The Arizona Cardinals are 3-6, and one more loss will severely damage their playoff chances. But does it even still matter at this point?
At 3-6, the Arizona Cardinals have about as minute of a chance of making the playoffs as the Arizona Coyotes do of winning the Stanley Cup. And if the Redbirds drop to 3-7, then it’s time to pack ’em up and start talking about the offseason.
But if you’re sitting there and thinking, Why talk about the offseason when there are still seven regular season games left, let me give you three reasons to throw in the towel on 2022. Starting with an issue that can sink any team.
1 – Arizona Cardinals just can’t get healthy
All season, the Cardinals have had a plethora of injuries, from J.J. Watt to James Conner, about half the starting offensive line, James Conner, Rondale Moore, James Conner again, and you get the gist. Now, Kyler Murray and Budda Baker are banged up, and at this point in the season with a losing record, an insurmountable number of injuries will almost always translate into losses.
Especially when it’s late in the season and the players are thinking more about their offseason vacation than they are about the task at hand.
2 – The offense just can’t execute
The Arizona Cardinals offense has just been horrific all season. And while many in the Red Sea will blame Kliff Kingsbury, and he definitely needs to shoulder a lot of blame, he’s not the one going out and playing the game. Therefore, there needs to be a collective blame from Kingsbury, to Murray, everyone involved both with game prep, and those going out there and playing on game day.
Surprisingly, the Cardinals offense ranks 13th, which on paper, is actually not bad. However, when you dive deeper, you will see a reality check, such as a meager 4.9 yards per play, which is the fourth-lowest in the league. The Cardinals also have the third-highest number of accepted offensive penalties with 64, and the sixth-highest penalty yards with 512.
If the offense hasn’t executed through the first nine (soon to be 10) games with a former number one pick at quarterback, a solid tight end, and yes, solid-to-elite pass catchers in Marquise Brown and DeAndre Hopkins, they are not going to execute. Not in 2022, anyway.
3 – End of season gauntlet
While the Los Angeles Rams are struggling themselves this season, they have had the Kingsbury-era Cardinals number. Arizona will also play the San Francisco 49ers twice, a team that is still very much alive and overall, a more talented and disciplined crew than the Cardinals.
Then there is the Los Angeles Chargers, and I’m also not counting out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the somewhat surprising Atlanta Falcons. Even the New England Patriots have a winning record here.
While Tampa, Atlanta, and New England don’t necessarily look like threats this season, the former two may be battling for an NFC South title toward the end of the season, while New England also looks like they will have something to play for. The overall sense of urgency will make each aforementioned team tough for the Cardinals to overcome.
Article Source: Keim preaches confidence in Kliff Kingsbury, staff to turn 2022 around by Kevin Zimmerman
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