After finishing 11-6 a season ago, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury comes in ranked fourth in Conor McQuiston’s latest Pro Football Focus head coach rankings.
McQuiston separated the coaches into different tiers.
Tier 1 is called the “hall of fame coaches” which includes Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh and Andy Reid.
Kingsbury finds himself atop tier 2, which is labeled as “good coaches,” according to McQuiston.
Outside of quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Kingsbury has not had much to work with in terms of offensive talent in the desert, yet he’s still managed to make the offense hum. Unfortunately, Kingsbury has left much to be desired on the defensive side of the ball thus far.
Kingsbury ranks first among head coaches in a competitive NFC West that includes Pete Carroll (5), Kyle Shanahan (7) and Sean McVay (11).
McQuiston used a multilevel model to determine the rankings, but the philosophy is to rank the coaches if they were given an average roster.
Using this idea in ranking the current NFL head coaches, we try to do two things: 1) properly account for a team’s talent level, and 2) predict something less volatile than wins. We do this by creating a multilevel model where the fixed effects are the salaries of each starter on both sides of the ball, including an indicator for if the player is a rookie, and the target is points scored or allowed in a season. A starter is defined as the player who took the most snaps at their position, filtering out key injuries.
Since Kingsbury was hired in 2019, the Cardinals have gone 24-24-1, earning a playoff berth this past year in which Arizona lost in the NFC Wild Card round to the Los Angeles Rams.
Kingsbury has a reputation to get rid of as he enters his fourth season. His Cardinals have been great from Weeks 1-7, going 15-5-1 in those games the past three years. However, following Week 7, the Cardinals are an abysmal 9-19.
With Hopkins missing the team’s first six games of the season due to a performance-enhancing drug suspension, Kingsbury will look to Murray and other members of the offense to step up in his star wideout’s absence this year.