NFL Power Rankings, Week 16: National Media Beginning To Take Notice Of Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 18: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after a 32 yard reception against the Cleveland Browns during overtime of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Browns 20-17 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After the Arizona Cardinals won their fourth straight game, beating the Cleveland Browns 20-17 in overtime, one would have to figure that the media that does weekly team power rankings would have them moving up. Last week, our own ROTB team rankings gave the team a big jump into the top 10. The rest of the national media, though, still insisted on keeping the team rather low, despite their hot streak.

This week's rankings have the national media giving Arizona a little more love, while the local rankings understandably have them higher.

Our own rankings put the Cardinals at number seven. Seem high? Maybe, but their 6-1 record in last seven rivals only the Saints, Packers, Broncos and Patriots.

Azcentral.com's power rankings(now in an awful slideshow format) moved the Cards up three slots to number 12. "Don't laugh," they ask. I agree.

Arizona is now number 17 on ESPN. In classic ESPN fashion, they have the Dallas Cowboys at number 10. They beat the Bucs...and lost the two before that, including to the Cardinals. Crazy.

CBS Sports moved them up to number 18, and advocates John Skelton remaining the starter, even if Kevin Kolb is healthy. The Cowboys are 13 and the Broncos (who lost) still are at number 10.

SB Nation sums it up nicely nationally. "Does anyone realize the Cards have won six of their last seven, including three overtime victories? Geez, seems like they came out of nowhere." No, just no one cared because it's the Cardinals. Did the Cards make a big jump in the rankings? Of course not. They moved up one spot to number 18.

FOX Sports is more generous. They now have the Cards at 14, but again the Cowboys and Broncos are in the top 10.

Where is the sanity of all this? Where should they be? I think I woudl have dropped them a couple of spots from our 10 ranking to 12, since the win was far from impressive over a struggling team. But with the way overall the Cards have been pulling out games the last seven weeks, it shouldn't be that crazy to have them up there near the top.

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