The Arizona Cardinals had several chances to take control against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 12, but their season-long story of sitting on leads and not displaying any urgency once again resulted in a loss. This time, it was a one-point setback as the Chargers scored in the final seconds of the game and then went for a game-winning two-point conversion. The Cardinals did have some time for a field goal attempt but Kyler Murray couldn’t dial up a receiver when he needed it most.
Prior to that last drive, the Cardinals started three drives with a 24-17 lead. The touchdown drive they had to get that lead was 11 plays, 75 yards and took nearly six minutes off the clock. The three drives after? Nine total plays, 16 total yards and a whopping 3:45 taken off the clock. Arizona had three chances to sustain a drive to either take down the clock or go get another score to create separation. They failed.
All the scrutiny should rightfully be directed at head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who had his quarterback Murray and second-best receiver Marquise Brown back in the mix. He also had a strong running performance from James Conner and a defense which was being active. Kingsbury is responsible for this offense, and going for 16 yards on nine plays in the most crucial moment is a sign of either complacency or incompetence.
The Cardinals have already committed to Murray at quarterback, so the only logical change to make on offense would be a new voice. We’ll see how Arizona finishes the season after the bye week, but they’ll likely have to close with at least three wins to give fans and ownership some sense Kingsbury can turn things around in 2023.