ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kliff Kingsbury: Struggles in 2nd half of seasons ‘definitely a priority’ to fix

Jan 17, 2022, 11:37 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 12:05 am
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the side line in the second quart...
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the side line in the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The longer trends become, the harder they are to ignore.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has seen one of his football teams melt down in the second half of the season yet again.

His latest ends with a baffling 34-11 no-show from the Cardinals on Monday against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card round.

Here’s what Kingsbury had to say following the loss when it comes to that trend.

“We just gotta keep looking at it,” he said. “Keep trying to find new ways to improve later on in the season. Whatever that may be, it’s definitely a priority this offseason.”

Arizona’s end of the season marks a 4-7 finish to the Cardinals’ year after beginning it 7-0.

Dating back to his first year as head coach of Texas Tech in 2013, Kingsbury is now 17-45 from Game 8 of a season onward.

For Games 1-7, he’s 42-20-1.

It is an undeniable fact that Kingsbury’s teams underperform once the halfway point of the season hits, which does not bode well for the potential success of one in the postseason.

Looking at his first three seasons with Arizona, Kingsbury ended 2019 2-7, last year at 2-5 and this season 1-5.

The concern the Cardinals must have is how to identify what is going wrong. If they can figure it out, how correctable is it beyond Kingsbury being the primary issue?

That’s what has much of the reaction after Arizona’s loss surrounding the likelihood of Kingsbury returning next season.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio explored the possibility of that not happening, writing, “It’s a fair question to ask, given the way the campaign ended for Arizona.”

Perhaps the biggest indictment of Kingsbury in Monday’s loss was the performance of Kyler Murray, as the main thinking behind the hiring of Kingsbury was to get the best out of Murray, given Kingsbury’s success working with young quarterbacks.

Murray looked completely spooked and out of his element in his playoff debut. Remember when Kingsbury said he thought Murray was going to have the best game of his career?

Sure, some of Murray’s 19-of-34 passing performance for 137 yards and two interceptions is on the guy who threw those passes, but it was also on Kingsbury to make the 24-year-old as comfortable as possible.

He failed to do so and it played a huge role in one of Arizona’s most embarrassing losses in franchise history.

Arizona Cardinals

J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates in the second quarter against the Houston Texans ...
Arizona Sports

Seven words or less: The Arizona Cardinals’ 2022 schedule

Cardinals Corner co-hosts Tyler Drake and Erik Ruby took a look at each of Arizona's matchups in -- you guessed it -- seven words or less.
1 day ago
James Conner #6 and Byron Murphy #7 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrate as they run off the field af...
Arizona Sports

NFL Network’s Rosenthal projects Arizona Cardinals’ 2022 starters

With OTAs next week, NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal projected the 2022 starters for the Arizona Cardinals with notes about every position.
1 day ago
A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals runs after his catch from David Long #22 of the Los Angeles...
Arizona Sports

The Athletic’s Jones: Cardinals-Rams in Week 3 a must-watch game in 2022

Of the Cardinals' 2022 slate, The Athletic's Lindsay Jones believes the Week 3 matchup against the Rams stands out above the rest.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) in action during the first half of the National Foot...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals 2022 preseason schedule finalized

Specific dates and times for the Arizona Cardinals to face the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans in the preseason were not yet set.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Vance Joseph, Quentin Harris participating in NFL Accelerator program

Cardinals DC Vance Joseph and VP of player personnel Quentin Harris are taking part in the NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator program.
2 days ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals on the field before the game against the Seattl...
Tyler Drake

The 5: Familiar faces Arizona Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury will see in 2022

Not only will Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury take on his former head coach in 2022, he'll also face former players, teammates and colleagues.
2 days ago
Kliff Kingsbury: Struggles in 2nd half of seasons ‘definitely a priority’ to fix