Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Arizona Cardinals Week 15 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: 3.8 (3rd)
  • Best ranking: 2 (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 6 (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 15 roundup for the Cardinals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 2

The Cardinals are among the best teams in football for a reason, and it's not just because their offense is a high-powered, high-octane machine. Their defense is just as good -- or better, according to these numbers. The big concern the rest of the season and into the playoffs could be their special teams, which, according to these rankings, are middle of the pack. But the offense and defense are both good enough to mask any special teams deficiencies. -- Josh Weinfuss -- Rank: 3

The Cardinals' troubles at home surfaced again in a disappointing 30-23 loss to the Rams on Monday night. In a game where Los Angeles' best players stepped up to cover for the loss of Jalen Ramsey, several of Arizona's top stars weren't up for the challenge. Kyler Murray made physical and mental errors, DeAndre Hopkins had a crucial fourth-down drop and was largely neutralized in coverage, and no one on the Cardinals' defense stepped up to make a game-changing play as Matthew Stafford repeatedly took the Rams up and down the field. Just like that, Arizona drops from the No. 1 to the No. 3 seed in the NFC while the lead over L.A. shrinks to just one game in the division with four to play. Buckle up.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 4

They lost to an undermanned Rams team at home, which is not a good look. The defense really let them down.

USA Today -- Rank: 6

Maybe they shouldn't want home-field advantage in the NFC given they play so much better on the road, where they're 7-0.

The Athletic -- Rank: 4

Worst-case scenario: Finishing the regular season undefeated on the road (which would mean wins at Detroit and Dallas) but stumbling at home in the first round of the playoffs after failing to secure the No. 1 seed and a bye. The Cardinals are 7-0 on the road but 3-3 at home this season. The struggles at State Farm Stadium are a mystery, one the Cardinals will hear about for the rest of the season.

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