Kliff Kingsbury: We’re trying to address how to be better in the final stretch

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
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One feature of the Cardinals’ past two seasons has been an early surge with a late-year fade.

Arizona began 2020 5-2 before losing six of their last nine to finish at 8-8 and miss a playoff spot.

Then in 2021, the team was in the driver’s seat in the NFC West before losing four of its last five games to finish at 11-6. And the Cardinals got thumped by the Rams in the Wild Card round in a contest that was never competitive.

At the league’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the team is looking at ways of trying to figure out what went wrong toward the end of the season.

“I think this year, we played really well early, had some injuries, different things that I could’ve done a better job of adjusting the offense,” Kingsbury said. “And that’s what we’ve done — just trying to address how we practice later in the season, how we strategize, different things like that to try and be better in that final stretch.”

Quarterback Kyler Murray was a part of the slide. Though he was coming off a midseason ankle injury, his passer rating in the team’s last five regular-season games was just 85.6, as he completed 65 percent of his throws for 1,388 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked 12 times in those contests and had four fumbles, though the team did not lose any of them.

Kingsbury said he would like to see Murray be more consistent.

“It’s tough — last year you lose your No. 1 receiver the last month,” Kingsbury said. “I don’t care who you are at that position. But I think he’s gotten better and better each year. I think he’s never had an offseason, really. We had the covid stuff the last two years. So I think this offseason, just continuing to grow in who he is as a person, leader, all those things — I expect him to take the next step.”

6 responses to “Kliff Kingsbury: We’re trying to address how to be better in the final stretch

  1. A coaching change (last year wasn’t a one off, there is long history of that pattern) and a taller QB (or much shorter lineman) should help rectify that problem.

  2. Sure Kliff. Keep calling bootlegs when your QB is hurt and passes 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage #Innovative

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