NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Arizona Cardinals continue to rise after rout of 49ers

Sep 30, 2015, 7:33 AM
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates his touchdown against the San Fran...
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates his touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals are flat-out destroying teams.

In their last six quarters of football, Bruce Arians’ team has outscored the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers by a combined score of 67-10.

Arizona is one of only seven remaining undefeated teams through three weeks of the NFL season, and their +77 point differential far and away leads the league (New England is second at +49).

Every week here on, we’ll take a look at the national perspective on the Birdgang — in the form of NFL Power Rankings from around the country.


Cardinals’ Average Power Ranking: 3.6 (up from 4.1 last week)

High Ranking: #2 (

Low Ranking: #5 (Yahoo! Sports Shutdown Corner, Bleacher Report)

NFLGOLDNFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Falcons continue rise, Steelers fall

#3 (holding steady)

These guys are for real. Carson Palmer — minus one forced throw toward the end of the first half Sunday — is performing magnificently in his 13th season. And something — or maybe someone with a Kangol — has gotten into Chris Johnson. On his 30-yard gallop in the second quarter, CJrejuvenatedK turned it back upfield when he could’ve merely jogged out of bounds, eliciting contact. In other words, the 2012 CJ was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Great coaches push buttons — the correct buttons — with their veterans. And in the interest of looking ahead, let’s note that the 3-0 Cards face the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 10, the week after Arizona’s bye. #can’twait

espnlogo2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

#2 (up 1 spot)

The Cardinals have scored 126 points in their first three games. That’s tied for the fourth-most points in NFL history through three games.

sportsillustratedNFL Week 4 Power Rankings: Cards show they’re elite, move into top three

#3 (up 1 spot)

Any discussion of the Cardinals usually focuses on their defense first. This is currently the top-scoring team in football, though. Granted, the defense is responsible for multiple TDs—two pick-sixes against San Francisco and one in Chicago—but the Carson Palmer–Larry Fitzgerald duo has been next to unstoppable and Chris Johnson has kick-started the run game.

foxsports2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

#4 (holding steady)

What the Cardinals lost this offseason with their pass rush has been replaced by the improved play of their secondary — namely defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, who claim to be healthier than they were in 2014. With Carson Palmer locked in and Larry Fitzgerald turning back the clock, the Cardinals are legitimate title contenders.

bleacherreportBleacher Report — NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Rank Heading into Week 4?

#5 (down 1 spot)

The Arizona Cardinals’ fall only by default. The Denver Broncos leapfrogged them, but they still look like a team that will stick around in the top five for a long, long time.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has factored heavily into the Cardinals’ surge and did again during a 47-7 rout of the 49ers. At 32 years old Fitzgerald is supposed to be evaporating before our very eyes. Instead he’s already scored five times while amassing 333 receiving yards.

sbnationSB Nation — NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: The Patriots and Cardinals look unstoppable

#4 (holding steady)

It’s not just the fact that the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals are both 3-0 that puts them atop the Week 4 NFL power rankings, it’s the way they’re mercilessly throttling their opponents. New England has outscored opponents 91-49 over the past two weeks, while Arizona has dismantled its last two opponents to the collective tune of 95-30.

cbssportsCBS Sports — NFL Power Rankings: Winless Lions, Ravens aren’t scraping the bottom yet

#3 (up 1 spot)

They are playing as well as any team in the league right now. The defense dominated against the 49ers with two picks for scores.

yahoosportsYahoo Sports — Cowboys, Steelers need to survive

#5 (up 1 spot)

They’re still a hard team to figure out because they’re like the Big 12 team that plays an FCS team and the two worst FBS opponents it can find and blows them all out to start the season. That’s not the Cardinals’ fault, but when you’ve beaten the Bears, Saints and 49ers it’s tough to gauge how good you are.

profootballtalkPro Football Talk — Week Four Power Rankings

#4 (up 1 spot)

Arizona’s defensive backs have become Colin Kaepernick’s favorite receivers.

usatodayUSA Today Power Rankings

#3 (up 1 spot)

Arizona offense 31, Arizona defense 16, 49ers 7. No one comes close to matching Cards’ plus-77 point differential this season.

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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Arizona Cardinals continue to rise after rout of 49ers