A weekly examination of the Cardinals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 26 | Last Week: 13 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
Welcome back. After a dismal performance in Philadelphia knocked the Cardinals out of the top 10, a nearly perfect outing by quarterback Carson Palmer helped push Arizona back among the best teams in the league. Sunday’s win over the Rams was Arizona’s first in the NFC West since Week 1 of 2012 and it showed the offensive ingenuity of coach Bruce Arians.
Because of his injured elbow, Palmer didn’t throw a single pass in practice, Arians said, so the coach simply reworked the game plan to help Palmer and to avoid a stout St. Louis pass rush. It worked, as Palmer had the highest completion percentage for an NFC quarterback this season who threw it at least 25 times.
Sure, the game was at home and it was against a Rams team that doesn’t know which squad will show up each week. But the ability of Arians to adapt and of Palmer to react could make this team dangerous down the stretch. That being said, Arizona dropped the proverbial ball against a playoff team on the road against the Eagles, so a lot can be taken away from Sunday’s road game against Tennessee.