Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was enraged after last week’s debacle.
Special teams play was the chief culprit behind the tie between the Seattle Seahawks and Cardinals.
Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner’s consistent ability to leap over Cardinals long-snapper Aaron Brewer clearly got in Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro’s head. Wagner blocked Catanzaro’s 39-yard field goal and the linebacker’s overtime plunge over Brewer caused Catanzaro to clank a 24-yard field goal off the upright.
Following the 6-6 tie, Arians was irate Wagner wasn’t penalized for jumping over the line on Sunday, saying he expected a “bulls—” explanation from the NFL.
On Wednesday, the Cardinals coach received some information to why no flag was thrown.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that Wagner did not commit a penalty because he did not land on a player. NFL rules state if a player jumps and lands on someone en route to blocking a field goal attempt it’s deemed a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Wagner leaped over Brewer and did not land on any player.
“There’s contact and then there’s incidental contact,” Blandino said, per NFL Network, via Pro Football Talk. “He can run up and jump, but he can’t land on players. Now if he brushes a player or brushes a teammate with incidental contact, that would be legal. So he’s gonna run, jump and clear the line, block the kick. You look at the TV copy replay and you can see that there is some contact. His foot is going to brush the back of the snapper, but that is not significant contact. It’s incidental. He didn’t land on players. So that’s what made it legal.”
Regardless of what Blandino said, it’s a safe bet that Arians still thinks the explanation is unacceptable.