With training camps beginning across the NFL, it is now time to start looking ahead and trying to rank the teams from best to worst. Of course, this is a tall task. All of the SB Nation NFL team bloggers ranked the teams from 1-32 and the resulting power rankings could be seen as pretty ridiculous in the eyes of Arizona Cardinals fans.
Why is that?
It would probably be because despite the team's 7-2 finish in 2011 and an 8-8 record, Arizona was ranked only 26th overall.
Here is what I wrote to describe the team:
The Cardinals are going to rely on their defense that really came on in the second half of the season and guided the team to a 7-2 finish. On offense, there are a lot of questions, but there is potential. The receiving corp is talented, as are the tight ends. If both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams recover from their knee injuries, combined with LaRod Stephens-Howling, the running back position is also set.
It comes down to the play of the offensive line and quarterback. And it goes both ways. Better QB play makes the O-line look better, and the QB will be better if the O-line gives him time. The question is whether it will be Kevin Kolb or John Skelton. However, if the defense plays at least as well as it did down the stretch and the offense is at least average, Arizona could be a team to watch out for.
Among the crazy rankings above the Cardinals include the Seattle Seahawks, who were 22nd (a team that has just as many questions at quarterback and finished worse than Arizona in 2001) and the Carolina Panthers, who were 6-10 a year ago.
Perhaps the quarterback competition going on overshadows all the defensive talent Arizona has, because the perception is that it is a bad team. It wasn't even a bad team a year ago and they have gotten better.
If the team actually looked at blogger rankings, this would be the perfect one to use as motivation to prove the world wrong. They don't, but it sounds good, at least.
Get more Cardinals coverage at Revenge of the Birds.