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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians: Blocked kicks during Rams game were 'illegal'

Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 19:19:05-05

The Arizona Cardinals were outplayed in most facets of the game, including on special teams, in their loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The Rams were simply better in punt coverage, punt returns, kickoffs and field-goal coverage. In fact, the Rams blocked a Cardinals extra point in the first half and what would have been an important field goal in the second half. The Rams went on to win 32-16, dropping the Cardinals to 5-7 on the season.

But on Wednesday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said neither of those blocked kicks should have counted.

"I think we've been fine (on special teams), other than the blocked extra point and field goal, which were illegal," Arians said. "They should've all been penalized. And even ones that weren't blocked should've been penalized."

Per NFL rules, teams should be penalized for "unnecessary contact" against players in a "defenseless" position. That includes players responsible for snapping the ball during a field-goal or extra-point attempt.

On both blocked kicks, Cardinals long-snapper Justin Drescher appeared to be hit after he snapped the ball but before he had a chance to get into a blocking position. Arians said the Rams should have been assessed penalties in both instances, as well as a third instance in which a kick was not blocked. He noted a penalty was rightfully called in a similar situation in a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets last Sunday.

"(Drescher) was still defenseless when he was hit, in all three instances," Arians said. "It was very disappointing when I talked to the league officials, especially when I saw the Kansas City-Jets game, the exact same play was penalized. It's just the (lack of) consistency throughout the league."

Next up for the Cardinals: The 8-4 Tennessee Titans, who will visit Glendale on Sunday for the final game of the Cardinals' three-game homestand.