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Kliff Kingsbury on the hot seat: Arizona Cardinals should fire head coach

Vincent Frank

Yet another Arizona Cardinals season ending in disappointing fashion under head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Laughable. That’s the best way to describe what we saw from Arizona in Monday night’s 34-11 NFC Wild Card loss to the division-rival Los Angeles Rams.

Kingsbury’s team found itself down 21-0 in the second quarter after this atrocious Kyler Murray interception. Once halftime hit, the Rams had outgained Arizona 175-40. It was a wrap from there.

For the Cardinals, this represents yet another late-season meltdown under Kingsbury. Remember, Arizona was up two games in the NFC West with five regular-season outings remaining. The team went on to lose four of five, handing the division to the Rams in the process.

A season that started with Arizona posting a 7-0 record in its first seven games concluded with the team losing seven of its final 11, postseason included. Should this lead to Kliff Kingsbury getting fired?

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Kliff Kingsbury’s track record is iffy

arizona cardinals should fire kliff kingsbury
Dec 5, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury looks on in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

When Arizona hired Kingsbury ahead of the 2019 season, there were some who questioned the move. Remember, he posted a 35-40 record as the Texas Tech head coach from 2013-18. That type of lack of success at the collegiate level had to be seen as concerning.

We’re now seeing this play out first-hand in the desert. Dating back to his days with the Red Raiders, Kingsbury-led teams have struggled to close out seasons.

  • 2014: Texas Tech (1-4)
  • 2015: Texas Tech (2-4)
  • 2016: Texas Tech (2-6)
  • 2017: Texas Tech (2-6)
  • 2018: Texas Tech (0-5)
  • 2019: Arizona Cardinals (2-7)
  • 2020: Arizona Cardinals (3-6)
  • 2021: Arizona Cardinals (1-5)

That’s just not going to cut it. It also should have the Cardinals’ brass rethinking this entire Kliff Kingsbury experience. We’re talking eight years of futility closing out seasons dating back to college. It’s eye-opening. It’s not acceptable at this level of football, either.

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Arizona Cardinals have other options

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Georgia at Michigan
Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts from the sideline during the second half in the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not like there’s a lack of qualified head coach candidates to replace Kliff Kingsbury in the desert. This job would also be seen as the most-attractive among the openings should owner Michael Bidwell and Co. move off Kingsbury.

Just imagine replacing Kingsbury with Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh or Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. That latter option is intriguing in that Leftwich served as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator in 2018 under Bruce Arians.

The reality of the situation is this. Kingsbury has proven over and over again that he’s not an NFL-caliber head coach. A 1-5 record to close out the 2021 season adds another layer to this belief.

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We’ll be intrigued to see if rumors come out of the desert following Monday night’s blowout loss regarding Kingsbury’s future, because, the status quo obviously isn’t working. This has be known within Arizona’s front office.

In an NFC West with two teams having advanced to the divisional playoffs, these Cardinals have become second-class citizens under Kingsbury. That can’t be seen as acceptable to the powers that be in Arizona.

After all, we’re now looking at a 24-25-1 record for Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona. Talk about mediocrity.

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