It's time to give the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff a break

Following the Arizona Cardinals meltdown last Sunday vs. the New York Giants, head coach Jonathan Gannon has not been the most popular guy in town.
Sep 10, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon walks on the
Sep 10, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon walks on the / Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s true Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon has allowed three leads to slip from his grasp dating back to his last days with the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s time to stop playing the blame game for the time being. Sure, Gannon was the one on the sideline and was therefore managing the game. But it’s also true that he wasn’t the one committing a plethora of penalties in that second half that gifted the New York Giants more than a few yards. 

Further, Gannon and his staff are just two regular season games into their stint in the desert. And it’s not helping that Kyler Murray is still on the PUP and Budda Baker is now on injured reserve. Because let’s be real: Murray’s presence would at least have this team at 0.500 while losing Baker meant the Redbirds lost their best asset on defense, despite Andre Chachere’s and K’Von Wallace’s respectable performances. 

It’s also imperative to point out that this roster currently has 17 players in either their rookie or second seasons. Of the 53 men on the active roster, that comprises 32%. That number increases to 20 players, or 37.7% of the roster when you add in third year players and younger. So how would you like to be Jonathan Gannon right now?

Arizona Cardinals coach taking too much heat early in his head coaching stint

No, the loss against the Giants never should have happened. But look at the mental errors the Cardinals, and not Jonathan Gannon, committed. Juxtapose that with the fact this is an ultra-young coaching staff tasked with the thankless job of coaching an ultra-young football team that the Arizona Cardinals are, and pinning the blame on Gannon and Company is nothing short of premature. 

In hard times, we naturally want to play the blame game, to rapidly pin on somebody. Gannon is an easy target thanks to the fact his defense collapsed in the Super Bowl and is still losing games. But then again, his D was also playing against Patrick Mahomes, a surefire Hall of Famer who has made a living pulling off the impossible. 

In four of the Kansas City Chiefs 14 regular season wins last season, Mahomes had four 4th quarter comebacks. He also tacked on a pair of game-winning drives in the 2022 playoffs. So once again, it’s beyond premature to blame Gannon for the Eagles loss in the Super Bowl when Mahomes had been winning games that way all season long. 

If the Cards are to stop blowing big leads, Gannon needs to figure out the cause and address the underlying issues. But so does every single individual taking the playing field on Sunday. We’re quick to forget that games are ultimately won and lost on the field, and the coach on the sideline can’t go out there and win the game for them. 


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)