With the advent of the NFL regular season, there also comes with it the plethora of power polls and power rankings. SB Nation is one to rank the teams in the league from top to bottom, and they did so to start off the season. However, there was a severe lack of respect for the Arizona Cardinals, as they were ranked second-worst among all teams, just ahead of the Cleveland Browns.
Now, the offensive line issues and quarterback battle that went on in the preseason were well documented, and good teams don't have bad quarterbacks. However, to rank the Cardinals that low is simply showing a lack of recognition of talent.
They have a defensive unit that could be a top-10 unit this year. The team's special teams unit is potent -- in returns, in defending kicks and also in kicking.
The team -- with a less experienced John Skelton at the helm for much of it -- won seven of nine to close last season. They have added running back talent, receiver talent and they return Kerry Rhodes and upgrade their cornerbacks.
How is this team at the bottom of the league?
Should it be at the top? I'm not saying that. However, they should be graded more to the top of the upper third. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that the offensive line issues put a damper on the prospects of the team. But one simply should not discount what the defense and special teams did, and did without the benefit of many forced turnovers.
The Cardinals have done well in recent years when disrespected. I know that one set of rankings does not make the team's bulletin board, but if it is widespread (and by all accounts it is) then the team might just play with a chip on its shoulders, which will unite the team even more.
Don't be surprised if you are surprised. This has a low floor and a high ceiling. John Skelton has a big hand in where they end up.
But worse than everyone but the Browns? Come on!
Get more Cardinals coverage at Revenge of the Birds.