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Sport Kliff Kingsbury’s offense has been better than anyone could have predicted

20:30  21 october  2019
20:30  21 october  2019 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

Murray leads Cardinals to 1st win, 26-23 over Bengals

  Murray leads Cardinals to 1st win, 26-23 over Bengals Kyler Murray and the Cardinals got their first win under coach Kliff Kingsbury, 26-23 over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.CINCINNATI (AP) — Rookie Kyler Murray ran for a touchdown and led the Cardinals on a drive to Zane Gonzaez's 31-yard field goal on the final play Sunday as the Cardinals got their first win under coach Kliff Kingsbury, 26-23 over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kliff Kingsbury ’ s offense is going to radically alter the Cardinals defense too. New, 19 comments. Kingsbury ’ s defensive coordinator hire will be the most important piece of his coaching staff in Luckily, Arizona has that first pick. Speaking of the draft, let’s talk about how Kingsbury ’ s roster will

Kliff Kingsbury himself had to be shocked when his agent called to let him know that an NFL team The pass-happy, air-raid offense he runs could certainly work in the NFL, but it is not new; many of the Although Kingsbury has been around a lot of good quarterbacks, there is no evidence that his

Even the most optimistic Kliff Kingsbury enthusiast could not have seen this coming. I would know. I was one of those people touting Kingsbury as the next offensive thinker whose ideas would change the NFL, but even I expected the Cardinals to be one of the worst teams in the league. Sure, the scheme would be good - or, at the very least, fun - but Arizona's roster was a barren wasteland, devoid of talent in the trenches and a true receiving threat on the outside.

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Seven weeks into the NFL season, I can confidently say I was wrong about that. The Cardinals, who climbed back to .500 on Sunday with a 27-21 win over the Giants, have not been one of the worst teams in the league; and while I was more right than wrong about the talent thing, Kingsbury's approach to calling plays has helped mitigate that enough to where Arizona has produced like an average NFL offense. Based on Expected Points Added, the Cardinals have had a better offense than the Patriots, Saints, Rams, Browns, Chargers and Eagles. As we all expected.

Cardinals beat Falcons 34-33 after Bryant's extra point miss

  Cardinals beat Falcons 34-33 after Bryant's extra point miss GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyler Murray threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and the Arizona Cardinals built a big lead, lost it, and then rallied again for a 34-33 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Atlanta looked like it would tie the game with 1:53 left after Matt Ryan hit Devonta Freeman on a 12-yard touchdown pass, but 44-year-old Matt Bryant missed left on the extra point, and the Cardinals ran out the clock from there. The CardinalsAtlanta looked like it would tie the game with 1:53 left after Matt Ryan hit Devonta Freeman on a 12-yard touchdown pass, but 44-year-old Matt Bryant missed left on the extra point, and the Cardinals ran out the clock from there.

In Kliff Kingsbury ’ s Airraid Offense , the blocking will be more conventional. It will be quite interesting to see that in action in the NFL. The vertical set was perfect for blunting a hard charging rush, but it did have the handicap of causing the pass pocket to collapse faster than a quarterback would like.

We can ’t say for sure how Kliff Kingsbury ’ s offense in Arizona will look, but, based on the scheme he employed at Texas Tech, his system will be unlike any

Nobody is going to get excited about a 3-3-1 record and the league's 17th-ranked scoring offense, but those numbers are borderline miraculous considering where the Cardinals were before Kingsbury got his hands on the team.

Via Football Outsiders Almanac 2019:

The Cardinals offense finished last in the league in DVOA, and last in weighted DVOA. They were last on first down, second down, and third down. They were last in the first half of games and last in the second half. They were last at home and last on the road. They were last when the game was close and last in the rare event they had a big lead. They were last out of shotgun formations. They were next to last on running plays, when losing big, in late and close games, or with the quarterback under center. Weirdly, they were 12th in the red zone … but then they only ran 95 red zone plays, which was also next to last.

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That’s Kliff Kingsbury , formerly of Texas Tech. Cardinals are giving new HC Kliff Kingsbury a four-year That’s been Kingsbury ’ s track record. QBs who play for him put up huge numbers, and not just because The Cardinals also don’t seem that worried about figuring out how to field a good defense.

Kingsbury ’ s offenses , on the other hand, have been known for featuring QBs first, then mixing in whichever skill players fit best in any given year. Then, the Trojans could focus the game around what happened inside the box. On offense , they aimed make you stop their rushing attack without

This wasn't just a bad offense. It was a historically bad offense, and, outside of taking a 5-foot-9 quarterback with the first-overall pick, not much has changed in terms of offensive personnel. David Johnson, Chase Edmonds, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, the four leaders in offensive touches this season, were all in Arizona last year. The next four on the list are a sixth-round rookie (Keesean Johnson), a former UDFA who had 12 career catches before 2019 (Dameire Byrd) and two castoff tight ends (Charles Clay and Maxx Williams). The offensive line was remade in the offseason but remains abysmal, graded by Pro Football Focus as one of the worst this season.

All things considered, this offensive turnaround may be even more impressive than the one Sean McVay pulled off in Los Angeles after taking over for Jeff Fisher. McVay's scheme did a lot of heavy lifting, but the front office also did its part, remaking the receiving corps with the three new starters (Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp) and adding a Hall of Fame left tackle (Andrew Whitworth) to the offensive line.

Darnold: Jets can be 'unstoppable as an offense'

  Darnold: Jets can be 'unstoppable as an offense' Sam Darnold is riding high after the New York Jets upset the Dallas Cowboys in his return from mononucleosis. With tight end Chris Herndon close to returning from a hamstring injury, the Jets' offense will soon be at full strength for the first time this season. "Right now, we're just missing Chris," Darnold told reporters, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "Once all the guys are back together, I think we're unstoppable as an offense - or we can be."Darnold added: "It's just up to us and how we execute. It's really up to us how many points we score, I think. I think we're capable of so many points.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is the first to admit that his first NFL game plan left a lot to be desired. Kingsbury , whose offense could get absolutely nothing Still, we saw a glimpse in the fourth quarter of what a Kingsbury -Murray offense might look like. And what it looked like was a lot of fun — unless

Kliff Kingsbury could have various legal options should USC continue to deny his future employment opportunities. In attempting to interview Kingsbury , both the Jets and Cardinals have followed a new league The guiding principle of antitrust law is that competition leads to more innovation, better

The Cardinals did upgrade the most important position on the roster with the drafting of Murray, but let's not act like he was some sure thing. There were plenty of experts out there who questioned whether his game would translate to this level, and it's worth noting that the Cardinals passing game has lagged far behind the running game so far this season - though it has performed better of late thanks to an easy schedule. But after Week 7, Arizona's run game ranked third in DVOA - jumping up a spot after racking up 156 rushing yards and three touchdowns in New York - while the pass game ranked 23rd. Kingsbury's scheme deserves most of the credit for the Cardinals offense being competent.

So how has Kinsbury done it?

The run game is a good place to start. Two weeks ago, the Cardinals led the NFL in running DVOA and currently rank third in Expected Points Added. Surprisingly, it's been the ground game that has carried this Air Raid attack during the first half of the season.

When an NFL team is running the football effectively, a good offensive line is usually the catalyst. Not in Arizona. No starter on the offensive line has a PFF run-blocking grade higher than 55.5 (out of 100). Instead of trying to overpower opposing fronts, the Cardinals have spread things out in an effort to create space for their runners, and it has worked.

Rewind: Cardinals ride Chase Edmonds, turnovers to win over Giants

  Rewind: Cardinals ride Chase Edmonds, turnovers to win over Giants Cardinals insider Bob McManaman offers a breakdown of Sunday’s game between the Cardinals and Giants at MetLife Stadium.Recap: The Cardinals raced out to an early 17-0 lead behind backup running back Chase Edmonds, but they had to fend off the New York Giants throughout Sunday’s game before holding on for a 27-21 victory at MetLife Stadium.

Kliff Kingsbury , 39, will presumably bring the air raid offense to the Arizona Kingsbury , a former head coach at Texas Tech and a proponent of the air raid offense , has worked with Patrick Kingsbury , who was fired by Texas Tech in November after a disappointing season, initially agreed

On November 25, Kliff Kingsbury was fired by Texas Tech after going 35-40 in five years as the Red Hiring Kingsbury brings a head coach with an innate understanding of the spread offense to Arizona’s The Red Raiders have only had one 10+ win season since 1976, and while Kingsbury ’ s

Arizona leads the league in 10 personnel usage (when there's one running back and no tight ends on the field), which has buoyed this run game by forcing defenses to take linebackers out of the game and defenders out of the box. Going into Sunday, the Cardinals led the league in rush attempts out of four-receiver sets with 44. And when I say led the league, I don't just mean the other 31 teams individually. I mean the lead the rest of the league COMBINED. The other 31 teams have totaled just 29 carries out of 10 personnel.

The result? About 64.4% of Arizona's runs have been against boxes featuring six or fewer defenders, which leads the league by over 10%. The Cardinals have run against five or fewer box defenders 11.6% of the time. Only two other teams have a rate higher than 5%. I'll let FiveThirtyEight's Josh Hermsmeyer explain why that's significant:

[I]f all you know about a running play in the NFL is the approximate field position of a team and the number of defenders near the line of scrimmage, you're able to predict the leaguewide yards per carry with an extraordinarily high degree of accuracy: 96 percent of yards-per-carry totals are explained by the offense's field position and the number of men the opponent has in the box. How many defenders are in the box is almost certainly the most important factor in determining rushing success in football, so it follows that we should try to account for it.

Giants drop third straight as Daniel Jones’ turnover problems continue

  Giants drop third straight as Daniel Jones’ turnover problems continue Alarm bells are going off in East Rutherford. Daniel Jones’ turnover problems plagued the Giants again Sunday in a 27-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, their third straight defeat. And a shockingly poor run defense surrendered three TDs to backup back Chase Edmonds. But head coach Pat Shurmur’s inexplicable play calling in the fourth quarter put a cherry on top. The Giants faced 3rd-and-18 on their own 30-yard line, trailing 24-21 with 3:11 to play. And Shurmur called a draw to Saquon Barkley, who had reinjured his right ankle midgame, that gained four yards.On fourth down, Jones was sacked by Patrick Peterson and fumbled away his third turnover. Haason Reddick recovered.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury admitted to Peter King of NBC’ s Football Morning in America that they are very deliberately not showing the bulk of the offensive scheme Kyler Murray will be in charge of in exhibition games — making them a bigger waster of time and money for fans than they already were .

Cardinals get Kliff Kingsbury some offensive talent. The moment the Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray, it set a tone. Arizona wouldn’t take the unprecedented step of drafting Murray And if all the Cardinals did in the draft was take Murray to run Kingsbury ’ s offense , that would have been enough of a sign.

It's not just the spread formations boosting the Cardinals' run game. Kingbsury has attached QB reads and run-pass options to almost all of his runs, which further manipulates numbers in the box. And for those of you ready to scream "Chip Kelly" right now, stop: His run game featured about three or four run concepts; Kingsbury throws two or three new wrinkles at defenses every week. Just look at Chase Edmonds three rushing touchdowns against the Giants.

The first came on a pin-and-pull zone play featuring jet action right after the Cardinals had run a jet sweep…
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The second was a delayed draw out of a pistol formation with a "sniffer" tight end. Murra may have also had the option the throw the quick out to Fitzgerald in the slot if the Giants stacked the box. This is straight out of the Big 12…
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The third was another pin-and-pull zone but with a QB read and the backside tackle and center pulling…
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Arizona has the most diverse run game in the NFL right now and I'm not sure it's even close.

Kingsbury's passing game, meanwhile, is still going through some growing pains. Mostly due to the aforementioned lack of talent. Before Byrd's return to the lineup, the receiving corps lacked speed. Kirk has struggled playing on the outside as the team's No. 1. Fitzgerald is still reliable in the slot but can't separate. And none of the rookie receivers have been able to earn consistent playing time. On top of that, Kingsbury's red-zone play-calling and screen game have been among the worst in the league.

Christopher Johnson throws Adam Gase and rest of Jets under the bus by questioning their competitiveness

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Kliff Kingsbury ' s Cardinals offense a mix of old and new. That kind of offense has drawn skepticism around the NFL, including from former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who is It's hard to believe Kingsbury will give the reins of the offense to anyone . If Kingsbury can hire a defensive coordinator who can operate without much guidance, then Kingsbury will be ahead of the game.

Kliff Kingsbury agreed to become the Trojans’ offensive coordinator/program savior The last piece — about Kingsbury possibly buying out his own deal — was reported by ProFootballTalk.com, which is No team … not even Arizona State … has a resume sturdy enough to reasonably guarantee an

Things have improved over this three-game winning streak, however, as Kingsbury has found creative ways to produce big plays. One way he's done it: Taking advantage of David Johnson's receiving ability, which is something the previous staff did not do nearly enough. In 2018, Johnson was targeted 10 times while lined up in the slot. Going into Week 7, Johnson had already been targeted 10 times out of the slot and was leading the league in total EPA on those plays. Kingsbury really started to ramp up his usage of slot fades to Johnson against the Bengals, when the dual-threat back caught two for big gains in Arizona's first win of the season.
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The game-winning touchdown against the Falcons came on the same concept.
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Along with running staple Air Raid concepts like "Mesh" and "Four Verts," Kingsbury has added elements to his passing game that help his diminutive quarterback better see the field. You don't typically see designed rollouts from the gun on Sundays, but those designs have been fruitful for the Cardinals this season. Murray is second in the league on shotgun rollout passes with 13. Only two other quarterbacks have attempted more than 10, Patrick Mahomes (19) and Lamar Jackson (11). Murray is the only one who has produced a positive EPA on those throws, averaging 0.49 EPA per dropback. He threw a 20-yard touchdown last week on one of those plays after the Falcons forgot to cover Maxx Williams leaking out the backside.
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Kingsbury has found interesting ways to protect Murray on those plays. NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger lauded the Ravens for this nifty protection that got Lamar Jackson out on the edge against Seattle…

But the Cardinals had actually done that a few times the previous week.
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We're already starting to see Kingsbury influence other teams around the league. That didn't take too long. And if his offense continues to produce, you could start to see more of his concepts pop up around the league.

It's going to take more than a few wins against bad teams before Kingsbury starts to get recognition for the minor miracles he's pulling off in the desert, but when/if the Cardinals provide him with more pieces to work with - a true No. 1 receiver and a couple offensive linemen capable of blocking on the move would be a nice start - there's no telling how good this offense could be.

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