Cardinals slip 2 spots in USA TODAY power rankings after bye week

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The Arizona Cardinals did not have a game in Week 12 as they had their bye. However, they increased their lead in the NFC West and maintained their status as the No. 1 team in the NFC playoff race.

However, they managed to fall in the latest power rankings from USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis.

The Green Bay Packers moved up to No. 1 with a 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with their 38-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts, moved up to No. 2, dropping the Cardinals to third overall.

Weird to drop the NFC leaders and their league-best 9-2 record after a bye week? Maybe. But it’s still not clear if QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins are ready to return, nor is it clear if coach Kliff Kingsbury is interested in the vacant Oklahoma job or not. Potential distraction for a team that’s avoided them to this point.

Murray and Hopkins hopefully return this week, but even with Colt McCoy at quarterback, the Cardinals have proven to be just fine. They should beat a 4-7 Chicago Bears team either way.

The Bucs returned to form and the Packers looked dominant against the Rams. It will be a dogfight down the stretch for the No. 1 seed.

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Cardinals increase lead in NFC West on bye week

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