Kliff Kingsbury: Have to evaluate, figure out how to close seasons stronger

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The Cardinals opened the 2021 season with seven straight wins, but Monday night’s loss to the Rams ended their season in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and left them with a 4-7 mark over their final 11 games.

Second half struggles have been a theme of head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s three years with the team. They’ve gone 15-8-1 through the first eight weeks of those three seasons, but their record, including Monday’s loss, is 9-17 on the back end of their schedule. Kingsbury’s teams at Texas Tech experienced similar splits and the reason why this keeps happening wasn’t something the coach could put his finger on at a press conference on Tuesday.

“But the last couple, for whatever reasons, we haven’t been as sharp,” Kingsbury said, via the team’s website. “That’s something I have to continue to evaluate and figure out what we need to do, whether it’s practice structure or different things of that nature because we have to be better. This league is about closing strong and building momentum going into the playoffs and unfortunately we didn’t do that.”

There haven’t been signs out of Arizona that the latest slide and the blowout loss to the Rams have cost Kingsbury a shot at a fourth season in Arizona. Assuming that remains the case, a failure to put together a more complete effort the next time out would likely spell the end of his run in the desert.

8 responses to “Kliff Kingsbury: Have to evaluate, figure out how to close seasons stronger

  1. You have to adapt in the NFL. Teams figure each other out pretty quickly so you need to do new and different things all year long. If you don’t adapt, you lose games.

  2. It’s mostly just a matter of keeping your HOFers healthy, and the coach doesn’t have any control over that. If any team’s four best players get hurt, they’re not going to do as well.

  3. Kyler Murray ain’t it. That’s what you need to evaluate and the fact that he looked so confused in that last game and it would help if you had a QB who could see over the linemen. Special teams play was suspect.

  4. charliecharger says:
    It’s mostly just a matter of keeping your HOFers healthy, and the coach doesn’t have any control over that. If any team’s four best players get hurt, they’re not going to do as well.
    ==

    Anyone using injuries to explain the Cardinals’ collapse is just making excuses.
    I’ll grant you losing DeAndre Hopkins was a big blow, but one wide receiver — even a great one — shouldn’t make such a big difference that losing him would cause not only the offense but the defense to fall apart.
    Kyler Murray missed only three games and the Cardinals won two of them with Colt McCoy in his place. With the bye week Murray had four weeks to recover, and he’s been back for well over a month. His injury was no excuse for the Cards losing four of their last five, or for him and his team to look so utterly inept in the playoff game.
    J.J. Watt was new to the team and missing for much of the season. Blaming any of the Cardinals’ slide on his absence is laughable, and he contributed next to nothing in his return Monday.
    Arizona collapsed last year, too, and it’s been a pattern with Kliff Kingsbury since his days at Texas Tech. Truth is, for all his athleticism Murray has serious limitations. Kingsbury is predictable and terrible at adjusting to his opponents’ adjustments, and the moment things began going south it was clear the Cardinals lacked any kind of real leadership — on or off the field.

  5. Kingsbury took the worst team and roster in the league in 2019 and they’ve made progress every year. Go look at how historically bad that offense was in 2018. Give the guy a break, he’s not going anywhere this year.

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