Blame Bruce Arians for Cardinals’ tie vs. Seahawks
There is so much blame to go around for a 6-6 tie at home with division rival Seattle in a game that Arizona thoroughly dominated statistically. Most people will pin the blame on the special teams miscues with a blocked field goal, blocked punt and missed chip shot field goal in overtime. And that would be correct. But it’s also time to call out the head coach. You know, the one who wants to talk about a Supa Bowl Ring! Yes, we all love Bruce Arians, I get it. He’s the greatest thing since sliced bread in this town. But make no mistake about it, he lost his mind Sunday night and he deserves as much of the blame as anyone for why Arizona did not win a game they really needed to and should have won.
First, Arians loses a crucial timeout trying to challenge a call that he can’t challenge when Bobby Wagner leaped over long snapper Aaron Brewer and blocked Chandler Catanzaro’s 39-yard field goal in the first half. The play is not reviewable and the timeout came back to bite Arians right on his rear end when, at the end of the first half at Seattle’s 25 yard line with 17 seconds remaining, Carson Palmer was sacked and fumbled. Although Cards offensive guard Earl Watford recovered the fumble at the Seattle 32, time ended up running out because Arizona was out of timeouts. So instead of attempting a 49-yard field goal to end the first half, Arizona got nothing. Sorry, but that is on Arians for wasting a timeout he needed.
Second, in a close, physical football game where points are a premium, Arizona has the ball fourth-and-1 at the Seattle 19 yard line on its first possession of the second half, and what does Arians do? Does he kick the field goal from 36 yards out to go up 6-0 and make a challenged Seattle offense have to score a touchdown against an Arizona defense playing its best game of the year to beat them? No, he decides to run on Seattle’s vaunted defense. And David Johnson gets stopped for no gain.
Third brain fart by Arians was at the end of the game. Seattle has back-to-back holding penalties moving them back 20 yards to their own 28 yard line. On first-and-30 with 41 seconds left, Seattle attempts to run out the clock with a run by C.J. Prosise for no gain. With all three timeouts remaining and a chance to get decent field position and set up a game-winning field goal attempt, Arians elects to use none of his timeouts and go to overtime. Seattle would have run two plays, used eight seconds up and had to punt from inside their own 20 yard line, giving Arizona a couple cracks at getting in field goal range. Doesn’t make sense.
Blame who you want for this bad tie, but I point my finger at Arians.