NFL power rankings: Patriots, Packers among Super Bowl favorites

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Tom Brady /
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GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 17: Cornerback Patrick Peterson
GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 17: Cornerback Patrick Peterson /

Arizona Cardinals 0-0

Last week: L, 30-2 at DEN
Last rank: 8th

Last year, everyone expected the Arizona Cardinals to challenge for the NFC West crown and make a deep run in the playoffs. The team was coming off an NFC Championship Game appearance and brought its entire core back, yet somehow slipped to a 7-8-1 finish.

This season, Arizona is a team comprised of both talent and pitfalls across the roster. Few franchises can showcase players on the level of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary, along with pass-rushers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden coming off the edge. However, the team lost Calais Campbell, Keith Minter, Marcus Cooper, Alex Okafor and Tony Jefferson, with the only obvious replacement being first-round pick Haason Reddick.

So what does it mean? Well, if the Cardinals can stay healthy, this is still a playoff team. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald may both be in their final years, but each can still play. The offensive line is a concern, but there is potential with D.J. Humphries and Jared Veldheer at the tackle spots.

If Jones and Golden provide another 23.5 sacks between them, and the secondary can hide the shortcomings of Justin Bethel, Arizona can make noise in the NFC. Still, there are real concerns about the depth in multiple spots, something that could sink this group.