Friday, October 15, 2021

Arizona Cardinals Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 1.4 (1st)
  • Best ranking: 1st (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 2nd (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 6 roundup for the Cardinals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 2

Most improved player: RB Chase Edmonds

How they've improved: The third-year running back was given a larger role this season, and he is not just embracing the opportunity, he is flourishing. Edmonds is the Cardinals' leading rusher and is on pace to smash his previous career high for yards in a season. With a big game or two, he could have a 1,000-yard season for the first time in his career. But Edmonds' game isn't limited to just carrying the ball. He spent the offseason working on his receiving skills, and it's paid off. He's tied for the team lead with 23 catches and has become a favorite target of quarterback Kyler Murray. -- Josh Weinfuss -- Rank: 2

Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury and the offense get much of the headlines coming out of Arizona, but it was the Cardinals' defense that took the NFC West leaders to 5-0. The Cards held Trey Lance to 10 points in his NFL starting debut and stopped the 49ers on four of their five fourth-down attempts in a 17-10 win. The most dramatic of those stuffs came in the second quarter, when Lance scrambled toward the right pylon before slamming into a wall comprised of brick (Tanner Vallejo) and mortar (Isaiah Simmons). After the game, DeAndre Hopkins called it "championship football." Lance would probably describe it a different way.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 1

Winning ugly the way they did against the 49ers says a lot about this team. The offense wasn't as crisp, but the defense bailed them out. They have a tough one at Cleveland this week.

USA Today -- Rank: 1

The last time they were 5-0 was 1974, which is also the last time the Cards were the league's lone unbeaten team. Also noteworthy of this century-old franchise? It's broken from the gate 5-0 on four previous occasions, but those hot starts have never been followed by a postseason victory. Could that happen again? Arizona is currently clean, but this team hardly feels head and shoulders above the competition and has to prove it won't spiral into yet another second-half fade under coach Kliff Kingsbury.

The Athletic -- Rank: 1

Breakout player: Fantasy football production aside, this has been quite the start to the season for Chase Edmonds, whom the Cardinals believed could be their every-down running back. He's averaging 5.5 yards per carry (nearly a yard per carry above his career average) and has become an important part of the Cardinals' short passing game, with 26 targets in five games. Now we just need to see Edmonds get in the end zone (James Conner has five of the team's eight rushing touchdowns; quarterback Kyler Murray has the other three).

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