1. Learn how to close out a season
Kliff Kingsbury just finished his third year as the Cardinals’ head coach. During his debut campaign, the team owned a 3-3-1 record after seven outings. But the team would go on to drop seven of their last nine contests. A year ago, Kingsbury’s club owned a 6-3 record before losing five of their final seven games.
This year, the Cardinals were the last team in the league to lose a game. Their 7-0 start was the best by the franchise since 1974. And the club owned a 10-2 mark with five weeks to play.
But a Monday night home loss to the Rams was followed by an embarrassing setback at Detroit and then a Saturday night setback to the visiting Colts. All told and including the wild card loss at Los Angeles, Kingsbury’s squad was 1-5 in its last six outings.
Injuries were certainly a factor. Kyler Murray missed three games and never regained his early-season form. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins missed seven contests but still led the team with eight touchdown receptions. These issues were certainly a factor but it’s now been three straight years that this team has failed to close the deal.