Where's the Cardinals mojo gone? PP21 is looking for answers - Hannah Foslien
Analysts were sceptical to put the Arizona Cardinals high on Power Rankings after their hot 4-0 start, citing offensive line struggles as their reasoning. After Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Cardinals have lost three straight, making those aforementioned analysts look like geniuses, and the power rankings will reflect that. Maybe the fall in the power rankings is just the boost the Cards need, as they will be firmly entrenched as the underdogs for Monday night's showdown against the San Francisco 49ers. Or maybe I'm just a writer who wishes I had an impact on the game. Either way, here's your weekly RotB Power Ranking!
1. Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan is basically willing the Falcons to an undefeated record so far. Granted his pass catching weapons are pretty dangerous, but the "Mattural" is the star of this team.
2. Houston Texans - Houston absolutely dismantled Baltimore in Houston. Texans look poised for a run at the Super Bowl this season
3. San Francisco 49ers- Ugly but effective win on Thursday night for the Niners. They're headed to the desert this week for Monday Night Football against the Cardinals, and had a few extra days to prepare. Tough game for Arizona.
4. Chicago Bears - Came within 36 seconds of shutting out the Lions on national television, but it was a strong performance regardless. Need Jay Culter to be fully healed after a vicious sack from Suh.
5. New England Patriots - Perhaps the only other serious AFC Super Bowl threat at the moment. Lead by Brady, the Pats have easily the best variety of weapons on offense.
8. Minnesota Vikings - Very strong offensive line is helping this team, giving Ponder time, and more importantly, opening huge holes for Adrian Peterson. They won't need Ponder to throw for more than 58 with AP going.
9. Denver Broncos - Hopes for a Manning Bowl are starting to become more realistic. Peyton looks like Peyton again, and the Broncos defense is a strong unit as well.
10. Green Bay Packers - It wasn't the greatest performance against the Rams, but Green Bay doesn't have to play perfectly when they have the best QB in the NFL at the helm.
11. Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks have the best defense in the NFL, that pass rush is ridiculous. Frank Gore ran on them quite well, but despite giving 8.2 YPC to Gore, Seattle held San Fran to a mere 13 points.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers - It hasn't looked pretty for a while, but the Steelers are still a team to be feared. That fear however, has shifted from the defensive side, to fear of Ben Roethlisberger. He is what's holding this team together.
13. Miami Dolphins - Cardinals fans know first hand how good the Miami defense is. The Phins are nearly impossible to run on, and possess one of the best 4-3 pass rushing DE in the NFL, in Cameron Wake.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Win/Loss records be damned, Tampa Bay is a top 15 team. They won't blow you away in any single facet, but are an all around good team. The record will improve over a longer period of time.
15. Arizona Cardinals - Yes, I am a homer, and yes, I am an optimist, but this Cardinals team deserves to be in the top 15, by merit of the defense alone. Offense is holding back a stellar defense, but their were good signs from the loss. Larod Stephens-Howling was breaking tackles like Payton, Rob Housler is seeing more looks, and Andre Roberts had himself a solid day as well.
16. Dallas Cowboys - Very similar to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in that they won't wow you in any specific category, but are consistent throughout the lineup.
17. Indianapolis Colts - Robert Griffin III may be playing better at the moment, but the Colts seemed to have gotten their man in Andrew Luck. Pure pocket passer, who has already picked up a lot of the mental aspects as well. Great two minute drills already.
18. Washington Redskins - There's life in the nation's capital, and it's all thanks to the charismatic, dramatic, and automatic Robert Griffin III. Were it not for a crucial fumble by Santana Moss, RG3 might have lead the Redskins down the field for a second fourth quarter, lead taking touchdown against the Giants.
19. Philadelphia Eagles - Michael Vick may very well die on the football field this season in Philadelphia, unless something changes on the offensive line. Heads are beginning to roll in the city of brotherly love, will Andy Reid be gone soon too?
20. St. Louis Rams - Tough to slow down a very good Green Bay offense, but despite giving up a 30 burger, the Rams, as well as the rest of the NFC West, have a strong defense. Bradford is playing a lot better too.
21. San Diego Chargers - Bye week gives the Chargers a long time to think about an epic collapse against the Broncos. Will Phillip Rivers respond or collapse, their season's on the line?
23. Cincinnati Bengals - It's not like the Bengals are an awful team, they just are mediorce at nearly every spot. At least fans can look forward to having Dalton to Green for a while.
24. New York Jets - An impressive win, sandwiched between two close losses to good teams may have some believing in the Jets, but there are too many issues with this team to expect games to stay close in the future.
26. Buffalo Bills - CJ Spiller is a very explosive, elusive, and powerful running back, and yet the Buffalo Bills severely under utilize him. Granted, giving Spiller more touches won't fix all the problems, but it would at least keep the games close(r).
27. Detroit Lions - I don't know what to make of the Detroit Lions, just when you think there moving out of the basement of the NFC North, they proceed to lay this turd on national television.
28. Cleveland Browns - And now we've reached the "Infamous Five" of the power rankings. Despite their record, Cleveland is easily the best out of the remaining five teams, at least they stay competitive.
29. Carolina Panthers - Was Newton's body taken over by the spirit of Vince Young? Tough to cheer for Cam "The Incredible Sulk" Newton, but he has the excuse of a bad team around him for team's failures.
30. Oakland Raiders - Two games were featured in the afternoon schedule this week in the NFL: Pats vs Jets, and Raiders vs Jaguars. Now raise your hand if you willingly watched the latter. Keep it up if you were not a fan of either team. No hands? That's what I thought. (By the way, Oakland is not very good).
32. Jacksonville Jaguars - GENO-CIDE! Looks like the Jaguars might be all in for the 2012 inequivalent of "Suck for Luck", as Gabbert was injured in the loss to Oakland. Geno Smith would be a welcome sight for the Jags.