Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching style changed from attacking genius to just attacking

We have to talk about Arizona Cardinals head coach (for now), “offensive genius” Kliff Kingsbury.

On Sunday, Arizona faced Seattle and its No. 32-ranked defense. The Cardinals had a field goal in their opener. They did not score an offensive point thereafter.

Hey Kliff, 3 points on offense might have been enough to win Seattle if you were playing the Mariners, but it’s the Seahawks, mate.

I don’t question the idea of ​​hiring Kliff Kingsbury in the first place, even though there were plenty of reasons to question it at the time.

You have to remember that he had just been fired from Texas Tech for not being able to recruit or coach a functional defense.

His trespasses were never the problem. In the NFL, you can put defense in the hands of your coordinator, scouting in the hands of your general manager, and just focus on the one thing you’ve proven you can do at a high level: making runs.

It’s also important to remember that when the Cardinals opted to engage in a bidding war with the New York Jets for Kliff Kingsbury, they had the worst yardage offense and the second-worst points per game in the 10 last years.

General manager Steve Keim didn’t worry about the costs that had been incurred to have head coach Steve Wilks and quarterback Josh Rosen in their early years – he blew it all for Kliff Kingsbury and the paired with first overall pick Kyler Murray.

And for a minute, it worked.

The Cardinals have improved their points per game three straight seasons, going from 32nd in 2018 under Wilks to 11th last year. In 2020 and 2021, the Arizona Cardinals also had a top-8 offense in total yardage.

Despite the Cardinals going 2-4 after the bye last year and being absolutely embarrassed in the playoffs, Steve Keim, Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray all got five-year extensions.

Fast forward to today, the Arizona Cardinals are 16th in total yards and 22nd in points per game. Although they lead the league in plays executed per practice, they are outside the top 10 in points per practice.

And they completely forgot how to start the games. They have put the ball in the end zone in attack in the first half only twice in the last 9 games. This game was the first time they scored in the first quarter of the season.

At 2-4, the Cardinals are one Hunter Renfrow fumble in overtime from being 1-5, and if we’re being honest, a no-call for offside that led to a game-changing 6 pick. against Carolina gave them a boost. which you can’t exactly attribute to the “attacking genius” of Kliff Kingsbury.

If it weren’t for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, and a touch of luck, this team could be winless.

But hey, at least the Cardinals can get the ball down the field, right? Because that’s the only reason you cling to Kingsbury despite the regression everywhere else.

Well, it turns out they’ve only had two passing plays over 300 yards in their last 21 games, but not for lack of trying. Kyler Murray is second in total pass attempts this season, but dead last in yards per attempt at 5.8, and he doesn’t have a passing game over 32 yards.

The Arizona Cardinals are paying Kyler Murray Patrick Mahomes money to throw screen passes.

Kyler Murray’s average passing passing yards this season is 6.5 yards.

Kliff Kingsbury turned Kyler Murray into what we thought Jalen Hurts would be, while Jalen Hurts looks like the NFL MVP.

When a coach lets his players down with his schemes, the reputation of those players can be damaged beyond repair. Kyler Murray’s narrative is being set in stone right now, and it’s going to be extremely difficult to change people’s minds.

On Thursday night, the Cardinals host the New Orleans Saints in an attempt to avoid their 9th consecutive home loss – a streak that began on a Thursday night last year. They’ll have Deandre Hopkins back after serving a six-game suspension for a positive PED test, and unless everything about the Cardinals is different, from first-half energy to pushing the ball on the pitch, this should be Kliff Kingsbury’s last game. as the head coach of Arizona.

That is, unless Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim and the NFL in general have different standards for a white head coach than the black head coach, they had no problem kicking the curb after a season.

At least Steve Wilks has never gone a full season of games without picking up a home win.

Let it sink in.