Arizona Cardinals head coach is getting accustomed to second-half collapses

The penchant that Jonathan Gannon has for blowing second-half leads has apparently followed the head coach to the Arizona Cardinals.
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

When the Arizona Cardinals hired Jonathan Gannon back in February, the fans of his previous employer rejoiced. Just hours earlier, Gannon became a villain in the "City of Brotherly Love" when his Philadelphia Eagles defense blew a second-half lead in Super Bowl LVII. The Eagles had built a 24-14 halftime advantage, only to have the Kansas City Chiefs erase it and prevail by a score of 38-35.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when Gannon's Cardinals did the same thing during a 31-28 loss to the New York Giants at State Farm Stadium. There were much smaller stakes in this game, obviously, but the collapse in itself was even uglier.

Arizona had raced out to a 20-0 lead at the half, after totally dominating the Giants during the first two quarters. Unfortunately, NFL games are 60 minutes long. The lack of talent on the Cards defensive unit reared it's ugly head over the last 30 minutes, and coordinator Nick Rallis' crew was the catalyst for a heartbreaking defeat.

Jonathan Gannon is going to have to learn how to finish games as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals

Actually, Gannon presided over yet another second-half collapse during a Week 1 disappointment in the nation's capital. Arizona entered the final quarter versus the Washington Commanders with a 16-10 lead, but an opening-day victory was just not in the cards. "Big Red" allowed 10 points within the final 12 minutes en route to a disappointing 20-16 loss.

It would be completely fair to place the "choke" label on those three defeats. Of course, the common denominator in each of the contests was a Gannon-influenced defense that couldn't protect a lead during the latter stages of the matchups. Blowing fourth-quarter advantages in your first two contests as the Cardinals head coach is no way to win over the franchise's long-suffering fanbase.

Basically, the Cards' new coaching staff is going to have to figure out how to finish a game. Dominating an opponent in the opening half, even at home, will not always be enough. Gannon now has a monkey on his back that will need to be disposed of as soon as possible.


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