NFC West Pre-Training Camp Power Ranking: Where do the Arizona Cardinals stand?

The Arizona Cardinals may have a young team in transition, but are they the worst team in the NFC West on paper? The answer is not so clear-cut.
Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals rank near the bottom of the barrel in nearly every power ranking you will see. But when you break things down further, you have to question whether they are even the weakest team in their own division. 

To come up with the power ranking below, I used a points system, and I attained an overall sum based on the number of points I gave each team during my position ranking series. The team with the worst position group received four, while the best group got one point. 

I started with the quarterback unit, before moving to the running backs, receivers, tight ends, offensive and defensive lines, EDGE rushers, linebackers, and secondaries. These rankings were primarily based on multiple sources, like PFF, for example. 

So what did the final results look like and where did the Cardinals land? Based on overall position rankings, they may be better than you believe. 

Where do the Arizona Cardinals stand vs. the NFC West?

Los Angeles Rams - 32 points

Many will place the Arizona Cardinals in last place coming into the season, but after ranking each position group against one another, the Los Angeles Rams saw more fourth place finishes than the Cards, putting them at a distant fourth on the list. 

Los Angeles still has talent, but with an injury-prone Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, along with an underperforming Cam Akers leading the offense, there are way too many question marks here. But hey, at least they still got their franchise player in Aaron Donald, so there’s something. 

Arizona Cardinals - 24 points

When you sit and break things down, the Arizona Cardinals aren’t as bad as most people think. Sure, youth, inexperience, and cast-offs comprise much of this roster, but there are a lot of hidden gems and relative unknowns all over the place, and even more what-ifs.

What if Kyler Murray comes back strong and what if Budda Baker gets his contract resolved? This Cardinals team just instantly got better - not that there’s an even remote chance at playoff contention, but better nonetheless. 

Seattle Seahawks - 21 points

Don’t let the Seattle Seahawks three-point differential with the Cardinals fool you; they are a much better football team. It’s more of a product that the final team on his list is more than a cut above everyone else. 

But, the Seahawks success will rest on quarterback Geno Smith’s shoulders. If he’s nothing more than a one-year wonder, then this team is nothing more than a fringe playoff contender. However, if Smith repeats his 2022 success, then Seattle should be the NFC’s top wildcard team.

San Francisco 49ers - 10 points

The San Francisco 49ers don’t seem to have a weakness anywhere, despite thin depth at a few position groups. If this team stays healthy, then they are arguably the best team in the NFC, and you can expect them to once again become serious Super Bowl contenders. 

If Brock Purdy comes back stronger than he was before his UCL tear and makes the leap from Year 1 to Year 2, then he could add more than a few major accolades to his brewing resume. And given his overall draft position, it’s probably something you won’t see again for quite some time.