NFC West Power Rankings: Week Five

5 of 5

1 – Arizona Cardinals, 4-1 (Last week: 2)

Oct 11, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) congratulates free safety Rashad Johnson (26) after making a turnover during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Rams took first place in these power rankings because, as Ric Flair used to say “to be the man, you have to beat the man”. The Rams beat the first-place Cardinals, but this week, and until further notice, the Cardinals are “the man” in this division.

After the disappointing loss last week knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten, Arizona bounced back with another big win against the winless Detroit Lions. Arizona scored over 40 points for the third time this year, keeping Detroit out of the win column for another week, 42-13.

Quarterback Carson Palmer threw just 14 passes before getting a rest, completing 11 of those for three scores. Three different receivers caught touchdown: Larry Fitzgerald; Darren Fells; and John Brown. The run game was strong, as Chris Johnson toted the ball 11 times and racked up 103 yards. Andre Ellington ran for a 63-yard scoring scamper in his return from a knee injury.

The defense did allow a hefty 436 yards, but forced five turnovers via three interceptions and two recovered fumbles. Rashad Johnson was the star, totaling two interceptions and a fumble pickup.

The Cardinals have a chance to continue to prove themselves next week, as they travel to Heinz Field for a matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a two-game lead already in the division, they do have some buffer, but with some potentially dangerous teams behind them, they can’t relax now.

Next: NFC West Power Rankings: Week Four