Arizona Cardinals: Extending Kingsbury proving to be a mistake
The Arizona Cardinals should be 0-3 right now. Kliff Kingsbury, a so-called bright offensive mind, has seen his offense score just 18.6 points per game.
Through three games, the Arizona Cardinals offense has put together two pathetic performances. When you take their 18.6 points per game (I’m excluding Byron Murphy’s defensive touchdown in that average), it gets even bleaker when you subtract the 14 points of garbage time in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In short, the Cardinals offense has averaged just 14 points per game. And you can pin much of the blame on Kliff Kingsbury, who continues to insist he can run the offense and head coaching duties simultaneously. While under Kingsbury, the Cardinals offense has had its moments, too many of them have come when DeAndre Hopkins is on the field.
Okay, in some circumstances, one player can be a game-changer. But the Cardinals also have a former number one overall pick in Kyler Murray, whose praises I sang last week after his remarkable comeback win. This week, Murray sunk back into being a mediocre starting quarterback incapable of leading his team to anything except a cameo playoff appearance.
Lack of offensive success falls on the Arizona Cardinals head coach
Kingsbury has historically made spotty decisions that cost the Cardinals games, and it could have been the same in today’s contest. Kicker Matt Prater went three for three on field goals, (he ended the game four for four), yet when trailing 20-9 with 11:35 to go in the game, why would you go for it instead of kicking the field goal?
Mind you, the defense for the most part held a potentially dangerous Rams offense in check. Much like the did to the Las Vegas Raiders. And if it wasn’t for a forced fumble at the goal line, the Rams may have won this game by three possessions.
But Cam Akers fumbled, and it gave the Cardinals new life. Except they showed zero urgency, letting the clock melt as they entered field goal range and ended up kicking the field goal to make it 20-12 with a little over a minute to go. Too little, too late, Kliff.
Overall, poor play calling on Kingsbury’s part have put the Cardinals into a 1-2 hole. While the defense could have stepped up in Week 1, the Cardinals knew ahead of time they were facing one of the league’s best in Patrick Mahomes and company. Kliff couldn’t get his offense to respond.
In Week 2, Vance Joseph made the appropriate adjustments, and Kyler Murray made about a dozen video game-like plays to reach overtime. The Cardinals should be 0-3, given the lethargic state of their offense.
We’ve seen poor play-calling from Kingsbury for four seasons now. He’s never won an NFC West Championship or a playoff game. Until he calls better plays (since he won’t hire an offensive coordinator) or shows more urgency, owner Michael Bidwill has got to be feeling some buyer’s remorse after yet another loss to the Rams.