The Consensus Week 10: Cardinals trend down after Dolphins loss

Nov 11, 2020, 10:00 AM
Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Daniels (81) pulls in a touchdown pass as Miami Dolphins corner...

Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Daniels (81) pulls in a touchdown pass as Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones (24) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Arizona Cardinals took one on the chin in Week 9, falling 34-31 to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.

Cardinals signal caller Kyler Murray had an impressive game, totaling 389 yards and four touchdowns. The defense, however, couldn’t find an answer to the Dolphins attack, surrendering 27 points in the loss.

It certainly didn’t help matters that both outside linebacker Devon Kennard and cornerback Byron Murphy weren’t on the field due to testing positive for coronavirus. Luckily for the Cardinals, both were activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

Arizona’s inability to stop Miami’s offense stunted the team’s ascension in the national power rankings this week. Just one outlet kept the Cardinals in the top 10 entering Week 10.

High Ranking: #10 (ESPN)

Low Ranking: #14 (Yahoo! Sports)

Average Ranking: #11

Biggest Drop: #6 to #11 (USA Today)

Outlet Rankings Cardinals’ Rank Movement Comment
NFL Power Rankings Week 10: 1-32 poll, plus new expectations for every team
As of now, the Cardinals are the sixth seed in the NFC, which means they’re not just in the playoffs but ahead of one other playoff team with the additional spot added this season. All they have to do is make sure they stay there. A win over the Dolphins on Sunday would have put the Cardinals in a more comfortable position, but Arizona has to win the games it’s supposed to win from here on out and steal a game or two it’s not supposed to win. Then the Cardinals will be playing at least two games in January instead of one in Week 17.
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Kyler Murray is the best player on the Cardinals. Why not keep the ball in his hands with the game on the line, Kliff Kingsbury? On fourth-and-inches with 5:20 to play in a tie contest, Kingsbury asked running back Chase Edmonds to convert the first down. No dice. On fourth-and-1 in the final two minutes, Kingsbury pulled Murray and the offense off the field in favor of a 49-yard field-goal attempt. Zane Gonzalez shorted the kick (c’mon, man!), and the Dolphins escaped the desert with a 34-31 win. Murray accounted for four touchdowns on the day and set a career high with 106 rushing yards. When you need to make your best play, ask your best player to make it.
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Everyone wanted Kyler Murray to have a second-year breakout like some of the MVP quarterbacks who’ve done it in recent years. He hasn’t quite had that type of season but he and the Cardinals are on track to meet realistic expectations in Year 2 under him and Kliff Kingsbury.
NFL power rankings: Who is NFC’s No. 1 contender following losses by Buccaneers, Seahawks?
WR Larry Fitzgerald isn’t used to this kind of touchdown famine. It’s been nearly 11 months since his last visit to the end zone.
NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins could be a playoff team with Tua Tagovailoa
Kyler Murray’s 106-yard rushing day puts him on pace for some history. Murray is on pace for 1,086 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Mike Vick and Lamar Jackson are the only quarterbacks to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Cam Newton holds the single-season record for a quarterback with 14 rushing touchdowns.
NFL Week 10 Power Rankings: Saints soar to No. 4 after Bucs beatdown, Raiders enter top 10
We know the offense can score. But the defense has to be better. Losing to Miami at home is not a good look, even if Miami is improved.
PFT’s Week 10 2020 power rankings
And now we wait four years for Chapter Two of Tua vs. Kyler.
NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 10
The Arizona Cardinals came up just short of overtaking the Seattle Seahawks for first place in the NFC West. First, Arizona running back Chase Edmonds was stuffed on a fourth-and-short play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s contest with the Miami Dolphins. Then Zane Gonzalez’s 49-yard field goal try with less than two minutes left in the game came up short of the crossbar. Add in an excellent performance for rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, and you have Arizona’s third loss of 2020.
NFL power rankings: Saints, Packers new NFC front-runners after Buccaneers, Seahawks plunge for Week 10
The Cardinals played a classic young QB duel with the Dolphins with Kyler Murray not having the same field-goal fortunes as Tagovailoa. The defense, which had seemed to turn a corner, was most disappointing.
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The Contenders; 7. Seattle Seahawks (6-2), 8. Tennessee Titans (6-2), 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3), 10. Miami Dolphins (5-3), 11. Indianapolis Colts (5-3), 12. Los Angeles Rams (5-3), 13. Arizona Cardinals (5-3).
Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Steelers barely hang on
Every time you think they’re ready to announce themselves, they slip up like they did against Miami.

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The Consensus Week 10: Cardinals trend down after Dolphins loss