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