NFL Power Rankings 2012, Week 3: Cardinals On The Rise

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 16: Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals is unable to catch a ball as Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots defends in the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Cardinals are all over the spectrum in the Power Rankings but at least every direction is up.

The Arizona Cardinals pulled off one of the more surprising wins of the weekend with a 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots. Behind a mistake-free performance by quarterback Kevin Kolb and an inspired defensive effort that sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady four times and picked him off once, the Cardinals earned the right to make a jump up the nation's Power Rankings.

SB Nation moved the Cardinals from No. 27 to No. 16 and they see the streak possibly continuing due to the Cardinals facing the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings in four of their next five games.

ESPN moved the Cardinals from No. 20 to No. 14 and pointed out that the Cardinals haven't started a season 3-0 since 1974 - 14 seasons before they moved to Arizona.

CBS Sportsline gave the Cardinals their biggest jump, moving them from No. 18 to No. 9 and gave credit to head coach Ken Whisenhunt for getting them to this point.

For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.

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