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Cardinals Rank in Top Half of Fresh NFL Power Rankings

The Arizona Cardinals land at No. 14 in Bleacher Report's most recent batch of NFL power rankings.

This week we have NFL football, and that should fire up every single Arizona Cardinals fan reading this. 

Bills-Rams will get the action going on Thursday night, and Red Sea (refusing to acknowledge the Bird City name) fanatics will watch their team open the season at home next Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Today marks the first day of regular season game prep for teams across the board, so what's a few more power rankings to jam down everybody's throat? 

Bleacher Report released what might be their last batch of NFL power rankings, and although the Cardinals typically find themselves in the middle of the pack, Arizona this time around lands in the top half: 

Cards Come in at No. 14 in NFL Power Rankings

"The 2021 season for the Arizona Cardinals was essentially two seasons. In the first, the Cardinals went 9-2 ahead of their bye week and looked like arguably the best team in the NFC. Over the second, Arizona won just two of their last six games and was embarrassed by the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round," said Bleacher Report.

"It marked the second straight season that the Cardinals have faded badly late in the season, and Arizona defensive end J.J. Watt told Albert Breer of the MMQB that the key to avoiding a third such collapse lies with handling adversity better and staying healthy.

"'We have to stay healthy. We're 7–0, and I go down, Kyler [Murray] goes down, Hop [DeAndre Hopkins] goes down for a bit,' Watt said. 'You start to lose some very important pieces to the team, that's going to hurt you.

"'Also from a leadership standpoint, just being able to handle that adversity, having different guys out there and being able to say, It's all right, we got this. The handling of adversity and the maturity of the team, to be able to go through a difficult stretch of a game, or even if it's a difficult week or two, to be able to handle that. … That's something that definitely, as the leadership of this team, we're working on.

"The problem is that the Cardinals have already suffered at least one significant loss—Hopkins will miss the season's first six games while serving a PED suspension. But while Davenport sees a talented roster in the desert, he has his doubts about the Redbirds again this season.

"'On paper, the Cardinals appear to have a roster that's more than capable of contending in the NFC West. Arizona offset Hopkins' absence with the addition of wide receiver Marquise Brown, and the team has talent across the field on both sides of the ball.

"'But from head coach Kliff Kingsbury to quarterback Kyler Murray and right on down the line, the Cardinals have yet to show they can handle the pressure of the stretch run. Maybe they will do so in 2022. But I'll believe it when I see it.'"

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