Week 17 2022: Heroes and Goats

kerouac9

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The 17 game season is too long. Combined with the seventh playoff seed, it’s devalued a big part of the regular season. The Packers are likely to make the playoff after a terrible start; the Giants had a torrid start and are resting starters at the end of the year because there’s no way to qualify.

Maybe this is good and dramatic if your team doesn’t suck. The past two seasons, the schedule has prolonged an agonizing collapse and drawn out a death March that begins before Halloween. Make it stop.

Heroes
David Blough
- Trace McSorely was a bad #3 QB. David Blough is a fine third QB that considering as a backup would make you ill. Still, nice work kid.

Trey McBride - My adopted son had the best game of his career. There was a pretty bad drop, and he’s had some giant hits that are concerning. But it sure looks like he can play in the NFL

Kliff Kingsbury - The past few weeks the offense has looked professional, the offensive presnap penalties seem down, and the team has been playing tough despite every reason to quit. A lot of concern that he’s giving Michael a reason to keep him around. If I were an NFL coach, I wouldn’t hesitate to add Kliff to my staff.

Goats
Hollywood Brown - The difference between Brown and Christian Kirk is that Kirk struggles to be a feature wideout but can do a lot of complementary work. Brown looks comfortable in a feature role but gets listless as a second banana.

Greg Dortch - He’s been so impressive this season that I’m not going to bury him over a rough game; this was kind of the guy we were expecting to see this year.

Vance Joseph - you have to stop. This one was too close. We almost won the game with David Blough and Corey Clemons. You can’t win a game with your running back is named Corey. That’s just facts. We’re trying to tank here; get with the program.
 

BritCard

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God help me but I'm going to defend Kliff.

We were 3-4 after 7 games with a relatively healthy roster and Kyler playing like garbage. We should have been 5-2 at least at that stage. Poor games from Kyler vs the Rams starting 2 rookie DB's for the first time and not scoring a TD, only scoring 17 on the Eagles when holding them to 20 and only scoring 9 on a Seahawks team that was there for the taking.

From then on we have been devastated by injuries. We have played a bunch of games where our entire interior O line wasn't on the opening day roster. Hump will miss 9 games. Brown, Rondale and Nuk have all missed multiple games with injuries and suspensions. We lost Wesley before the season started. We lost Ertz. We missed Kyler for 7 games. Missed McCoy for multiple games and have started 4 QB's. James Conner missed 3. Darrel Williams most of the season.

We started another game on Sunday with all 3 starting CB's out and the best of them has missed 7 games. Hamilton has missed 7. Even the backups backups are injured. We started Nate Hairston 2 games ago and he was on IR last week. No Zach Allen. No Budda Baker. Lawrence missed nearly all year.

We've even lost our long snapper now (again).

It's easier to count the players that have been consistently available which off the top of my head are Jalen, Simmons, Zaven, Golden, Thomas, Vallejo, Niemann, Ledbetter, Fotu and Sanders on defense, only 4 of which are starters. Watt missed game 1 but add him in too if you like. And Beachum, Josh Jones, McBride, Leccy Smith, AJ Green and Ingram on offense. Only 1 of which is a starter.

Soak that in. Only 1 offensive starter has been available for every game.

Kliff has his issues, most coaches have issues, but you put Sean Payton in as HC with these injuries and I don't see how he's besting 4-13 unless you believe it's Kliff's fault Kyler sucked through the first 7 weeks. Which I do not.

@kerouac9 mentioned a reduction in pre snap penalties too so I looked up the stats and he's right but I'm not sure if it's Kliff fixing it or just no Kyler. We have 23 false start penalties. In the 6 games Kyler hasn't played in we have 6. In the 10 games Kyler has played we have 17.
 
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Stout

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God help me but I'm going to defend Kliff.

We were 3-4 after 7 games with a relatively healthy roster and Kyler playing like garbage. We should have been 5-3 at least at that stage. Poor games from Kyler vs the Rams starting 2 rookie DB's for the first time and not scoring a TD, only scoring 17 on the Eagles when holding them to 20 and only scoring 9 on a Seahawks team that was there for the taking.

From then on we have been devastated by injuries. We have played a bunch of games where our entire interior O line wasn't on the opening day roster. Hump will miss 9 games. Brown, Rondale and Nuk have all missed multiple games with injuries and suspensions. We lost Weslet before the season started. We lost Ertz. We missed Kyler for 6 games. Missed McCoy for multiple games and have started 4 QB's. James Conner missed 3. Darrel Williams most of the season.

We started another game on Sunday with all 3 starting CB's out and the best of them has missed 7 games. Hamilton has missed 7. Even the backups backups are injured. We started Nate Hairston 2 games ago and he was on IR last week. No Zach Allen. No Budda Baker. Lawrence missed nearly all year.

We've even lost our long snapper now (again).

It's easier to count the players that have been consistently available which off the top of my head are Jalen, Simmons, Zaven, Golden, Thomas, Vallejo, Niemann, Ledbetter, Fotu and Sanders on defense, only 4 of which are starters. Watt missed game 1 but add him in too if you like. And Beachum, Josh Jones, McBride, Leccy Smith, AJ Green and Ingram on offense. Only 1 of which is a starter.

Kliff has his issues, most coaches have issues, but you put Sean Payton in as HC with these injuries and I don't see how he's besting 4-13.

@kerouac9 mentioned a reduction in pre snap penalties too so I looked up the stats and he's right but I'm not sure if it's Kliff or just no Kyler. We have 23 false start penalties. In the 6 games Kyler hasn't played in we have 6. In the 10 games Kyler has played we have 17.
Well, yeah. The whole board knows you've been defending Kliff all season. I don't agree with you, as I think he clearly wasn't prepared for the season, along with his GM and this roster, but it's good you can finally post this straight out. You and I do largely agree about Kyler's play this season, before he got hurt. We just disagree that this, as well as the injuries, absolve Kliff of his share of the blame.

I think a solid coach could've eked out a few more Ws, for sure.
 

BritCard

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Well, yeah. The whole board knows you've been defending Kliff all season. I don't agree with you, as I think he clearly wasn't prepared for the season, along with his GM and this roster, but it's good you can finally post this straight out. You and I do largely agree about Kyler's play this season, before he got hurt. We just disagree that this, as well as the injuries, absolve Kliff of his share of the blame.

I think a solid coach could've eked out a few more Ws, for sure.

Actually I've said he should go but don't let facts get in the way.

But you're simply not being objective if you don't factor in the massive injury load we have had.

I'm not sure how you can definitively say it's on Kliff. You yourself admit Kyler was ass and I broke down some of those games he sucked to show the play calling was fine and Kyler played very poorly.

The first Rams and Seahawks games we 100% should have won if not for Kyler. In which case were 5-2 in week 8. At that point the injuries really start to hit and it's hard to place blame.

I'm looking at the games we have played and the only one for sure I think was on Kliff was the Chargers loss. We should have closed that game out with a healthy lead and he turtled. The others were either a dire game by Kyler (Rams 1, both Seahawks games) or injuries. Outside of game 1 vs the Chiefs where we were owned by a better team, but the Chiefs has done that to multiple teams including the Niners.
 

Stout

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Actually I've said he should go but don't let facts get in the way.

But you're simply not being objective if you don't factor in the massive injury load we have had.

I'm not sure how you can definitively say it's on Kliff. You yourself admit Kyler was ass and I broke down some of those games he sucked to show the play calling was fine and Kyler played very poorly.

The first Rams and Seahawks games we 100% should have won if not for Kyler. In which case were 5-2 in week 8. At that point the injuries really start to hit and it's hard to place blame.

I'm looking at the games we have played and the only one for sure I think was on Kliff was the Chargers loss. We should have closed that game out with a healthy lead and he turtled. The others were either a dire game by Kyler (Rams 1, both Seahawks games) or injuries. Outside of game 1 vs the Chiefs where we were owned by a better team, but the Chiefs has done that to multiple teams including the Niners.
Nowhere, including in my post, have I said definitively it's on Kliff. It's on Kliff, and Kyler, and Keim, and especially Bidwill. All of them have been subpar, some longer than others.

As for your saying Kliff should go, yes, sometimes you post that, but with a whole bunch of explanations and addendums that exculpate Kliff and make me think you would be just fine if he stayed. If that's not the case, okay.
 

BritCard

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but with a whole bunch of explanations and addendums that exculpate Kliff and make me think you would be just fine if he stayed. If that's not the case, okay.

Well yeah, that's because there are. To say otherwise is deluded.

And I do think we would be fine if he stayed. If Kyler could sort himself out. I think we would have been fine this year has Kyler not been awful and we hadn't been piled with injuries.

As I said recently the only difference between Kliff and Zac Taylor is the QB.

But, Kliff hasn't got a grip of Kyler and been forceful enough with him. It seems Kyler is the kind of person that if you give them an inch they take a mile. He needs a stronger grip. And for that reason he should probably go.
 

Krangodnzr

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God help me but I'm going to defend Kliff.

We were 3-4 after 7 games with a relatively healthy roster and Kyler playing like garbage. We should have been 5-2 at least at that stage. Poor games from Kyler vs the Rams starting 2 rookie DB's for the first time and not scoring a TD, only scoring 17 on the Eagles when holding them to 20 and only scoring 9 on a Seahawks team that was there for the taking.

From then on we have been devastated by injuries. We have played a bunch of games where our entire interior O line wasn't on the opening day roster. Hump will miss 9 games. Brown, Rondale and Nuk have all missed multiple games with injuries and suspensions. We lost Wesley before the season started. We lost Ertz. We missed Kyler for 7 games. Missed McCoy for multiple games and have started 4 QB's. James Conner missed 3. Darrel Williams most of the season.

We started another game on Sunday with all 3 starting CB's out and the best of them has missed 7 games. Hamilton has missed 7. Even the backups backups are injured. We started Nate Hairston 2 games ago and he was on IR last week. No Zach Allen. No Budda Baker. Lawrence missed nearly all year.

We've even lost our long snapper now (again).

It's easier to count the players that have been consistently available which off the top of my head are Jalen, Simmons, Zaven, Golden, Thomas, Vallejo, Niemann, Ledbetter, Fotu and Sanders on defense, only 4 of which are starters. Watt missed game 1 but add him in too if you like. And Beachum, Josh Jones, McBride, Leccy Smith, AJ Green and Ingram on offense. Only 1 of which is a starter.

Soak that in. Only 1 offensive starter has been available for every game.

Kliff has his issues, most coaches have issues, but you put Sean Payton in as HC with these injuries and I don't see how he's besting 4-13 unless you believe it's Kliff's fault Kyler sucked through the first 7 weeks. Which I do not.

@kerouac9 mentioned a reduction in pre snap penalties too so I looked up the stats and he's right but I'm not sure if it's Kliff fixing it or just no Kyler. We have 23 false start penalties. In the 6 games Kyler hasn't played in we have 6. In the 10 games Kyler has played we have 17.
Lots of good points, but where I stand is that the Cardinals hired Kliff and expected him to get more out of the QB. Kyler clearly regressed. Kliff has to go.
 

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Well yeah, that's because there are. To say otherwise is deluded.

And I do think we would be fine if he stayed. If Kyler could sort himself out. I think we would have been fine this year has Kyler not been awful and we hadn't been piled with injuries.

As I said recently the only difference between Kliff and Zac Taylor is the QB.

But, Kliff hasn't got a grip of Kyler and been forceful enough with him. It seems Kyler is the kind of person that if you give them an inch they take a mile. He needs a stronger grip. And for that reason he should probably go.

Too much Vulcan mind meld regarding the relationship between KK and KM on this board, IMO. All we actually know is that the results have gone from good to poor, and a solution must be found.

Perhaps what is needed is someone new for KM to interact with and a buffer between KK and KM.

I'm intrigued by the thought of recruiting Drew Brees, an asst. coach at Purdue. From an offensive standpoint, this would bring, at least partially, the Payton brain without the high cost. This is someone of similar physical stature with Hall of Fame credentials. If willing, he'd learn how to play under centre and master the play action concepts that made Drew exceptional.

So, in my ideal world, Drew would become the QB coach and passing game assistant coordinator.
 

Crimson Warrior

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God help me but I'm going to defend Kliff.

Serious question Brit, and I'm not trolling you (hope you had a nice holiday season). In terms of HC and OC duties, what do you think Kingsbury does well? Which coaching proficiencies would you say that he's at least average at, and would therefore be on the side of the ledger for keeping him another year?

Clock management?

Play calling?

Game planning?

Offensive Scheme?

Halftime offensive adjustments?

Offensive player development?

Offensive player usage?

QB whisperer?

Being a force in the locker room (i.e. a leader of the men)?

Getting the most out of his assistant coaches and/or building a coaching staff?

Being the visible/public CEO of the team?

Draft room/scouting support?

Creating the appropriate team culture?

Holding players and coaches accountable (including the necessary level of team discipline)?


I agree with you that we've had an impossible amount of injuries, but I'm not sure that's sufficient reason for retaining Kliff as our head coach.
 
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SoonerLou

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Lots of good points, but where I stand is that the Cardinals hired Kliff and expected him to get more out of the QB. Kyler clearly regressed. Kliff has to go.
I think Kyler without Hopkins is the regression. Kliff or no Kliff he's top WR reliant.

The only question with Kliff is if Kyler peaked in this offense or not.
Maybe another coach will develop a more consistent running game to overcome Kyler's limitations without a great wr.
 
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Cards_Campos

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God help me but I'm going to defend Kliff.

We were 3-4 after 7 games with a relatively healthy roster and Kyler playing like garbage. We should have been 5-2 at least at that stage. Poor games from Kyler vs the Rams starting 2 rookie DB's for the first time and not scoring a TD, only scoring 17 on the Eagles when holding them to 20 and only scoring 9 on a Seahawks team that was there for the taking.

From then on we have been devastated by injuries. We have played a bunch of games where our entire interior O line wasn't on the opening day roster. Hump will miss 9 games. Brown, Rondale and Nuk have all missed multiple games with injuries and suspensions. We lost Wesley before the season started. We lost Ertz. We missed Kyler for 7 games. Missed McCoy for multiple games and have started 4 QB's. James Conner missed 3. Darrel Williams most of the season.

We started another game on Sunday with all 3 starting CB's out and the best of them has missed 7 games. Hamilton has missed 7. Even the backups backups are injured. We started Nate Hairston 2 games ago and he was on IR last week. No Zach Allen. No Budda Baker. Lawrence missed nearly all year.

We've even lost our long snapper now (again).

It's easier to count the players that have been consistently available which off the top of my head are Jalen, Simmons, Zaven, Golden, Thomas, Vallejo, Niemann, Ledbetter, Fotu and Sanders on defense, only 4 of which are starters. Watt missed game 1 but add him in too if you like. And Beachum, Josh Jones, McBride, Leccy Smith, AJ Green and Ingram on offense. Only 1 of which is a starter.

Soak that in. Only 1 offensive starter has been available for every game.

Kliff has his issues, most coaches have issues, but you put Sean Payton in as HC with these injuries and I don't see how he's besting 4-13 unless you believe it's Kliff's fault Kyler sucked through the first 7 weeks. Which I do not.

@kerouac9 mentioned a reduction in pre snap penalties too so I looked up the stats and he's right but I'm not sure if it's Kliff fixing it or just no Kyler. We have 23 false start penalties. In the 6 games Kyler hasn't played in we have 6. In the 10 games Kyler has played we have 17.
I wonder if this is because Kyler questions the play calls
Too much. Meaning he is arguing or not wanting to run that play while the backups are just getting the info and going. Which if is the case. Kyler needs to just run the damn play.
 

BritCard

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Serious question Brit, and I'm not trolling you (hope you had a nice holiday season). In terms of HC and OC duties, what do you think Kingsbury does well? Which coaching proficiencies would you say that he's at least average at, and would therefore be on the side of ledger for keeping him another year?

Clock management?

Play calling?

Game planning?

Offensive Scheme?

Halftime offensive adjustments?

Offensive player development?

Offensive player usage?

QB whisperer?

Being a force in the locker room (i.e. a leader of the men)?

Getting the most out of his assistant coaches and/or building a coaching staff?

Being the visible/public CEO of the team?

Draft room/scouting support?

Creating the appropriate team culture?

Holding players and coaches accountable (including the necessary level of team discipline)?


I agree with you that we've had an impossible amount of injuries, but I'm not sure that's sufficient reason for retaining Kliff as our head coach.

I have no idea. We largely have no clue about what he is like behind closed doors nor what he does and doesn't have control over. For example, we learned recently that he wanted to fire Kugler for some time but Mike wouldn't allow it. If that's true that's beyond the pale for me. The HC should have full control of his staff.

I've not said Kliff is great, but he's good enough. All HC's have some issues to one degree or another.

Here's the thing. This franchise rarely attracts the the best HC's and Kliff is better than most we have had. Before this season he's the 4th best HC in Cardinals post merger history based on win loss record and he started with one of the worst teams of all time. This team is far more likely to get a Wilks than a BA. That's proven through it's history. When we hired Wilks in 2018 Mike Munchack turned down a 2nd interview. He had his 1st and decided that was enough apparently. In 2019 Eric Beienemy turned down interviewing with us at all.

It looks like Payton might be interested but that seems like pure luck based on him wanting to go to a fair weather team and the Cards likely being the only job available that fits the bill, but if that doesn't come off it's far more likely were geting a Kafka or Ben Johnson if Kliff goes. Another inexperienced guy with no HC experience at all.

Kliff for sure has issues, but he's not as bad as some make out. He gets blamed for every loss and no credit for any wins.

Could we do better than Kliff? Absolutely. And if we can get a Payton type then go ahead. But we could also do a lot worse and I'd probably prefer to stick with Kliff than take a moonshot of Kafka or similar. But much depends on the Kyler relationship.

He's still only a young HC and at least I know he works hard and he's still learning.
 

SoonerLou

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More proof he has trouble functioning as well without Deandre Hopkins.

Kyler Murray's passer rating with and without DHOP the last two seasons.

2021 w/o DHOP:89.7
2021 w/ DHOP: 106

2022 w/o DHOP: 81.8
2022 w/ DHOP: 97

84.89 without Hopkins the last two seasons.
 

Zalixar

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More proof he has trouble functioning as well without Deandre Hopkins.

Kyler Murray's passer rating with and without DHOP the last two seasons.

2021 w/o DHOP:89.7
2021 w/ DHOP: 106

2022 w/o DHOP: 81.8
2022 w/ DHOP: 97

84.89 without Hopkins the last two seasons.

Now do Stafford without Kupp.

And other similar scenarios.
 
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kerouac9

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Two things can be true at the same time (and this is kind of what I was getting at):

1) Kliff needs to be fired. His top job since he was hired was the maximize the development and production from the quarterback position. The primary reason this season has sucked is because Kyler played like hot garbage. Some of that could be mitigated by good in-game management, which also failed to materialize. He has to go.

2) Kliff is still growing as a coach. Maybe without having to spend so much time trying to manage (around) Kyler Murray, Kliff has been able to work on some other stuff that he'll take to the next job. Or maybe without the pressure of having to coach for his job (because he's already fired), he can just let loose and do some things.

It's crazy to remember that Kliff came in here without any NFL coaching experience whatsoever. That's a lot to learn and take in. From a human standpoint, I totally understand if Kliff decided that three years of grind was enough and he wanted to take some me-time this past offseason. Sucks for me as a fan, but good for him.
 

Chopper0080

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This group was a bad mix from the start. It hasn't gotten better. I am sure they each individually could be better if they each had better support but that is not the Cardinals.

A huge issue is that Kliff does not have any professional credibility. This means when Kyler has issues, they are Kliff's issues. Essentially in every critique someone can and will point to Kliff's lack of successful history and say "maybe if you were better these wouldn't be issues".

and to be fair, if we go with another first time head coach, this will not change.
 

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The good and the bad with coaches happens everywhere. But injuries sure play a big role. They showed yesterday that Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have had the same OL all year. That’s crazy but hence huge for
Those teams. Not losing key players is monumental on having a winning record. I mean 2 years ago San Fran had huge injuries and their record was awful. I think it’s hard to guage when you lose major players now a days. It changes the dynamics. Green Bay lost Adams and now isn’t very good. Tennessee traded AJ Brown and isn’t very good. I think the coach gets too much credit and blame. This is still a player driven league. Bellichek is avg now without Brady. Tampa is avg without Gronk. Things have ti
Go your way and you can’t lose important players. It’s happened a few times with us. Lomax. Palmer. DHop.
 

MrYeahBut

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It cannot go unsaid that McBride has taken a ventricle in K9s heart that was at one time occupied by Jim Dray.

.
 
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kerouac9

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This group was a bad mix from the start. It hasn't gotten better. I am sure they each individually could be better if they each had better support but that is not the Cardinals.

A huge issue is that Kliff does not have any professional credibility. This means when Kyler has issues, they are Kliff's issues. Essentially in every critique someone can and will point to Kliff's lack of successful history and say "maybe if you were better these wouldn't be issues".

and to be fair, if we go with another first time head coach, this will not change.
The thing that @DVontel and others should be worried about is if Kliff is doing enough to show that he can do the non-Kyler work to convince Michael that the Cards could save $5 million (or whatever) by seeing what he can do with a lower-variance QB and healthy roster.

Those weekly meetings with Michael are about selling the vision for the team and offense. He gets to do that every week! For an established coach that's a waste of time, because you want to be measured by your on-field success. But if you're hanging on to your job, you want every opportunity to explain your vision to the boss.

Also, I think Kyler (and his dad) would listen to another first-time head coach if he had a stronger background than Kliff did. I agree with a bunch of people who believe Kyler was stuck with a guy who has been pursuing him for 10 years. If the Cards brought in Mike McDaniel, will Kyler really not listen?
 
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