A weekly examination of the Cardinals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 26 | Last Week: 9 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
Just as they climbed up the rankings after a win, the Arizona Cardinals dropped just as quickly after their most recent setback. After regressing, in the words of coach Bruce Arians, against the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s 24-21 loss, Arizona came in at No. 13 in this week’s ESPN.com Power Rankings. The offense in Week 13 looked like the offense from the first two months of the season. Quarterback Carson Palmer was underthrowing receivers, and the line couldn't protect him. The Cards again struggled on third down and hit one of two fourth downs.
While its stint in the top 10 was short-lived, 13th is the right place for Arizona. The teams above the Cardinals have been playing well and all but one are on pace to make the playoffs heading into Week 14. It’s a perfect indicator of where Arizona fits in the overall scheme of the league: The Cards are much better than they were, but not as good as they could be. Yet that can change with wins against St. Louis and Tennessee before finishing the season against Seattle and San Francisco.