3 winners and 3 losers from the Cardinals 2021 preseason

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Byron Murphy
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Byron Murphy /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Kliff Kingsbury /

Kliff Kingsbury

Kliff Kingsbury is supposed to be an offensive-minded head coach, but after scoring just 29 points in the preseason, there is a reason to be concerned. Sure, preseason is preseason, and it’s highly likely Kingsbury could have thrown a few smokescreens.

But many questioned his playcalling as the 2020 NFL season winded down, which saw the 6-3 Cardinals limp to an 8-8 finish. Next to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who finished 1-5 after an 11-0 start, you can argue Arizona disappointed more than any other team during the second half of the 2020 season.

Again, it’s likely Kingsbury threw some smokescreens, tried different packages, and such. But judging from our limited sample size in the preseason, it shows that Kingsbury is still struggling with the play-calling. Over both preseason games, the Cardinals averaged just 282 total yards of offense (325 in Week 1, 239 in Week 2) according to ESPN.com.

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The upside is that we saw just a limited sample size of the starting offense. The downside is that Kingsbury has done little, at least in early returns, to show that he has improved as a play-caller.

(All statistical references courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference unless noted)