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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians: 'I cost our team the game' with risky call

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Posted at 4:10 PM, Nov 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-19 18:10:42-05

Cardinals fans can look to a number of reasons as to why their team fell short in a 31-21 loss at the Houston Texans on Sunday.

But Cardinals coach Bruce Arians placed the blame squarely on himself for one ill-fated play call in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals were facing a fourth-and-1 situation at their own 35-yard line with less than seven minutes left to play and the Cardinals trailing 24-21. Instead of punting, Arians decided to keep the offense on the field and go for the first down. 

The gamble backfired, as running back Adrian Peterson, who had struggled throughout the game, was stopped by the Texans defense for a 1-yard loss. The Texans took over on offense and scored on the very next play to take a 10-point lead and essentially put the game out of reach.

"Very simple: I cost our team the game," Arians said afterwards. "You can't gain a foot, you deserve to lose, especially when you make the decision I made and the play that I called. There's your headline. You can write it."

Arians also correctly noted that dropped passes and an ineffective running game throughout Sunday's matchup hurt his team's chances. But he cited his fourth-down decision as the play that broke his team's back and dropped the Cards to 4-6 on the season.

"Again, it comes down to that call at that point in the game. In retrospect, (we) should have punted," he said.

At the time, Arians said he didn't hesitate to make the decision to go for it.

"I thought we'd make it. I don't call it if (I don't think we'll make it)," he said. "I felt really good about it. Obviously, we didn't block it very well. That's a moot point. We only needed a foot... I trusted Adrian, and we just turned too many guys loose up the middle."