The Arizona Cardinals are now last in the NFC West Division after a very lackluster performance on the road losing 19-9 to the Seattle Seahawks, facing a defense that is currently last in most statistical categories.
The Seattle rush defense was giving up 170.2 per game coming in, and the question was will Kliff stay disciplined enough to take advantage of how bad they are against the run.
The answer was he could not resist himself, and started out running Kyler Murray and the running game on the first two drives of the game effectively.
Then he reverted back to the same old predictable Kliff Kingsbury offense, which is pretty much short wide receiver screens to the waisted speed of Rondell Moore.
This Seahawks defense looked like the number one defense against the Cardinals and held their offense to only 3 points, and rookie Kenneth Walker was unstoppable for the Cards’ defense giving up 136 total rushing yards.
The Cardinals did gain 144-yard rushing and 100 of those yards came from the legs of Murray, and the running backs could not get going.
Scoring in the first quarter was an issue coming in, and the RedBirds finally got points early with a field goal on their first possession of the game.
Defensively the Cardinals were sound, holding the high-scoring Seahawks to only one touchdown and a low 19 points, but that was all it took to get past the anemic Cardinals offense.
The Cardinals only scored 3 points against the worst defense in the league, and there are very serious questions concerning what is going on with this team’s offense.
The biggest question after the offense stunk up another field is, is Kliff Kingsbury stunting the growth of his quarterback? Because in the game on Sunday Murray looked like he was Kingsbury’s Quarterback at Texas Tech.
After four years Murray should be further along in growth, in terms of knowing how to read defenses and manipulate a safety with his eyes, but instead, he continues to be a first-read guy, and then after the first read fails he turns the offense into backyard football.
Playing quarterback in the NFL requires one to not be afraid to take hits, there is a time when you have to stand in and deliver the ball with the risk that you could be hit. Murray does not play the game like he is not afraid to get hit, he is playing with getting hit on his mind and that is controlling his decision-making on the field.
Of course, not being hit would be ideal for all quarterbacks, but that would be more like a fantasy land or during a flag football game. The reality of the matter is, a quarterback is going to get hit playing this game, that’s the nature of the game and particularly for playing quarterback at the highest level.
The identity of this offense has no name or style, and does not look like it can compete in the NFL style of play, so does that mean the same for the coach that is trying to sneak his College style into the NFL.
Today’s game was supposed to be an offensive-minded coach’s dream matchup against the 32nd-worst defense in the league, and the play-calling continues to look like an add-lib special with no structure.
Now the Cardinals are going to play the team that scored 39 points on this same Seattle defense a week ago, the New Orlean Saints on Thursday night football.
Coach Kingsbury continues to copy his press conferences from every game with the same cliché sayings of “we got to fix it” and truth be told this is no easy fix by any stretch of the imagination.
The team seems to be putting all their rescue ducks in the basket of the return of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who has not played in live action since week 14 last year and may take a while to get back to NFL game speed.
Hopkins is an elite receiver but even he can’t fix an offense that has no identity and is very predictable.
Getting Hopkins back in Kliff’s mind of play-calling just means he will join right in with the rest of the wide receivers catching short two-yard screens and five-yard outs with absolutely no threat down the field.
Hopkins in Kliff’s mind may just simply be to use him as a decoy, much like he did all last year and Hopkins had his least total of yards in his career.
It doesn’t look like even Hopkins can be the savior for this offense.
Many questions and one would start to think that after that embarrassing loss to the worst defensive team in the league, this team is headed to the top-five pick in next year’s draft and maybe eating the contract of its head coach to start making changes.