(Image Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA Today)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Yikes, well the season has been over for awhile now for the Arizona Cardinals. With their latest loss to the Denver Broncos 24-15 that mathematically eliminated them from the playoffs. Almost everything went wrong for the Cardinals and there are so many reasons why the Cardinals were eliminated. So, I narrowed it down to three main reasons.
1. Plagued by Injuries
If there is an argument to be made by Kingsbury, it is with the injuries this team suffered, because my goodness a large part of the team was hurt. On Offense especially with QB Kyler Murray, TE Zach Ertz, WR Rondale Moore, OG Justin Pugh, and many more. That's not even adding that WR DeAndre Hopkins did not play 6 games due to his PED Suspension. Even on defense that have been beaten up as well all season, but that entire defense is just garbage. Woops Spoilers.
2. The Defense is Garbage
Right now according to DVOA the Cardinals have the 6th Worst Defense in the NFL right now and it is hard to not see why. Their secondary excluding Byron Murphy (When healthy) and Budda Baker is just horrendous. I have no idea what they are doing with Isaiah Simmons as they are lining him up anywhere at Safety, Cornerback, Linebacker, and I even saw him play at nose tackle. At Linebacker it is a trainwreck, which is a problem due to how many 1sts this team has used to fix this position. Zaven Collins, while statistically having a decent season with 87 tackles and 2 sacks, has not been that great in coverage. Markus Golden has been solid but I see him more as a pass rusher. At least JJ Watt has looked pretty solid this season and managed to stay healthy, but he is not the future of the Cardinals. There is a lot of work that this team needs to fix on the defensive side of the football.
3. The Coaching
Well this is an obvious one on the list as the coaching has been a disaster both on and off the season. It is clear that the coaching of Kliff Kingsbury has been a disaster this season and it has costed them a lot of games. It is clear that Kingsbury and Kyler Murray are not on the best of terms. Just listen to his statements below.
Does that sound like Kyler Murray likes Kingsbury, no it does not. If it was me Kingsbury would have never been extended last offseason.
One thing that I have to mention with coaching is off the field. Two of there coaches were fired and suffered fall from graces due to sexual assault alligations. The first coach is RB coach James Saxton, who arguably is the best RB positional coach at the time. Remeber he was arrested for Domestic Violence/Sexual Assult. It has been highly publiciced as well with the groping incident with Sean Kugler with the groping/sexual assault alligations in Mexico City.
Positional coaching roles are important and that easily affected the way this team was prepped entering games.
On The Bright Side - Change is Coming
It has been a brutal and disappointing season for the Arizona Cardinals and it was hard to find a positive, but I can say, change is coming. Not only with Kingsbury being gone as the head coach as Kingsbury is clearly on the hot seat, but in the executive branch as well. As many know, GM Steve Keim was placed on leave of absence due to a health issue.
Now I hope everything health wise is going well for Keim and that he gets back healthier than ever. However, it looks like that he may be on the outs with the Arizona Cardinals as more and more reports are coming out that Keim is not expected back once the 2023 NFL Season is over.
When hearing this I was not surprise although he signed a 5 year extension with the team earlier. Lets be real, Keim should have been fired years ago along with Steve Wilks. I kept asking the question, Why is Steve Keim still here? I guarantee if Bill O’Brien did not make that idiotic DeAndre Hopkins deal years ago, Keim would probably not be the GM today for Arizona. Keim has not made the greatest signings either and the drafting has not been great the past few seasons either. Keim is lucky that Kyler Murray panned out as it looked like awful asset managing when the selection of Josh Rosen happened not even a year ago.
I will say that it also does not look good either with what is going on with the whole Sean Kugler situation.
If it is true with what Sean Kugler is alleging, then Steve Kiem is done. He will likely be blackballed from the NFL if Keim was the guy that did this disgraceful action. One other thing I want to say as well, If Kugler is lying about this then he should be blackballed from the league as well not only for the actions he did, but trying to throw Keim under the bus and try to ruin the credibility of him. We will see what happens long term with this, but it is not a good look at all.
One thing is for sure, It looks like change is coming where Steve Keim is likely out, and maybe Kliff Kingsbury as well as the coaching has been horrendous all season. One thing is for sure, What was this organization thinking, giving both Keim and Kingsbury 5 year extensions not only a year ago?