Arians regrets fourth down call vs. Texans: ‘A bad call and a bad decision’
Nov 19, 2017, 3:53 PM | Updated: Nov 20, 2017, 11:55 am
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Contextually, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was between a rock and a hard place.
It was 4th-and-1 at Arizona’s own 35-yard line, and the Cardinals still trailed the Houston Texans, 24-21.
Six minutes and 33 seconds remained in the game.
But Arians kept the offense on the field, rolling the dice that this play would either set up a game-tying or game-winning score or seal his team’s fate.
The play-call: A handoff to Adrian Peterson that was met up the middle by Houston defenders. Peterson bounced outside but was greeted by a gang of tacklers for a one-yard loss. With possession handed to the Texans, Houston handed the ball to D’Onta Foreman, who found a lane for a 34-yard touchdown burst, setting the final score in Arizona’s 31-21 loss on Sunday.
“I regret taking the fourth-down play now. It was a bad call and a bad decision,” Arians admitted to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Paul Calvisi after the game. “I trusted our guys way too much and put the game in their hands at that point. Probably shouldn’t have put it in their hands.”
So here was the context.
Arians couldn’t trust his receivers. Two plays prior on 2nd-and-6, receiver J.J. Nelson had dropped an out route toward the sideline.
Two plays later, it was either trusting his unsteady wideouts or a run game that allowed back Peterson to take 14 carries for just 26 yards, a 1.9-yard per rush average.
After making the call and living with the disappointing result, Arians again saw the poor decision on his part snowball with Foreman’s run.
“That’s the way it’s been all year. We don’t respond very well to bad things or sudden change,” the Cardinals coach said.
“I don’t know if we lost our confidence, but we definitely dropped way too many easy passes,” Arians added. “That led to the fourth-down call again. Two weeks in a row, dropped passes led to me making a fourth-down call that (I) probably shouldn’t have made.”