Let the rankings begin

Posted by Darren Urban on May 17, 2010 – 9:26 am

I’ve never been a big fan of NFL power rankings. Like any other pro sport rankings — or even the NCAA hoops rankings — they prove meaningless because of the playoffs (although at least the NCAA basketball rankings can influence seedings for said playoffs). But there is little question rankings can be a jumping-off point to debate. So SI’s Peter King decided to put out some May rankings, and has the Cardinals down at No. 22 and out of the playoffs.

His blurb on the Cards: “Let’s just say everything I hear about Matt Leinart is lukewarm. I don’t get a confident feel that he’ll be a good or long-range replacement for Kurt Warner, and without a strong passing game, the Cards can’t score enough to help an OK defense with some holes. Now, if Joey Porter can turn back the clock six years …”

Here’s the interesting part: King has the Seahawks 11th in his rankings, and tops in the division. He only has the 49ers at No. 19 — one spot above his “Wait ’til next year” group — so he doesn’t have strong feelings with San Francisco. He is calling the Seahawks his choice for “Turnaround team of the year.”

Admittedly, King had the Saints at 24th at this time last year and the Bears going to the Super Bowl, so take it with a grain of salt. Clearly, there are a lot of unknowns in the NFC West. Unknowns that can be discussed.

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49 Responses to “Let the rankings begin”

  1. By BigRed Fan on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Things that can be discussed . . . . such as:

    will Beanie have 1,200 or 1,500 yards?
    how many games until Breaston hots 1, 000?
    How many games ahead of Seattle will the Cards be when they clinch home field advantage?

  2. By Larry U on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    So it is just another sports reporter in need to make a deadline story, based on his ASS-U-MEptions…. Hey but at least he gets paid for this wisdom GO CARDS

  3. By justin on May 17, 2010 | Reply


    He also called Green Bay’s loss to Arizona in the playoffs last year “fluky”.

    The best thing about the media doubting the Cardinals is that it will just add more fuel to the fire. We all know this team loves the under dog role.

  4. By John on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Darren I think you forgot to put that he also had the Rams at the #1 spot as well…

  5. By OLdude on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    As far as sportswriters are concerned, they also had the SUNS and the YOTES way down on the list at 20 something b4 the season too. I believe Matt is gonna surprise and that Breaston blossoms.

  6. By johnnybluenose on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    sure, we have some holes to fill but i think we have done a pretty good job filling them. hard to replace boldin but our offensive line is better and our running game will be better so that’s ok. i expect leinart to do fine, he’s not a rookie. the thing is, there are winners on this team now and a coaching staff that knows how to win and a fan base that demands a winner. ranked #22 ? come on man !!

  7. By Ditship on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Peter King has also gone on the board MANY times saying that Kurt Warner doesn’t deserve to be in the HOF and his opinion (as stupid as it is) counts because he actually votes on it. I think he’s just another sports writer that likes and writes about the big name teams and has to include something about the “other” teams. Wonder if big name coach Pete Carroll coming to the Seahags has everything to do with picking them? Let the hype machine start. And let the Cards put another banner (or two) up at the beginning of the 2011 season.

  8. By K-DUB on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Have any of our draft picks signed their rookie contracts?

  9. By darrenurban on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    K-Dub —

    As of now, there has been exactly one rookie to sign a contract in the entire draft, none for the Cards. Usually that starts to happen in June.

  10. By Greg on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Peter King has always been very low in my rankings of credible NFL journalists.

  11. By Joe on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Every year its the same thing its a fluke, they got lucky, all the teams they beat had bad days. When are they gonna realize whiz is the real deal and he will make the cards a perennial contender?

  12. By AndyStandsUp on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    King also picked the Eagles to win vs. the Cards in the NFC championship and Florio has the Cards missing the playoffs.
    I thought Sando’s article with AccuScore was interesting, computer simulation ran 10,000 times with Warner at QB had the the team at 10-6 basically and with Leinart at the helm the team finished around 7-9.
    But that’s if the game was played on circuit boards and microchips, and it’s not.
    Injuries, career years, rookies and just plain luck factor into victories.

  13. By card62 on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Seahawks above Cards and 49ers this I can not see at all.
    Warner is definitely a hall of famer, 1st ballot.
    Cards fans you have to admit we have a lot of changes to our squad this year over the last two seasons squads that won playoff games so I understand the media having a wait and see attitude with out team, but with our schedule and players and coaching staff we have I am optimistic we win the west again.
    In Whiz we trust.

  14. By Peter in Canada on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Peter King is a joke. In all sports reporting there are overstuffed guys who never hit a ball, shot a puck, or tackled anybody, who set themselves up as experts. I think the Cardinals upgraded themselves in every position on defence. They won’t miss Boldin that much but QB is definitely a question mark. I don’t see how Leinart can match Warner so the passing game will suffer. The run game must therefore improve over last year and I think it will.

    Maybe King is an atheist who doesn’t like religious people hence his dismissal of Warner as an HOF’er.

  15. By NYCARDSFAN on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    So Peter King goes on to say that if the lions were in the NFC West, they would have a chance at winning. Has this guy watched any football in the last 3 years? How do idiots like this end up writing for SI?! I think my border collie could make more accurate predictions about this coming season! Hey pete, better see your doctor for a smaller dose of Viagara. Its affecting your judgement and ability to process factual data!!! WE ARE TAKING THE NFC WEST AGAIN AND LIKELY THE DIVISION!

  16. By Matt H on May 17, 2010 | Reply


    Winning the NFC west is winning the division

  17. By AndyStandsUp on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    The hesitation from the national media on the Cards is focused on one thing, and one thing only, Matt Leinart. More than likely we’ll find out early. If he struggles early with 3 of the first 4 on the road(which I don’t think he will, roadies can sometimes be easier, and I’m not convinced about ATL and SD) then going into the bye Whiz can think about changes.
    Look, Matt is never going to be Kurt, the same as Stoudt wasn’t Bradshaw, Griese never Elway, heck, even Young was different than Montana.
    It comes down to the system and in Whiz I trust.

  18. By Jesse Robles on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    He just gave his opinion and that is what is so good about journalism is you just give your opinion. He is entitled to his opinion, I just do not see us having a bad season. Yes we have lost some players but we also have gained many players. I do not see our front office or coaching staff will let us go back to our losing ways. It is just hard for me to believe until I actually see Ken Wisenhunt have a losing season as a head coach. Times can and have changed, it is just hard for other people to just except it. We are going to be fine. We Do This Together!!

  19. By Brandon on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Shows exactly why Power Rankings are useless… Sure Seattle had a good draft, but they will finish where they belong: 3rd place in NFC West and out of the playoffs. Cards over SF for our 3rd straight NFC West Crown

  20. By Joe-B on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    What a joke.

  21. By Brian R. on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Ah, sometimes we all speak out of our rear. Its what that guy is doing.

  22. By TucsonTim on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    This is Peter King’s job and he ranks the Seahawks ahead of the 49’s and the Cards. That’s a pretty amazing prediction. Then King goes on to say:

    “If the Lions were in the NFC West, they might win it this year. They’re making significant progress — assuming Ndamukong Suh is the genuine item and Kyle Vanden Bosch has something left.”

    Arrogance and ignorance don’t mix well, but the Cards always do better when they are being disrespected. So do us a favor King and don’t do any off season homework. (I guess he missed the story about Anderson coming to the Cards.) Hope this gets posted in the training facility.

  23. By NYCARDSFAN on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Matt H….Sorry, I was typing too fast. I meant conference.

  24. By Steve Lee on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Warner was dismissed throughout his career, too. No one can tell the future.

  25. By joe67 on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    It is not just him, everyone I’ve heard has said Cards out, Hawks and niners in. Being out west they don’t pay much attn. Just that we lost Bolden, Rolle, Dansby , and Warner. Lookin from afar it looks like the Cards are in touble. Holes filled very well. Young unkowns will come into their own and help out. O-line shuffled but should be stronger (I hope). I do think Linert is going to surprise. Maybe not out of the shoot, but as the season wears on. One thing no one seems to talk about, is the ability to throw the long ball. Much better than Warner. A few big plays can cover up a lot of inexperience.

  26. By cardattac on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Ya know its funny to me that guys on NFL network in 08 at the Super bowl said Warner wont even make it to the end of the game and now these same guys come out and say we cant win without him??? He had a 5 piic and a fumble in one game last year and has had a history of that. now that being said I do believe he is a HOFer……. But we didnt score and win games without our D and special teams….. I didnt see Warner out on the field with those guys…. Did you?? I think whiz has mad a TEAM of PLAYERS and COACHES that not only have history together but know how to win and do it as a TEAM!! Finally give Matt some protection and a running game….. Watch and see. Let them count us out… Cuz I know Whiz has brought heart and unity to a team that has needed it for a long time and we will not go down. We will prevail!!!! Its our turn to put that trophy in the case!!! I cant wait to prove them all wrong….. GO CARDS!!!!

  27. By Big Red on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Peter King get this (stupid is as stupid says:). We’ll be laughing at you after the season, again.

  28. By Big Red on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Oh! I forgot to also mention why the CARDS will win the division. Cause we have the best and smartest coach in the division.

  29. By Bob Christianson on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Anyone east of the Mississippi is only concerned with teams East of the Mississippi no matter the sport! Peter King will report on minor developments in NY or Boston and miss major developments out west. Has been that way since I moved to AZ 38 years ago. Pay no attention to them!

  30. By fitzis11red on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Four years ago and beyond this organization entered OTA’s and training camp, I would assume, with a here we go again attitude. Collecting paychecks if you will. Then enters Whisenhunt and his coaching staff and for three years the Cards have not had a losing season. Based on the wonderful blogs and articles by darren, the videos, the draft, players showing up to off season workouts…I would have to say this organization goes into everything with winning on their minds as well as their paychecks and one more winning season I believe would shut people the HELL UP!!!!!! (Hopefully). So when did Pete Caroll get inducted to the Hall Of Fame? Right now I am worried about the 49ers NOT the seahags. They can wait a few years.

  31. By John on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    I think King is one of the worst NFL guys I’ve seen or read.
    But to be fair, There is alot of national people expecting the cards to flop.

    1. No one outside of AZ believes in Leinart. Our team has been a passing team and driven by Warner. Leinart, many feel, has been a disappointment. Matt has his one shot to prove everyone wrong, but I understand the critism.

    2. This defense gave up 90 points in 2 playoff games and was ranked near the bottom half in defense. We then lost Dansby (replaced by a rookie) McFadden, replaced by a guy who has very little playing time in Toler and no depth at all at CB. The addition of Porter helps alot.

    3. We assume we will be able to run the ball. We have ranked near the bottom for the last few years. Last year we showed signs, but that was with Warner under center and defenses backing off and respecting the pass. They wont do that with Matt. Defenses will play 8 up and blitz Matt. If Matt can’t burn them, it will be hard to run.

    As a season ticket holder since 1992, I have believed every year we hd a chance and laughed at national and local reporters bashing the cards. But lets be realistic.I get why people dont pick the cards. We as card fans believe Yes, Leinart will play great and Beanie can run. Toler is a stud while Mike Adams can handle the slot.But, there is nothing to point at and say there is proof. Bottom line all the teams in the West have big glaring questions. If the cards, are going to win the West, Leinart or Anderson will have to step up and play well. Which ever QB plays the best in the west will win the west.

  32. By TS on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Leinert is under rated. As a USC season ticket holder who saw Matt Leinert play most of his games, I can tell you that he has the arm, the size and the mental toughness to play at a high level in the NFL.

    More importantly, Leinert has matured considerably as the backup quarterback under Warner Kurt. As a Cardinal season ticket holder, I am looking forward to the Fall.

  33. By Farley M. on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    I live in L.A., born in St. Louis, Lifetime CARDS fan. Leinart is a “Woos,” and frankly can’t take the hits, the pressure, or the timing. IF he could do a 2 step drop and release with precision like Kurt and take a sack,NP, but he can’t. Derek Anderson is the “Twilight ZOne,” Unknown. I like the Other QB, 6’6″ from the AA school. OR ANYONE ELSE. THe defense needs to RUSH the passer and stuff the run. Whiz needs to rotate QB’s like Pitchers. IF they’re hot keep em in, if they don’t score, put the ‘other guy in’ if he don’t score go for the GIANT guy. Leinart should be CUT, & Nearly anyone else should play. Leinart is ‘stealing’ and a huge waste of money. Sorry, he has no guts. The Cards can win, but they need a drop back pocket Passer, quick release, and perhaps a scrambler. SURE wish we had MICHAEL VICK, as I think he’d take us all the way if in shape.

  34. By johnnybluenose on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    darren, if leinart does well do you suppose more people will learn to correctly spell his name? just wondering.

  35. By darrenurban on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    JohnnyBlue —

    I’m not counting on it. Clearly spelling does not matter to many.

  36. By James Terry on May 17, 2010 | Reply


    With all due respect everything you said in your last post is absolutely correct. However, one thing as fans we can point to is the remarkable turn around by the front office over the last few years and this coaching staff. I had season tickets from 1996 to 2000; been a fan since day one of their arrival and I have never seen a management core inside this team the way it is now. If it were not for Whiz, I would be extremely worried. Matt Leinart, unfortunately, had to ride the pine due to a certain Hall of Famer. IMHO Matt is being ridiculed for his partying that took place a couple of years ago. Noone in the national media is letting it go. I believe he matured and is ready. I have faith but only the 2010 season will tell the tale. Winning is their goal. New territory for us.

  37. By James Terry on May 17, 2010 | Reply


    I read your post again. If I misunderstood. Forgive me, i’m tired. lol.

  38. By AndyStandsUp on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    1.)Leinart set a rookie record for most yards in a game, since broken by Matthew Stafford. By far, the Cards biggest question mark.
    2.) Dansby will be replaced by Paris Lenon at least to start the season, with Washington, Beisel and Walker. Despite a third corner, I think the D is vastly improved.
    3.)Cards were actually in the top half of the league in YPC, with Kurt they were pass heavy. Hightower/Wells were over 1400 yds.
    But yes, bottom line it comes down to which QB in the NFC West plays the best.

  39. By Xosder on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    @John: I actually have to disagree completely with your 3rd point. Defenses didn’t respect the pass, they anticipated it. When you throw the ball 2/3rd of the time and audible to a pass 90% of the time, all it does is server to allow pass rushers to burst towards the QB. They didn’t have to respect the run, so they played more aggressive against the pass. The one thing everyone in the media is underestimating is how play-calling a more balanced offense will make it significantly harder on defenses, and as a result Leinart (hopefully) won’t have to be even remotely as good as Warner was. The best comparison I can make is the Falcons 2 seasons ago. Matt Ryan had a good year, but far from spectacular. He was extremely efficient, though, and made plays as a complement to their rushing attack. Their defense was good but far from great. Hopefully, the Cardinals can follow that same general outline to success this season.

  40. By black on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Leinert will do fine. If not Whiz wont think twice about benching him. Our running game will be fine as our defense will improve. As far as Peter King, he is a safe picker and always has been.

    I dont worry about rankings until after preseason, too many injuries and the teams with depth rise above.

  41. By Jeff Gollin on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Rankings take on an importance all their own. And they shouldn’t.

    All a ranking is – is a number some writer applies to a team.

    Unfortunately (either because it isn’t news or the writing-community would rather not embarrass itself) you seldom if ever see follow-up articles a year later comparing “actual” to “theoretical.”

    The few times the post-facto comparisons are made, the guy who “nailed” the prediction is a rare exception.

    The only “ratings” worth their ink are W’s & L’s.

  42. By Danny on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Lions were swept by NFC West last year, yet King thinks they could win the west if they were in the division. What a joke. I’m so tired of hearing how bad the west is.

  43. By Eric on May 18, 2010 | Reply


    Although not mentioned in Peter King’s article, many of the “experts” I hear, namely Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan on Sirius NFL Radio, don’t think we have a blind-side tackle on the roster. I would think that they are aware of the guys we have who are going to try to fill that role, but has there been any talk about shoring-up that position via free agency or trade?

  44. By darrenurban on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Eric —

    I think the Cards have plenty of offensive linemen.

  45. By Cards4life on May 18, 2010 | Reply


    Andre johnsons, is not participating in his team activities, if he does not get a new contract coming up, you think the cards would try to sign him, think of it second best hands in the nfl next to 1st best hands larry fitzgerald just picture that

  46. By darrenurban on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Cards4life —

    The big reason Andre Johnson is a big story is because he still has five years left on his current contract.

  47. By Cards4life on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    Also isnt there great free agents like T.O., we had a shot try with elvis dumervil

  48. By Farley Malorrus on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    WE NEED TO GET CHASE DANIEL from the Saints. HE can take the CARDS to the SUPER BOWL. He’s lost in the shuffle with Drew Brees there, but he had Lowly MISSOURI #1 for a while. He’s an Ace in the hole and an NFL QB. If anyone knows Whiz. Tell him “CHASE DANIEL” is another Kurt Warner about to happen depending who gets him..
    Good luck.

  49. By Scott H on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    I think anyone is justified in downgrading the Cardinals a bit based on Warner’s retirement alone, but these ranking from King are just ridiculous. I’m actually wondering if he just has his uniforms mixed up ’cause he has everyone in the West in the wrong place. That’s assuming that he was actually gracious enough to at least put the Cards ahead of the Rams! How can anyone in their right mind put the Seahawks at #11 and AHEAD of the Cards and 49ers??? That’s just asinine. Hasselbeck is barely an average QB and he can’t make it through a season anymore. They have a ton of RB’s but a bad O-line in front of them. So…Charlie Whitehurst makes them the 11th best team in the NFL??? Please…I’m OK with anyone bringing the Cardinals down a few pegs and putting the 49ers right there with them. That seems fair until we see how these teams play when the games start to count. But putting the Cardinals into the bottom third of the league and elevating the Seahawks practically into the top 10? That’s crap, and I can’t even take that seriously. Mr King – the next time you attempt power rankings, I might suggest a method a little more scientific than putting names in a bag and picking them out one at a time! ‘Cause it looks like that’s what you did here!

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