NFL power rankings: Arizona Cardinals get more respect as 'legitimate Super Bowl threat'

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

The Arizona Cardinals are 10-2 on the season.

They are a remarkable 7-0 on the road (and every win has been by at least 10 points).

They are winning games and winning over skeptics.

Early NFL power rankings after NFL Week 13 have the Cardinals as the top team in the NFL and a "legitimate Super Bowl threat."

Check out what NFL writers are saying about the Cardinals after their Week 13 NFL win over the Chicago Bears and before the team takes on the Los Angeles Rams in an NFL Week 14 Monday Night Football showdown on Dec. 13.

More:NFL power rankings head-scratchers: Arizona Cardinals as low as No. 5 in NFL Week 14 lists

NFL Week 14 picks, predictions, odds:

Pro Football Network: Cardinals remain No. 1 in NFL power rankings

Dalton Miller writes: "The Cardinals came in and took care of business against an inferior team, and they didn’t have to press themselves at all throughout. Playing the Bears allowed Kyler Murray to slowly work his way back into the game after missing four weeks and three games.  The rain could have influenced their run-heavy approach today, but it was also a good day to buck certain tendencies they may have had with Murray at quarterback. Next week is the biggest game of the season for Arizona. If the Cardinals beat the Rams, they’ll control their own destiny. That would give them a comfortable lead in the NFC West, and as long as they can take care of business the rest of the way, it’ll be difficult for anyone but the Buccaneers to catch them in the NFC.  The Cardinals spend another week at the top of the NFL power rankings in Week 14."

More:NFL Week 14 picks, predictions: Who wins Week 14 NFL games?

More:NFL playoff picture: Arizona Cardinals keep hold of No. 1 seed in NFC after Week 13 games

Sporting News: Cardinals still No. 1 in NFL power rankings

Vinnie Iyer writes: "The Cardinals got Kyler Murray back in Week 13 and their offense went off again in tough conditions against an overmatched Bears defense. How about Arizona's own defense going back to the ultimate pressure and takeaway machine? With Murray, the Cards are a legitimate Super Bowl threat."

NBC Sports: Cardinals ranked No. 1 in NFL power rankings again

Josh Schrock writes: "The Cardinals are who we thought they were when fully healthy. Pretty, pretty good."

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Yes, Kyler Murray, the Arizona Cardinals are No. 1 in many NFL power rankings after Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season.

NFL Spin Zone: Cardinals keep No. 1 spot in NFL power rankings

Randy Gurzi writes: "Kyler Murray is back and he was electric once again. The Arizona Cardinals were able to remain the No. 1 team in our 2021 NFL Power Rankings even without Murray, going 2-1 with Colt McCoy. However, we saw on Sunday how much better the offense is with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.  Murray only threw 15 passes but he completed 11 of them for 123 yards with two touchdowns while adding another two on the ground — along with 59 yards. Arizona was in control throughout, so they were leaning heavily on the ground game — running it 35 times. While Murray gets all the love, their defense also deserves a ton of praise. They were outstanding on Sunday, recording four interceptions on Andy Dalton in the win. The top seed in the NFC still belongs to the Cardinals as they control their own destiny down the stretch."

Fansided: Cardinals a favorite in NFC after Week 13

Matt Verderame writes: "With Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins back, the offense was back in rhythm. In beating the Chicago Bears, 33-22, Murray accounted for 182 total yards and four touchdowns, while Hopkins hauled in one of those scores. More importantly, four more interceptions for the defense. Arizona is 10-2 and in control of the NFC playoff picture. The Cardinals see the Rams and Cowboys, but the schedule isn’t overly difficult. If the defense continues to outperform expectations as it has all year, Arizona is deservedly a favorite as we barrel towards January."

Last week:NFL power rankings head-scratchers: Arizona Cardinals don't play, fall in Week 13 rankings

Last week:NFL power rankings: Arizona Cardinals in a tier of their own entering NFL Week 13

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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