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Evaluating the Cardinals’ Spot in ESPN’s ‘Way Too Early’ Power Rankings

Feb 4, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; The Arizona Cardinals mascot during the 2024 Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023-2024 NFL season has drawn to a close, culminating in the Kansas City Chiefs’ thrilling victory over the San Francisco 49ers in overtime on Sunday night.

Scarcely moments after Patrick Mahomes was crowned Super Bowl MVP, ESPN promptly unveiled its ‘way too early’ NFL power rankings for the upcoming 2024-2025 season.

Unsurprisingly, the Baltimore Ravens claim the top spot, closely trailed by the Chiefs at #2 and the 49ers at #3. The top five rankings conclude with the Lions at #4 and the Bills at #5.

 

But where do the Cardinals stand?

 

Despite finishing the season on a relatively positive note, including a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, ESPN relegated the Cardinals to a discouraging #29 spot. Only the Patriots, Commanders, and Panthers find themselves ranked lower than Arizona.

In his analysis, Josh Weinfuss remarked, “The Cardinals saw glimpses of how good they could be throughout their four-win season, so now it’s time for Arizona to address a slew of deficiencies on both sides of the ball. The team will do that through free agency, which the Cardinals are expected to use to rebuild their defense, and the draft, where they are projected to address a significant need at WR1 with the No. 4 overall pick. Adding the right players — not necessarily a lot of players — could project the Cardinals into the playoff conversation next season.”

While the Cardinals did conclude the year tied for the second-worst record in the league, their struggles were exacerbated by the absence of their franchise quarterback for the majority of the season. Notably, Arizona closed out the season with a 3-6 record following Kyler Murray’s return to the field.

Looking ahead, the Cardinals possess the 4th and 27th picks in the upcoming 2024 draft. Consequently, they stand a solid chance of securing a valuable offensive asset, such as Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.

Should the Cardinals successfully acquire Marvin Harrison Jr., particularly considering their ranking as the 4th best team in rushing offense last season, they could hold a top-1o offense.

Do you agree with the Cardinals placement in ESPN’s ‘way too early’ power rankings?

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