Kliff Kingsbury compares Cardinals' recent struggles to Chiefs earlier this season

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  • Kliff Kingsbury
    Kliff Kingsbury
    American football coach

Losses are inevitable in the NFL. But it's how teams bounce back from those humbling moments to shows their pedigree.

The Cardinals will need to prove themselves to become playoff contenders, and cut their two-game skid after losing to the Detroit Lions, which has the league's worst record (2-11-1).

In a Zoom media conference on Monday, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury paralleled the the defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs' early struggles through Week 7 to his own team's recent ones during the season's second half.

"I think the nature of this league is at some point you're going to hit adversity," Kingsbury said. "You look at the Chiefs started 3-4 and then won seven at a different time in their schedule, and so it’s just how you respond and how you handle it.

"We have a prideful group, we have a veteran group who wants to get better after yesterday, and understands what we have in front of us, and what’s still out there for us."

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Detroit.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Detroit.

The Chiefs are currently on a seven-game win streak after beating the Los Angeles Chargers, 34-28, in overtime on Thursday.

The Cardinals been an inversion of the Chiefs through the season thus far.

Arizona started out at 7-0, held the league's best record for seven total weeks, but had several losses and inconsistent performances, going 3-4 since Oct. 28 when it was beaten by the Green Bay Packers at home.

The Cardinals' latest consecutive losses came when NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams beat them at home, 30-23, on Dec. 13, and Detroit's 30-12 rout of Arizona on Sunday. The latter loss blemished Arizona's road record to 7-1, and the Cardinals had their second-lowest scoring output this season, after being the league's fourth-best scoring offense entering at 25.6 points per game before Sunday. Their lowest output this season was in their 34-10 loss to another team with a sub-.500 record — the Carolina Panthers (5-9), on Nov. 14.

The absence of their star players J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins for most of this season's second half, as well as their starting veteran center Rodney Hudson on the Reserve/COVID-19 list before Sunday's game doesn't help them.

The Cardinals have a quick turnaround for Week 16 after losing to the Lions. They'll prepare to host the Indianapolis Colts (8-6) on Christmas night.

"With a short week, you don't have time to really worry too much about the loss," Kingsbury said. "We've gotta get it corrected tomorrow (Tuesday) when the players will get in with the film.

"Like I said after the game, we didn’t play like we can play, but you’ve go to give Detroit a lot of credit. They had a great plan. They played really hard, executed at a high level and beat us. But we’re onto Indy. We know it’s a great team coming in here. It will be a great atmosphere on Saturday night, so that’s where out focus is at right now."

Kingsbury also said defensive end Jordan Phillips and wide receiver Rondale Moore left Sunday's game early after they suffered injuries. He said they will undergo MRIs on Monday.

Moore left the Cardinals-Lions game in the third quarter after a kick return. He caught all three of his targeted passes for nine yards, one rushing yard, added two kick returns for 48 and two punt returns for 18.

Also, Kingsbury said cornerback Robert Alford's status for a possible return remains a "wait-and-see king of thing." He was out with a pectoral injury on Sunday.

Have tips for us? Reach the reporter at dana.scott@azcentral.com or at 480-486-4721. Follow his Twitter @iam_DanaScott.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kingsbury compares Cardinals' to Chiefs' early-season woes

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