Arians: ‘Many problems’ in officiating in Philly

Arizona coach Bruce Arians says there ”were obviously very,

very many problems” with the officiating in the Cardinals’ 24-21

loss at Philadelphia.

Of particular concern were three plays near the end of the

game.

One was a holding call on safety Tyrann Mathieu that negated

Patrick Peterson’s interception. Another was a holding call on

linebacker Matt Shaughnessy on the Eagles’ final possession. A

third was a no-call when the Cardinals felt there was pass

interference on a fourth-down incompletion to Michael Floyd the

last time Arizona had the ball.

Asked if he felt the calls will cost the Cardinals a playoff

spot, Arians said, ”It possibly could, but I think a lot of things

have to happen here in the last four weeks. I would hope that we

give up all that talk this week and just focus on the St. Louis

Rams.”

The Cardinals (7-5) are home against the Rams next Sunday.

Arians said he sent ”about 15 plays” to the NFL for review by

Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating.

”The proper channels have been followed,” the Arizona coach

said, ”and obviously there were very, very many problems” with

the officiating.

Arians said Blandino ”does a great job. He’s very honest with

it. I’ve already gotten most of the answers. I got them before I

left the locker room yesterday.”

Arians declined to share what he was told, but asked if he gets

any satisfaction from those answers, he said, ”No, I just get

madder.”

The Cardinals had rallied from a 24-7 deficit to cut the

Philadelphia lead to 24-21 when Peterson intercepted Nick Foles’

pass at the Eagles’ 43 with four minutes to play. But Mathieu was

called for holding on the play. It would have been the first

interception Foles has thrown this season.

Arians said ”there’s no doubt in my mind” that the Cardinals

would have scored had Peterson’s interception stood.

”We (had) just put a good drive together,” Arians said, ”and

only needed 10 yards for a field goal to tie it.”

The Cardinals did get the ball back at their 10-yard line with

2:03 to play. But on third-and-five from the 15, Carson Palmer

missed an open Andre Roberts, then on fourth down, Palmer’s pass to

Floyd was incomplete.

The Eagles took over on downs and, on third-and-four from the 9,

Shaughnessy tackled Foles for a loss but was called for holding,

giving Philadelphia a first down and the ability to run out the

clock.

”He (the Philadelphia player) was blocking Matt on a bootleg

play,” Arians said. ”Matt threw him to the ground and sacked the

quarterback. … It happens every time a guy tries to block you and

you sack the quarterback. It was one of those problems (with the

officiating).”

That’s the way Shaughnessy saw it, too.

”He was blocking down on me, and I was fighting the pressure,

pushing him outside and he tried to release,” Shaughnessy said.

”I threw him down and then I went after the quarterback. I thought

it was a sack.”

Linebacker Daryl Washington drew an unsportsmanlike conduct

penalty for complaining vehemently about the call.

Mathieu avoided any complaints about the call against him when

he spoke to reporters on Monday.

After the game Sunday, the Arizona rookie said he thought ”it

was a good play. I was just trying to be a good defensive back and

was trying to get a good jam on him.”

Even if mistakes are acknowledged by the crew headed by referee

Tony Corrente, nothing can be done about it now.

”As long as everybody owns up to it, you move on,” Arians

said. ”It’s part of the game. We’re here working our tails off

this week. Those guys (the officials) are back at their other

jobs.”

Officiating aside, Arians said the Cardinals, who fell a game

behind San Francisco for the final NFC wild card spot, made too

many mistakes early against the Eagles and regressed after a

four-game winning streak.

He said the team can’t afford to dwell on what happened in

Philadelphia. Going into the game against St. Louis, Arizona has

lost eight straight against NFC West foes, including three this

year.

”If we’re ever going to do anything, we better start winning

our division,” Arians said. ”That’s our only focus this week. I

don’t want to hear about anything else in our locker room except

winning a division game.”

Notes: RB Andre Ellington, who missed Sunday’s game with a knee

injury, won’t practice Wednesday, Arians said. ”I’m hoping to have

him out there Thursday and Friday, but we’re not going to rush

him,” the coach said. ”He’s too young and too valuable to cause a

long-term problem.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx