If the Cardinals had lost last night, there would be a lot of talk this morning about risky calls that didn’t pay off. On offense, Arizona threw an incomplete pass late in the game that stopped the clock, when a safe run would have taken another 40 seconds off the clock. On defense, Arizona blitzed on the Packers’ Hail Mary at the end of regulation.
But if you think Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is going to second-guess himself over those two calls, you don’t know Bruce Arians.
“I play to win,” Arians said.
Arians said the decision to blitz on the Hail Mary is his. Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher was planning to go into the typical prevent defense that teams use on Hail Mary attempts, and Arians overruled him.
“Most teams play the prevent,” Arians said. “That’s what Betch was going to play. I said, ‘Hell no. Blitz him. [Aaron Rodgers] made a great throw. I thought that Calais [Campbell] was held, but it still ended up being a touchdown.”
It ended up being a touchdown that could have cost the Cardinals their season, but Arians isn’t the kind of coach who worries about the worst thing that could happen. Arians is the kind of coach who thinks the best thing will happen. And in the end, for the Cardinals, it did.