Three key issues the Arizona Cardinals will face in week ten
All week, we have read about Kliff Kingsbury’s decision to try for the game-tying field goal in favor of keeping the ball in the offense’s hands. It resulted in kicker Zane Gonzalez missing an important field goal in crunch time for the second straight game.
Hey, if you have Justin Tucker, Will Lutz, or Harrison Butker kicking for you, you take the points without thinking twice. Even if one of the above missed the kick, you still don’t think twice. But putting the game in the hands of an inconsistent Gonzalez in favor of keeping the game in the hands of your best offensive player just didn’t make sense.
Ditto for an earlier fourth and one situation when Kingsbury opted to call a run with Chase Edmonds rather than to try something with Murray. Either a quarterback draw, a rollout pass, or something similar. On an earlier conversion, Murray broke away for a 35-yard run. From an analytics standpoint, keeping the ball in Murray’s hands will probably earn you a first down when you go for it on fourth and one.
The Bills boast one of the best overall teams in football both on offense and defense, and Kingsbury can’t afford to botch any more play calls. Especially if the game is on the line. Both this Sunday and the Thursday Night grudge match against the Seahawks.
The next two weeks will either make or break the Cardinals. And Kingsbury must keep the ball in his playmakers’ hands when he makes a decision on fourth down. Even if the Cardinals don’t convert or ultimately lose, at least he didn’t put the game in the hands of inconsistent players like Edmonds and Gonzalez.