Breaking down Eagles' win over Cardinals
Cary Williams said he has never been a fan of Bruce Arians, a former Steelers assistant, since he played with the Ravens. (AP)
Cary Williams already wasn’t a huge fan of Bruce Arians going back to their AFC North days, when Arians was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator and Williams played cornerback for the rival Baltimore Ravens.
Williams, now an Eagles corner, is once again irked by Arians, the Cardinals' head coach. Arians on Monday said he reached out to the NFL office about calls from referees that he believed were one-sided in the Eagles’ 24-21 win against the Cards at the Linc.
Williams wasn’t too pleased to hear that Arians had a problem with the officiating.
“Man, let’s not be crybabies,” Williams said Tuesday after practice. “I don’t know, man. I thought the refs kept them in the game to some degree, at times. But it’s about football man. It’s about going out there, executing.
“If they came in here with a different attitude, maybe not so nonchalant maybe, thinking it was going to be a cakewalk, maybe ... I don’t know. I’m not big on teams sending stuff in and, ‘This is what needs to be called.’ Man, play the game, dude. It’s football, man. Don't blame it on the refs. Blame it on your preparation that week.
“I’ve never been a fan of coaches sending stuff into the refs, unless it was blatant. To me, I didn’t feel like it was anything that was blatant on the field.”
Penalties were roughly even between both teams. The Eagles were flagged five times for 48 yards while Arizona committed six for 55.
It appeared as if the Eagles got the benefit of some officiating, especially in the second half. Cards safety Tyrann Mathieu was flagged for holding on Jason Avant to negate a Patrick Peterson interception. Later, the Eagles picked up a big first down when Cards outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy was whistled for a hold on James Casey, a first-down that allowed the Eagles to kneel out the remaining one minute and 12 seconds.
On Arizona’s final possession, Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher used a lot of contact to break up a fourth-down pass from Carson Palmer to Michael Floyd. No flag was thrown.
But Williams said questionable calls went both ways. Williams, who had one interception, felt Floyd had grabbed his arm on a deep pass down the sideline earlier in the game that Williams believed he would have intercepted.
“They missed an offensive P.I. if you ask me, but it is what it is. I’m not going and complaining about it,” he said. “We’re all grown men. You lost, you lost. You lost a game that you felt like you should have won. You should have came out and played a little bit better. You should have coached a little better.”
Williams said he had heard “a lot of stuff” about Arians’ complaints.
“You know how I feel about those Pittsburgh guys anyway," he added.
After the game, Arians chased one of the referees into the tunnel, although he didn’t complain about officiating in his postgame press conference. On Monday, Arians said there were “obviously very, very many problems" with how the game was officiated.
Arians said he sent about 15 plays to the league office for reviewal by Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating.
"The proper channels have been followed," he said, "and obviously there were very, very many problems."
Williams was asked if he felt the Cards, winners of four straight going into the game, had carried themselves like the better team during the course of the game.
“It’s just one of those things where you just come out and play the best as you possibly can,” he said. “I don’t underestimate or overestimate any player or any team team. I don't know, I guess they were on a hot streak and they wanted some calls.”