Arizona Cardinals Ranked 15th in ESPN Off-Season Rankings
With NFL training camps set to start up soon, ESPN has released its off-season Power Rankings.
This list, which ranks all 32 NFL teams from top to bottom, has the usual suspects at the top.
But another predictable team is your Arizona Cardinals, who placed 15th on the rankings.
For a team that's been in the playoffs the last two seasons, this is somewhat low.
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ESPN had the Cards ranked eighth at the end of last season, and their seven-spot drop is one of the biggest drops on the list. The Philadelphia Eagles fell 10 spots, the most of any team.
For their quick comment on each team, here's what ESPN had to say about the Cards: "Keep an eye on youngsters Beanie Wells (RB) and Early Doucet (WR) this season. Arizona needs them."
Hmmm. That may be putting it nicely. Yes, the team will need them. But so will Matt Leinart, who is still the biggest question-mark on the team.
And now that Kurt Warner has decided to hang it up, the pressure falls on the pretty boy from USC.
ESPN pundits clearly see the Cards taking a step or two back this season, as they aren't even the top-ranked team in the NFC West. That honor (if you can call it that) belongs to the San Francisco 49ers, who're ranked 12th and have jumped up seven spots from 19 from the last list.
The good news for the Cards is that the division crown should be a two-team race. Seattle and St. Louis are among the bottom level in the league and aren't expected to contend for the division this year.
Will the Cards be a middle-of-the-pack team as ESPN predicts? Or can they find the mojo that has worked over the past two years and make a deep postseason run?