That poor performance against the Los Angeles Rams during Super Wild Card Weekend is unacceptable, especially with the strength of his team.
It’s understandable if the Cardinals went down swinging.
But the game was practically over by the first half, and Arizona mounted little resistance.
The pathetic performance ended a two-month struggle for the once-Super Bowl favorites.
The Higher The Rise, The Harder The Fall
The Cardinals surprised the rest of the league when they raced to a 9-2 record before their bye week.
During that stretch, they defeated playoff-bound teams like the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, and Los Angeles Rams.
Unfortunately, their fortunes went south after Week 12, losing four of their last six regular-season games.
Still, they made the playoffs thanks to the cushion they built early in the season.
However, losing more games during the homestretch raised serious concerns for the Cardinals.
Also Kliff Kingsbury next weekend pic.twitter.com/bD4eXfvjqR
— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNation) January 18, 2022
Would the Cardinals’ defense overwhelm Matthew Stafford?
Did the Cardinals have enough players to match the Rams’ offensive onslaught?
But a quick peek at history would reveal that Sean McVay owned Kingsbury during their meetings.
Who’s Your Daddy, Kliff?
McVay has had Kingsbury’s number ever since the latter joined the Cardinals in 2019.
Since then, the Rams have defeated the Cardinals six times, including their recent Wild Card victory.
The only time Arizona won over Los Angeles with Kingsbury at the helm was during Week 4 of this season.
Sadly, the losses by the Cardinals against the Rams were not even close.
.@mspears96 says the Cardinals' playoff loss to the Rams was an "indictment" on Kliff Kingsbury 😳
"You gave your quarterback … no shot as a head coach." pic.twitter.com/N14YMA6Oi5
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 18, 2022
In 2019, the Rams swept the Cardinals with a total victory margin of 34 points.
The Cardinals lost their games against the Rams with a 21-point total deficit a year later.
Kingsbury finally defeated McVay in Week 4 of the 2021 season, 37-20.
But the Rams had the last laugh when they defeated the Cardinals in Week 14 and during the Wild Card.
The Cardinals Did Not Even Show Up
Arizona finished in the top ten for total yards, passing yards, rushing yards, and points per game.
But they could only produce 11 points, which all came in the second half.
Five of their first seven drives ended with a punt, while the other two were intercepted.
The Cardinals finished the first quarter with minus-three yards, making them the fourth team in the last two decades that had negative yardage during a playoff game.
It’s like the Rams knew the Cardinals’ playbook by heart because they seemed to understand where Kingsbury was going with his plays.
Kliff Kingsbury's end to the season as a head coach…
• '13: lost 5 of 6
• '14: lost 4 of 6
• '15: lost 4 of 6
• '16: lost 6 of 8
• '17: lost 6 of 8
• '18: lost 5 of 5
• '19: lost 7 of 9
• '20: lost 5 of 7
• ‘21: lost 5 of 6 pic.twitter.com/t7e0C1rWC7
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 18, 2022
As a result, Arizona only had 183 total yards on offense, including 61 rushing yards.
Add that result to the Cardinals’ woes, and they have dropped five of their last six games.
Such a disappointment should light a fire underneath Kingsbury’s seat.
He will get another coaching stint with Arizona next season because the team still won 11 games.
But if the Cardinals will carry their inexplicable woes, Kingsbury might not be with the team after the 2022 season.