NFL power rankings: Arizona Cardinals make big leap after Week 1 win over Tennessee Titans

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

The Arizona Cardinals are on the rise in NFL power rankings after a dominant 38-13 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 1.

One writer even has the team in his Top 5 ahead of Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season.

NFL writers are raving about Kyler Murray, Chandler Jones, Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals' performance in the opening week of the season.

Check out what they are saying about Arizona in their latest NFL power rankings (click on each link for that site's complete NFL power rankings).

NFL Week 2 picks, predictions:

Fansided: Cardinals rise nine spots to No. 5

Russell S. Baxter writes: "Kliff Kingsbury’s team traveled to Nashville to take on the reigning AFC South champions. Outside linebacker Chandler Jones missed the final 11 games a year ago but he was busy making up for lost time with three first-half sacks as the Cards opened up a 17-0 second-quarter lead. Jones finished with five QB traps while Kyler Murray threw for four scores (1 interception) and ran for another touchdown as the visiting Cardinals made it look easy."

Sportsnaut: Cardinals climb six spots to No. 6

Matt Johnson writes: "Chandler Jones might win NFL MVP at this rate and if he doesn’t it might be Kyler Murray. After being refused a contract extension this offseason, Jones responded with a three-sack quarter to open Week 1 and finished with five on the day. Arizona’s offense looked unstoppable and its defense was even better than expected. The NFC West is going to be a glorious fight all season with all four teams in the top 10 of our NFL power rankings."

NFL Spin Zone: Cardinals jump eight spots to No. 7

Randy Gurzi writes: "Remember when outside linebacker Chandler Jones was asking for more money? Well, the Arizona Cardinals might be more inclined to listen to him after what he did on the field during their first game of the season this Sunday. Jones put up three sacks in the first 15 minutes of the game, which set the tone as the Cards shocked the Tennessee Titans. Jones finished with five sacks and set the tone for the Arizona defense as they made life miserable for the Tennessee offense. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was never comfortable in the pocket and had multiple turnovers. Even running back Derrick Henry looked human. As for the Cardinals offense. Kyler Murray put on a show. He had four touchdown passes as well as a touchdown on the ground. He hit both DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk on multiple touchdown passes as well during the game. When Kliff Kingsbury first took over as the head coach, he made a huge gamble when he took Murray first overall despite there being concerns about his size. On top of that, the front office had just moved up for Josh Rosen the prior season, but Kingsbury knew who he wanted and after making strides in 2020, they now seem ready to make some noise in 2021."

More:NFL Week 2 schedule, TV information for all 16 Week 2 NFL games

Kyler Murray celebrates his touchdown with DeAndre Hopkins during the Cardinals' win over the Titans.

NBC Sports: Cardinals now ranked No. 9

Josh Schrock writes: "When Kyler Murray is healthy, he is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football. Murray rolled into Nashville on Sunday and shredded the Titans for five total touchdowns. The NFC West is going to be a bloodbath."

Sporting News: Cardinals up one spot to No. 10

Vinnie Iyer writes: "Kyler Murray has been a wild ride, but he has needed to iron out some passing bumps for the Cardinals to turn the corner and make the playoffs with their promising offense that can do a little bit of everything. But how about a healthy Chandler Jones and a savvy J.J. Watt flipping the defense into an explosive impact unit, too?"

More:NFL Week 2 odds: Money lines, point spreads, over/under for every game

List Wire: Cardinals ranked No. 11

Barry Werner writes: "Maybe this is the year Kliff Kingsbury is able to shake mediocrity? A huge game from Chandler Jones and Kyler Murray on the road in Tennessee. The performance by Jones was nothing short of manhandling and dismantling the Tennessee line. Next: vs. Vikings."

Pro Football Network: Cardinals now ranked No. 13

Dalton Miller writes: "We knew Tennessee’s secondary might struggle a little in 2021, but we didn’t think they’d put up zero fight against Arizona’s passing attack. Kyler Murray passed for 289 yards, going 21/32 with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. The Cardinals averaged 6.2 yards per play against the Titans and sacked Ryan Tannehill 6 times. DeAndre Hopkins saw our wide receiver rankings and made sure to make multiple big plays. Chandler Jones also recorded a franchise-tying 5 sacks."

More:2022 Super Bowl odds for every NFL team: Who will win Super Bowl 56?

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Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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