enter Week 9 with some question marks, however, as starting running back Kenyan Drake is expected to miss Arizona’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins due to an ankle injury.

Adding to the unknown is how the team will respond defensively with both cornerback Byron Murphy and outside linebacker Devon Kennard on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for coronavirus over the weekend.

Still, even with the trio on the shelf, the Cardinals moved up in all but three rankings, with only one dropping the team down a few spots.


High Ranking: #6 (USA Today)
 

Low Ranking: #12 (Yahoo! Sports)
 

Average Ranking: #9
 

Biggest Jump: #15 to #11 (The Ringer)
 

Biggest Drop: #10 to #12 (Yahoo! Sports)
 


Outlet Rankings Cardinals’ Rank Movement Comment
NFL Power Rankings Week 9: 1-32 poll, plus a ray of hope for every team
#10
▲1
Last season, Kyler Murray was sacked 48 times, 23 coming in the first seven games. This season, he is down to nine through seven games, an improvement that can be credited to the offensive line as much as to him. The Cardinals also have excelled at run blocking. Last season, they set a franchise record of 5.03 yards per carry. They’ve bettered that thus far this campaign with a rate of 5.21 yards per carry, the second-best clip in the league. The offensive line has figured out how to both pass block and run block in Kliff Kingsbury’s up-tempo scheme, which might end up being the difference between the playoffs and watching from home in January.
NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Seahawks leapfrog Ravens and Packers
#10
▲1
The rapid franchise turnaround has been impressive. Two years ago, the Cardinals were 3-13 with a struggling rookie first-round pick in Josh Rosen and an overmatched head coach in Steve Wilks. It wasn’t working, but it took guts for the Cards to pivot as quickly as they did. Wilks was one-and-done, replaced by Kliff Kingsbury. Rosen was shipped out of town to make way for 2019 No. 1 pick Kyler Murray. General manager Steve Keim pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade for All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins and assembled an offensive line that’s been one of the league’s best. From the worst record in the league to an NFC contender in two seasons. Other downtrodden teams would do well to study the Cardinals’ blueprint.
NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks Keep Control in NFC West; Patriots Continue to Fall
#9
The Cardinals were hoping to come out of their bye week atop the NFC West. They’re still in an excellent spot, but they’ll have to keep up the momentum from their pre-bye win vs. Seattle against the upstart Dolphins.
NFL power rankings: Raiders, Seahawks rise as Titans tumble after Week 8
#6
▲2
Kyler Murray has seven rushing TDs through seven games, obviously putting him on pace for 16. Cam Newton has the record among QBs with 14 in his 2011 rookie campaign.
NFL Power Rankings: Do undefeated Steelers or defending champion Chiefs deserve the No. 1 spot?
#12
▼2
It looks like Kenyan Drake might miss just one week due to his ankle injury. Having Drake helps. The Cardinals still need to give Chase Edmonds a bigger role, even when Drake returns. He has earned it.
NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Dolphins rise five spots behind defense, Colts hitting stride, Browns tumble
#9
▲2
They come off their bye with a suddenly tough game against the Dolphins. They seemed to be hitting their stride before the bye, so they need to hope it doesn’t impede the progress.
PFT’s Week 9 2020 power rankings
#10
▲1
Could they win the division? (I think they could.)
NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 9
#9
It would be understandable if the Arizona Cardinals wanted to take a breath over their bye week. After all, they’re coming off an overtime win over the rival Seahawks that thrust them into the thick of the NFC West race. But after getting pounded by the Los Angeles Rams following their bye in 2019, quarterback Kyler Murray and the Redbirds aren’t taking their collective foot off the gas in 2020.
NFL power rankings: Packers, 49ers, Browns slip after ugly losses; Saints, Bills trending up for Week 9
#9
▲1
The Cardinals enjoyed a bye, which is the only thing that could stop the momentum of Kyler Murray and the offense. They should come out playing better defense against the Dolphins at home.
NFL Power Rankings: The Steelers Defense Shuts Down the Reigning MVP
#11
▲4
The Contenders: 7. Indianapolis Colts (5-2), 8. New Orleans Saints (5-2), 9. Green Bay Packers (5-2), 10. Tennessee Titans (5-2), 11. Arizona Cardinals (5-2), 12. Los Angeles Rams (5-3).
Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Steelers on top
#10
▲1
Coming out of the bye with two defensive starters on COVID-19 reserve list.


Phillips Law Group

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