Thursday, December 24, 2020

Arizona Cardinals Week 16 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Arizona Cardinals rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 14.0 (14th)
  • Best ranking: 14th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 14th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 16 roundup for the Cardinals in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 14

Wish: A playoff berth. They are a flawed team. So much of the Cardinals' success relies on Murray doing Murray things and Hopkins doing Hopkins things. But you know what? That's been good enough to position the Cardinals as the seven seed in the NFC. If the season ended today, Arizona would take on the Saints in the first round. Would you rather watch that matchup or see the Bears go to New Orleans? That's what I thought. The football-viewing world needs the Cardinals in the postseason.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 14

They found a way against Arizona, but the defense struggled again. They have to be better if they are to get to the playoffs.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

You'd expert a desert-based pass rush to bring the heat, and Arizona has exploded for 14 sacks over the past two weeks.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Most underrated star: LB Jordan Hicks

While the Cardinals' defense is full of individual stars such as Chandler Jones, Budda Baker, Patrick Peterson, Isaiah Simmons and Dennis Gardeck, it's Hicks who keeps the unit together at inside linebacker. He's the quarterback of the defense, and he hardly comes off the field, playing 901 snaps this season, second most on the team and 22nd in the NFL, while leading the team in tackles. Hicks has been quietly consistent, also leading the team in defensive snaps and tackles last season. Without him, the Cardinals' defense wouldn't rank as a top-10 unit since Week 8. -- Josh Weinfuss -- Rank: 14

The Cardinals have survived their funk. Arizona is back to looking like a dangerous NFC upstart, and Kyler Murray has regained his form as a young superstar who can take out any conference superpower if the stars align. The quarterback set a career high with 406 yards passing, racking up four total touchdowns (three through the air, one on the ground) in a 33-26 win over the Eagles that keeps the Cards in playoff contention with two weeks to play. Murray's favorite target was, of course, DeAndre Hopkins, who finished with 169 yards and a touchdown. Hopkins went over 100 receptions for the third straight year and has eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark seven times this season. Look up No. 1 Receiver in the football dictionary, and you'll see a picture of Nuk.

Previous update: Arizona Cardinals Week 15 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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