NFC West Power Rankings: Week 11

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November 22, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) passes the football against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Bengals 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

1 – Arizona Cardinals (Previous: 1)

The Arizona Cardinals continue to make a case to be considered the best team in the NFC. But as long as the Carolina Panthers are undefeated, the Cardinals will stay behind them.

Speaking of cases being made, quarterback Carson Palmer is making a strong case to be in the NFL MVP conversation. After two first quarter interceptions on Sunday night, Palmer bounced back to throw 317 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers. In his age-35 season, Palmer has surpassed the 300-yard mark seven games, the most in his career in a single-season.

On the final drive, Palmer did what MVP candidates are supposed to do. With the game tied at 31, Palmer led the Cardinals on a drive down the field, leading to a game-winning score. He went 3-4 passing (the incompletion came on a spike to stop the clock) for 57 yards in less than a minute of gametime. With just seconds on the clock, Chandler Catanzaro was able to kick the game-winning field goal.

Next: Kaepernick to IR, and Likely Done in SF

The Cardinals just keep churning out receivers, and it helps when a quarterback like Palmer is throwing to them. This week, rookie fifth-round pick JJ Nelson was the team’s leading receiver, as he made four grabs for 142 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown. He’s the fourth different Cardinals’ wide receiver to cross 100 yards in a game, and the ninth different Cardinal to catch a touchdown.

With this game now behind them, the Cardinals’ head to Santa Clara for a matchup with the 49ers. With a three-game lead in the division, a win against the 49ers would bring the Cardinals one step closer to clinching their spot in the playoffs.