It has taken a while, but the Arizona Cardinals now are considered one of the very best in the NFL. It shows in the power rankings. In almost all of them across the national media, they are now second only behind the undefeated Carolina Panthers. And it makes sense. They have won seven straight games and have won three prime time games against playoff teams in the last five weeks.
Let's see the state of the Cardinals in terms of power polls.
The NFC is well represented this week as the Cardinals make a jump up to the second spot after dispatching the Vikings at home on Thursday Night Football. Carson Palmer is putting up an MVP-caliber season of his own and rookie David Johnson has filled in admirably for Chris Johnson at the running back spot. Arizona can throw the ball all over the field with the best of them, it can run and it has one of the most confounding and aggressive defenses in the league -- currently second in takeaways (25) with three games to go. The Cardinals are a perfect example of balance between young playmakers -- Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, Deone Bucannon, John Brown, David Johnson -- and savvy veteran leaders like Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Calais Campbell, and Dwight Freeney.
ESPN also has Arizona t number two, but they were already there last week.
Carson Palmer leads the NFL this season with an 83.6 Total QBR. He is one touchdown pass shy of tying his career high, set all the way back in 2005.
CBS Sports already had them there, but the Cards are number two on their list.
They continue to roll on, even if that was a tough game against the Vikings. Those are the games that will get them ready for the postseason.
FOX Sports also already had them at number two, keeping them in the same position as a week ago.
After watching Carson Palmer deliver several fourth-quarter comebacks, it was Arizona's defense that rose to the occasion in a pivotal Week 14 win over the Vikings.
There is no older NFL franchise. But if Cards get one more win, it will be the first time in 96 years they'll reach 12.
Yahoo's Shutdown corner also had them slip to three.
The Dwight Freeney signing was smart. He has four sacks in eight games, including a game-clinching one against Minnesota. For less than $1 million? You wonder why other teams that can't generate any pass rush (hello, Giants and Falcons) didn't do it.
Pro Football Focus has them even further down their list at number four. They are behind even the Pats and the Bengals, who now are without Andy Dalton. Doesn't make sense to me. Here is the random blurb they added for the Cards,
Safety Rashad Johnson has five interceptions this year, which is tied for third-most among safeties.
Where do your Cards deserve to be? Second makes sense. Maybe third. Could you make a case for number one?