After years of mediocrity, the Cardinals have finally found a leader capable of guiding the team to the coveted Super Bowl. A man so qualified his alma mater fired him after 6 years of sub-.500 football. A man whose mere name evokes confidence and hope in lesser men! I’m lying. The Arizona Cardinals need to fire Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury.
At the beginning of the 2019 offseason, Kingsbury’s hiring was questioned by NFL pundits at best, and scrutinized at worst. Three and half years later, Kingsbury has done nothing to warrant his job security.
Overall, the Kingsbury-led Cardinals are 28-31-1. Kingsbury fans often cite that the Cardinals have improved by 3 wins each year under his regime. However, a current fourth-place standing in the NFC West should do nothing to inspire optimism.
Aside from their record, the Cardinals offense is slightly below average, coming in at 18th in the league with 21.8 points per game and 20th in the league with 331.9 total yards per game.
When he was hired, Kingsbury was said to be an offensive guru. Now, the Cardinals offense is far surpassed by the Rams and 49ers, two squads led by actual impressive offensive minds in Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan.
McVay and Shannahan are renowned for their progressive and diverse offensive schemes, which often employs receiver motions and varying formations and routes to best utilize their skill positions’ talents.
Compare this to Kingsbury’s air raid offense, which in theory should allow for a formidable vertical passing attack. In reality, the Cardinals’ offense has devolved into a scheme that seems to always rely on ineffectual wide receiver screens to smaller, speedy receivers, regardless of how many yards are needed to gain a first down.
Furthermore, the Cardinals’ run game is underperforming. Kingsbury seems extremely fond of draw plays, in which the quarterback delays a hand-off to the running back in hopes of creating wider running lanes.
However, draw plays seem better suited to running backs who are quick and elusive but usually small. The Cardinals’ starting running back, James Conner, at 6’1 and 229 lbs, while elusive, is more of a bruiser by nature.
With a bulldozer like Conner, the Cardinals should emphasize power running rather than their current zone scheme.
While Conner was injured in the Cardinals Week 5 loss against the Eagles, which most likely hurt our run game, the Cardinals are still 21st in the league with 108.9 yards per game. It must be noted that this total includes rushing yards from Kyler Murray, one of the league’s premier dual-threat quarterbacks.
The Cardinal’s below offense is average. They shouldn’t be. They have talented players, a strong mix of vocal veterans, young talent and most importantly a quarterback who has the ability to change games.
The problem with the Cardinals is not its roster. It’s the coach, a supposed guru, who isn’t able to make timely play calls. Kingsbury cannot hold his quarterback accountable for a seemingly lackluster work ethic. He deflects difficult questions on why the Cardinals aren’t winning and is likely the worst head coach in his division.
The Cardinals will continue to be mediocre until they fire Kliff Kingsbury.