Week 16 NFL Power Rankings Recap: Cardinals can’t go much lower

Dec 21, 2016, 9:13 AM
Arizona Cardinals free safety D.J. Swearinger (36) during the first half of an NFL football game ag...
Arizona Cardinals free safety D.J. Swearinger (36) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Last season, the Arizona Cardinals spent the entire year in the high-rent district of the NFL, hanging out among the league’s elite as they won 13 games and advanced to the NFC Championship Game.

What a difference a year makes.

After losing to the New Orleans Saints 48-41 last Sunday, the Cardinals’ descent into the bowels of the league’s rankings continued. Instead of breathing the same air as the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys, the Cardinals are on neighborhood watch with the likes of the New York Jets, San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles.

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: 24.0

(down from 22.8 last week)

High Ranking: #23 (ESPN)

Low Ranking: #26 (Bleacher Report)


arizonasports_lg_300Arizona Sports Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots, Cowboys still the creme

Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 2)

One of these weeks, special teams will win them a game. HAHAHAHAHA!

espnWeek 16 NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys take away No. 1 from Pats

Cardinals rank: #22 (▼ 3)

The Cardinals drop to 5-8-1 following their Week 15 loss to New Orleans, but let’s appreciate David Johnson for a second: On Sunday, Johnson set the Cardinals’ franchise record for scrimmage yards in a season and matched the Cardinals’ single-season touchdown record (17). He’ll look to add to that against the Seahawks on Saturday.

nflnetworkNFL Power Rankings, Week 16: Raiders rise, Broncos plummet

Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 1)

First things first: The Cardinals lost, and deserved to lose, to New Orleans. But that call against Sio Moore on Sunday was ridiculous. It was obvious Moore wasn’t trying to hit Drew Brees with his helmet. The Saints quarterback got hit by Kevin Minter, which essentially caused Moore to hit him in the head. Given that, had the 11-yard sack stood, the Cardinals would have knocked the Saints out of field-goal range in a one-score contest, the (bad) judgement call might have cost Bruce Arians’ team the game. Of course, J.J. Nelson dropping a deep ball that could’ve gone for a quick score when the team needed two quick scores didn’t help, either. Cardinals receivers dropping the football? Never!

SINFL Power Rankings, Week 16: Falcons fly into top three heading into penultimate week

Cardinals rank: #25 (–)

The 48 points New Orleans hung on the scoreboard Sunday marked the most points ever allowed by the Cardinals in Arizona—they last gave up that many at home back in 1969, when they were the St. Louis Cardinals.

cbssportsNFL Power Rankings: Hate the Patriots all you want, but they’re still No. 1

Cardinals rank: #25 (–)

Special teams have killed the Cardinals all year. But what happened to the defense against the Saints?

Picture 3NFL power rankings 2016, Week 16: Falcons are back, but Broncos are fading fast

Cardinals rank: #25 (▼ 3)

No comment.

bleacherreportChris Simms’ NFL Power Rankings Ahead of Week 16

Cardinals rank: #26 (▼ 1)

Not good enough.

That’s the story of Arizona’s disappointing 2016 season. And that’s the reason why this team keeps slipping down my power rankings every week.

Long passes? No coverage? Bruce Arians’ offense was built to separate in a shootout. The Saints were built better; Drew Brees found little resistance targeting third and fourth options all afternoon.

Calais Campbell made another spectacular play on a fumble-return touchdown. Other than that, Arizona’s defense was a sieve. It’s a shell of its 2015 self.

yahoosportsNFL Power Rankings: The amazing rise of Miami Dolphins behind rookie coach Adam Gase

Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 1)

On Sunday, David Johnson became the first NFL player to gain 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first 14 games of a season. He is having an unbelievable year. And really, Johnson’s great season makes the Cardinals’ record seem that much more disappointing.

usatodayUSA Today Power Rankings – Week 16

Cardinals rank: #23 (▲ 1)

Team implosion keeps RB David Johnson out of MVP race, but he could become first player ever to have 100 scrimmage yards in all 16 games.

FoxsportsNFL Week 16 power rankings

Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 1)

David Johnson continues to look like an MVP candidate, but the Cardinals’ 5-8-1 record will prevent him from even contending for the award. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are question marks for next season, and while both are likely to be back, there’s no guarantee they will be. Regardless, Arizona needs to add pieces to its offense, mainly on the line.

profootballtalkPFT’s Week 16 Power Rankings

Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 2)

Carson Palmer should quit on the Cardinals before the Cardinals quit on Carson Palmer.


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