NEW YORK (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals are still perfect this season. And now they face a quick turnaround in their bid to keep it that way.
The Cardinals moved to 7-0 after dominating the Houston Texans on Sunday. They open Week 8 by hosting the surging Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
And the Cardinals, the NFL’s only unbeaten team, retained the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll.
The Cardinals received all 12 first-place votes for 384 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
“Zach Ertz has now caught touchdown passes in back-to-back games for two different franchises,” said Rick Gosselin of the Talk of Fame Network.
“He caught a 5-yarder for the Philadelphia Eagles against Tampa Bay in Week 6, then caught a 47-yarder for the Cardinals in a rout of Houston in Week 7.
“The Cardinals lost their starting tight end Maxx Williams with a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 and now replace him with a three-time Pro Bowler. And the best team in the NFL just got better.”
In an unusual quirk of this week’s poll, the top five teams are all from the NFC and the teams ranked No. 6 to 10 are all from the AFC.
The Packers, who have won six in a row, moved up three spots No. 4, but will likely be without top receiver Davante Adams after he went on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers remained at No. 2 after routing the Chicago Bears on Sunday as Tom Brady threw TD pass No. 600.
The Los Angeles Rams moved up a spot to No. 3 after topping the winless Detroit Lions and next will travel to Houston to face the one-win Texans.
And the Dallas Cowboys, who were on a bye last week, stayed at No. 5. The Cowboys will return to action on Sunday night when they head to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.
Another team that made a big climb in the top 10, the Tennessee Titans, gained three spots to No. 6. The Titans are coming off consecutive wins over the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, the teams that played in the AFC championship game last season. The Bills, also coming off a bye, slipped a spot to No. 7.
A surprise team in the top 10 is the Cincinnati Bengals, who climbed three spots to No. 8 after topping the Baltimore Ravens 41-17.
“If there were any questions about whether the Bengals were for real, Joe Burrow & Co. gave a definitive answer with a tour de force against the Ravens,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.
The loss dropped the Ravens six places to No. 9.
Despite being on a bye, the Los Angeles Chargers slipped two spots to round out the top 10.