Week 15 NFL Power Rankings Recap: Cardinals descend … again

Dec 14, 2016, 8:18 AM | Updated: 11:08 am
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is short on a catch during the first half of ...
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is short on a catch during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. To the left is Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell (41). (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The soundtrack to the Arizona Cardinals’ 2016 season may as well by provided by Muzak. The year itself has had enough ups and downs to make you think you’re on an elevator.

The Cardinals hit the ‘down’ button again Sunday, losing to the Miami Dolphins, 26-23, in a rain-soaked saga that ended with Miami’s Andrew Franks hitting a 21-yard field goal as time expired, effectively snuffing out any last postseason hopes Arizona may have had.

Arizona was seeking consecutive wins for only the second time in 2016, and failed to reach that “milestone” once again. The latest loss was a lot like some of the others; punctuated by special teams miscues. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a field goal and two extra points, including one that was blocked and returned for two points by the Dolphins, making the Cardinals’ comeback efforts more difficult.

Not surprisingly, the 5-7-1 Cardinals again dipped in the power rankings heading into Week 15.

Here’s a rundown of what some prominent national outlets — and we here at ArizonaSports.com — are saying about the Cardinals:


Cardinals Average Power Ranking: 22.8

(down from 20.9 last week)

High Ranking: #19 (ESPN)

Low Ranking: #25 (SI.com, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, )


arizonasports_lg_300Arizona Sports Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots return to top spot

Cardinals rank: #21 (▼ 3)

Stadiums should play the “Benny Hill” theme song when the Cardinals are on special teams.

espnWeek 15 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs sneak into the top three

Cardinals rank: #19 (▼ 2)

The Cardinals keep digging themselves holes they can’t crawl out of. The Cardinals have been outscored by 42 points in the first and third quarters this season, but have outscored opponents by 64 in the second and fourth quarters. Arizona looks to buck that trend in their home finale against the Saints.

nflnetworkNFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Patriots retake No. 1; Chiefs rise

Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 4)

Welp. A season full of promise in early September appears to be over in early December. With Arizona dropping to 5-7-1 — and the Giants, Redskins, Packers and Buccaneers all winning — the Cards would need a billion things to go their way to make the postseason. Including, but not limited to, the Falcons and Vikings losing out, and the Redskins dropping two of three … and … and … forget it. We’re as likely to see Roy “Jet Stream” Green come out of retirement and catch some balls from Timm Rosenbach as we are to see this Cardinals group in the tournament.

SINFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Cowboys finally lose grasp of top spot

Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 6)

Tyvon Branch, Ulrick John and Deone Bucannon all are headed to injured reserve as the Cardinals limp toward the finish line. Shutting down Tyrann Mathieu and building a protective cone lined with air bags around David Johnson might not be the worst ideas, either.

cbssportsNFL Power Rankings: After second loss, it’s time for the Cowboys to go with Tony Romo

Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 5)

This season has been a special-teams disaster, and it will keep them home come playoff time.

Picture 3NFL power rankings, Week 15: Patriots jump Cowboys for top spot

Cardinals rank: #22 (▼ 2)

No comment.

bleacherreportChris Simms’ NFL Power Rankings Ahead of Week 15

Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 2)

Bruce Arians’ team played like a storm cloud was hovering over it all season.

So Week 14’s loss—which all but eliminated Arizona from playoff contention—was almost poetic. It took place in a downpour the Cardinals weren’t ready to handle.

Offensive linemen slipped and slid, leaving Carson Palmer back behind them as a 36-year-old sitting duck. Special teams spotted the Dolphins six points with a missed extra point, a missed field goal and a blocked PAT returned for two.

It was a sloppy end to a sloppier year.

yahoosportsNFL Power Rankings: Cowboys still have a rookie QB in Dak Prescott, and that will be a playoff concern

Cardinals rank: #22 (▲ 1)

I get that Carson Palmer isn’t the only problem on the Cardinals. The offensive line hasn’t been great and the receivers have been unreliable outside of Larry Fitzgerald. But Palmer isn’t part of the solution either. Can the Cardinals bank on Palmer turning it back around next season at age 37?

usatodayUSA Today Power Rankings – Week 15

Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 1)

If RB David Johnson racks up 100 yards from scrimmage Sunday, he’ll be first in NFL history to do that 14 times in a row to start a season.

FoxsportsNFL Week 15 power rankings

Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 2)

The Cardinals had a golden opportunity to upset the Dolphins, especially after Miami QB Ryan Tannehill went down in the third quarter. Their inability to win this game proved that they’re simply not a very good team and need to do some serious reconstructing in the offseason – beginning with Carson Palmer and the quarterback position.

profootballtalkPFT’s Week 15 Power Rankings

Cardinals rank: #22 (–)

Tony Romo would look pretty good with a mildly perturbed bird on the side of his helmet.


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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings Recap: Cardinals descend … again