In the Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray era, the Arizona Cardinals fail for the fourth straight time when trying to clinch a playoff birth dating back to last season.
If the the pressure of clinching is too much to overcome, how can they expect to perform in an actual playoff game.
Cardinals were upset by the 1-11-1 Detroit Lions on the road, and coming into the game were perfect on the road with this game predicted to keep the season road record perfect.
The Lions had other plans, as they always do verses the Cardinals.
The history against the Lions for Kliff and Kyler has not been good at all, in fact the Cardinals have not beaten the Lions since the last time they were a playoff team in 2015.
There were three different coaches for the Cardinals since 2015 and all have struggled to beat the Lions.
No matter where this game is played the game seems to play out the same way, where the Cards coming in are the better team by far but doesn’t play up to standard.
Kliff Kingsbury following suit from Bruce Arians and Steve Wilks, has had three games against Detroit and two resulted in losses and one in a tie.
Today in Ford field in Detroit the Lions just spanked the Cardinals in every faze of the game, including the turnover battle resulting in a shocking 30-12 blowout.
Kyler Murray and the offense were very lethargic throughout the first half, after they started with two 3-and-outs on offense and allowed the Lions to control the time of possession.
The pressure of clinching the playoffs has become so great, that the team has allowed the circumstance to over shadow the team they really are.
The key injuries have also played a part in how the team performed today, a Detroit Lion blue print has been created how to neutralize a high powered offense missing its number one weapon on the outside.
The loss of DeAndre Hopkins proves to be pretty big after that performance, as no other receiver posted a threat to the Lions defense.
If you can’t be a threat to the now 2-11-1 Lions, then its going to be even more difficult to scare any of the actual playoff teams in the NFC.
The Cardinals still only need one win to clinch a playoff birth, the question is will they get it?
The next team is the Indianapolis Colts and the lead rusher of the NFL Jonathan Taylor, whom will be licking his chops to get a hold of the Cards’ porous run defense.
After that they go back on the road to Dallas and face another good rushing team, and a potent offense when they are clicking.
Then finish up with the Seahawks at home, and who knows what can happen in a division game where the Cards haven’t performed great at home all season.
We could be looking at a scenario where the Arizona Cardinals could lose out and potentially lose the West to the Rams and miss the Playoffs with 10 wins.
Arizona has now lost three straight playoff clinching games this season, and the pressure will only get greater after each loss.