I've left little doubt how I feel about NFL power rankings. They're below mock drafts for me, so that's saying something. But, like mock drafts, people can't help but look, like a car wreck as you're driving by on the highway. I thought it was interesting that not only did ESPN do some recent power rankings, but then they had an article disputing some of the rankings. More importantly for this discussion (on a slow news day), the Cardinals were involved.
In the "real" power rankings, the Cardinals were 18th post-draft. They are listed behind eight teams (who make up nine games) on the schedule. But Mike Clay wrote a follow-up article noting a handful of teams ranked too low or too high. The Cardinals made his list of a team ranked too low. He said they deserve to be eighth, not 18th.
This is where you'd normally say it's hard to know where the Cards should be (but not me, really, since power rankings mean nothing in a playoffs-determine-your-worth league). It does underscore that, generally, no one really knows what to expect from the Cardinals. Sure, in part that's because it's May and the rookies haven't even arrived and we are months from any sort of determination. But after a season of high expectations that weren't met, analysts are going to feel burned. What will the offense look like -- were the issues Palmer-related or more because of letdowns and injuries up front and among receivers (I lean toward the latter.) Can the defense recover from free-agent turnover?
Will the Cardinals be closer to 8 or 18?