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NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Arizona Cardinals Languish In Mediocrity

The Cardinals have now (barely) beaten the St Louis Rams, got blown out by a very good Atlanta Falcons team and lost to beat the Oakland Raiders. Where does that 2-1 start to the season get the defending NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals?

22nd place, according to this week's SB Nation NFL Power Rankings.

I suppose that's good news considering how poorly Derek Anderson has played and missing Beanie Wells for the first two weeks of the season with a sore knee / torn ligament. Throw in Early Doucet's sports hernia and Larry Fitzgerald's bum knee and really, you can't complain with the record.

What the Power Rankings obvious understand and account for is the overall quality of play both from the Cardinals (offense and defense) compared to some other teams ranked higher despite being 1-2. 

The Cowboys (1-2), Chargers (1-2) and Vikings (1-2) all understandably fall in to that category although ranking the Giants (1-2) at 20 seems like a bit of East Coast bias.

The good news is that NFC West foes 49ers (24) and Rams (28) are ranked lower and the Seahawks (19) are poised to go into a tail spin at any point.

This division is still right there for the Cardinals to grab but they are going to need to pick up the level of their play -- especially mental -- and realize that they don't have Kurt Warner around anymore to cover for their silly mistakes.