A weekly examination of the Cardinals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 26 | Last Week: 17 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
All is calm on the Western Front.
The Cardinals exit a bye week in the same place they entered it, at 17th in the ESPN.com Power Rankings. They start the second half of the season with a stretch that could put them in prime position for a run at the playoffs. Four of Arizona's next eight opponents are sitting behind it in the Power Rankings, but that means little unless the Cardinals can build on their last game before the bye -- a 27-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
It wasn’t so much the outcome that could propel the Cards into the second half as it was the means in which they earned the victory. For the first time this season, Arizona looked like a true offense. Its running game came to life, ate up yards and gave the passing game the time it needed.
But with Cardinals coach Bruce Arians saying this week that starter Rashard Mendenhall is looking healthy after the bye, rookie Andre Ellington -- who starred in the Atlanta game -- may not see as many carries.