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The Consensus Week 17: Cardinals see slight drop after loss to 49ers

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals could not keep their winning ways going last Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Falling 20-12 to a team obliterated by injuries this season, the Cardinals dropped to 8-7 on the year. Since their bye week, the Cardinals have gone 3-5 after starting 5-2 over the first seven games.

Arizona now needs a victory next week to punch their ticket into the postseason.

After two weeks of positive movement, the Cardinals were dinged in just about every national power ranking entering Week 17.


High Ranking: #13 (Pro Football Focus)
 

Average Ranking: #15
 

Biggest Drop: #14 to #18 (Sports Illustrated)
 


Outlet Rankings Cardinals’ Rank Movement Comment
NFL Power Rankings Week 17: 1-32 poll, plus New Year’s resolutions for each team
#14
New Year’s resolution: Play more consistently. Regardless of how it finishes, the Cardinals’ 2020 season will be defined by how the team played after the bye (3-5 thus far) compared to the success it found pre-bye (5-2). And because Arizona lost four out of five games right after the bye, including three in a row — and would’ve lost five in a row if not for the Hail Murray — the Cardinals find themselves in a fight for their playoff lives. Next season, the Cardinals need to find more consistency or they might be in for the same type of season, which might not end well for Kliff Kingsbury.
NFL Power Rankings, Week 17: Steelers back in top 10, Patriots hit new low
#14
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals were stymied by the 49ers’ defense in a 20-12 loss that — after a Bears win in Jacksonville — left Arizona outside the NFC playoff picture entering Week 17. Both sides of the ball played their part in the loss: C.J. Beathard — the Niners’ third-string quarterback — lit up the Cardinals defense for three touchdowns, while running back Jeff Wilson Jr. gained a career-high 183 yards on the ground. The game ended with more bad news, as Murray suffered a leg injury in the final seconds. On Monday, Kliff Kingsbury sounded like a coach who knows he might not have his best player in the most important game of the year.
NFL Power Rankings: Packers Are Kings of the North; Chiefs Clinch Top Seed in AFC
#18
▼4
Considering the talent level, and considering the fact they’ve been relatively healthy all season, it’s tough to find a unit that underachieved more than the Cardinals’ offense in 2020. The Hail Murray plus an injury to their Week 17 opponent’s quarterback might ultimately be what gets them into the playoffs, but less than two years after pulling the plug on a first-year head coach this franchise once again has some soul searching to do.
NFL power rankings after Week 16: Baltimore Ravens return to top five
#15
▼1
Kyler Murray can become first QB drafted by Arizona to lead Cards to playoffs since … Jake Plummer in 1998.
NFL Power Rankings: Bears have had a wild season, and it could include a playoff spot
#15
▼1
Kliff Kingsbury said he’s hopeful Kyler Murray can play in Week 17. The QB hurt his leg late in a bad loss to the 49ers. If Murray can’t go, Kingsbury said Chris Streveler is the backup ahead of Brett Hundley. Streveler has never thrown an NFL pass. At least the Rams have a quarterback issue too.
NFL Week 17 Power Rankings: Chiefs, Packers same top two as opening week, Dolphins soar to No. 9, Colts sink
#14
That was a major choke job against the 49ers. It’s not a good look going into the playoffs. Kyler Murray is dinged up, but should play against the Rams.
PFT’s Week 17 2020 NFL power rankings
#13
In a year that started with the Cardinals seemingly finding a higher level, the vicinity of .500 could be as good as it gets for the foreseeable future.
NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 17
#15
▼1
The Arizona Cardinals blew it. If the Redbirds do not advance to the postseason in 2020, their Week 16 loss to the 49ers will go down as the beginning of the end.
NFL power rankings: Cowboys, Ravens, Bears rising at right time; Browns, Washington slip for crucial Week 17
#15
▼1
The Cardinals can’t seem to get consistent, good defense, as their work against the run can drag down their pass-rush potential. That also puts more pressure on Kyler Murray and the offense to be pinpoint, and that group is inconsistent, too.
NFL Power Rankings: The Aaron Rodgers–Davante Adams Connection Is Unstoppable
#15
▼1
The Muddled Middle: 15. Arizona Cardinals (8-7), 16. Dallas Cowboys (6-9), 17. New England Patriots (6-9), 18. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8), 19. Minnesota Vikings (6-9), 20. Washington Football Team (6-9), 21. San Francisco 49ers (6-9), 22. Los Angeles Chargers (6-9), 23. New York Giants (5-10).
Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Aaron Rodgers is your MVP
#15
▼1
Way too many consistent questions about urgency and energy to be considered a threat.


Phillips Law Group

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