SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 13: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals runs after making a reception during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 24-20. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Important division win sees the Cardinals soar up the rankings
In Week One of the 2020 NFL season, the Arizona Cardinals showed they could live up to at least some of the offseason hype that has surrounded them. In an upset 24-20 win over the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals showcased an improved defense that seems capable of making stops when its important.
DeAndre Hopkins started his Cardinals career with a giant bang, accumulating 151 yards on 14 receptions and catching 88% of the balls thrown his way. Kyler Murray racked up 100 yards on the ground before two kneel downs to seal the game took nine yards off his box score total.
An impressive Week One statement, the victory in Santa Clara raised the Arizona Cardinals stock in most power rankings going into Week Two. Let’s take a look at where the Cards land this week.
NFL.com – #14
NFL.com has one of the largest leaps for the Cardinals, going from No. 23 in the preseason rankings to No. 14 in Week Two. The Hopkins-Murray connection is touted as a large reason for Sunday’s victory.
ESPN.com – #15
The Cards move up four spots in this ranking. ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss points out some of rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons mental errors, but remains confident that with more time those mistakes will dissipate.
Yahoo! Sports – #13
Up six spots from last week, Yahoo believes in the Cardinals offense and thinks Arizona could win the NFC West if they continue playing at the same level.
CBS Sports – #8
A six spot increase again, Pete Prisco of CBS believes Kyler Murray could be in the MVP conversation this season.
Bleacher Report – #8
No. 15 last week, the Cardinals make a massive jump in these rankings. A bold prediction of a 5-0 starts only intensifies some of the hype surrounding this team.
USA Today – #8
Another ranking high on the Cards, USA Today believes Kyler Murray will continue to impress but gives credit to the seemingly improved Arizona defense for key stops that led to a victory in Week One.
Clearly, defeating the Super Bowl runner-ups has raised some eyebrows in the sports community. The next four weeks of the Cardinals schedule is reasonable with bouts against Washington Football Team, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and the New York Jets.
Can the Cardinals hold on to these rankings?