Sunday, December 5, 2021

Writer lists Kliff Kingsbury the Cardinals and Bill Belichick the Patriots as COTY favorites

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What a difference a 9-2 start makes.

At the start of the 2021 season, Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury was viewed by several analysts and writers as right on the NFL coaching hot seat. Eleven weeks later, Kingsbury is a top contender for Coach of the Year.

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Adam Schein, an columnist and host of SiriusXM’s “Schein on Sports,” says it is a two-coach race between Kingsbury and longtime New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“I think Kliff Kingsbury is an absolute stallion,” Schein told Cardinals radio announcer Dave Pasch on The Dave Pasch Podcast, which was released Tuesday November 23rd.

“In terms of where I am now making him Coach of the Year, [he’s] above two. It’s Kliff Kingsbury and Bill Belichick, ”he said.

Kingsbury has led the Cardinals to a league-leading 9-2 record in his third year on the team, guaranteeing him a winning season for the first time in his NFL career. His overall record has also climbed over .500 at 22-20-1.

Meanwhile, Belichick’s Patriots stand 7-4 and are back at the top of the AFC East heading into a week 12 showdown with the Tennessee Titans. Belichick will train against one of his former players and another candidate for Coach of the Year on Sunday November 28th.

“I think the big other name is Mike Vrabel,” said Schein, noting the Titans’ AFC best 8-3 record despite losing star running back Derrick Henry in Week 8.

The odds makers are consistent with Schein’s top 3 but give Kingsbury a slight edge. On Thanksgiving Day, BetMGM had Kingsbury as the odds favorite, voted Coach of the Year with +375, with Belichick and Vrabel close behind with +450.

Tipico Sportsbook also rates Kingsbury as a favorite with +400, followed by Belichick (+500) and Vrabel (+600).

Back on September 8, USA Today’s Touchdown Wire predicted that Kingsbury would be the first NFL coach to be fired in 2021.

According to writer Doug Farrar, Kingsbury “hadn’t done nearly enough with what he was given” to warrant a fourth season as a Cardinals coach, unless his third season “looks much better than on paper”. He continued:

To be fair, Farrar wasn’t alone in his opinion that the Cardinals coach needed to take a big step forward in his third season to keep his job. It was a common claim among analysts and writers that Arizona must make the playoffs, or at least have a winning season for Kingsbury, to return – despite being under contract for a fourth year.

Kingsbury has responded to its critics this season by compiling one of the NFL’s top offenses, ranking first in total (310) in 11 games, and scoring 30 or more points seven times this season.

The Cardinals also came in first in the total number of touchdowns in Week 12 at 38. You got 13 of these (12 rushing and one receiving) from James Conner’s running back.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt star left Pennsylvania after signing a one-year deal with Arizona in April. Conner, now in his fifth NFL season, has thrived on Kingsbury’s offensive, storming 555 yards and adding 173 yards with 18 catches.

Conner has starred in Arizona’s offense since the Cardinals’ 31-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9. He had shared the time with starter Chase Edmonds, who later put on injured reserve on his first carry of the game on the 7th.

Conner chatted with the NFL network host Rich iron about his first season in Arizona and playing for Kingsbury.

“He brings his juice every day and just tries to get the best out of us.” Conner said on “The Rich Iron Show” on Monday, November 22nd. “He puts so much effort into the game. Coach is just a passionate guy. We like to play for him. He is simply all-in with us and we are all-in with him. “

For the Coach of the Year award, Conner said Kingsbury “deserved it 100%”.

“I know his work ethic. I know he comes to work every day and how hard he works, ”he said. “He deserves it and I think he’s right for it.”

follow @jaredzona and @sanudo_ry on Twitter for the latest Arizona Cardinals news, rumors, roster changes, and more!

Kingsbury has responded to its critics this season by compiling one of the NFL’s top offenses, ranking first in total (310) in 11 games, and scoring 30 or more points seven times this season.

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