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#pounditSaturday, March 25, 2023

Bruce Arians throws defense under the bus over big Cooper Kupp play

Bruce Arians

Cooper Kupp torched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ secondary to set up a game-winning field goal for his Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, and apparently the play was made possible by a blown assignment. We know this because Bucs head coach Bruce Arians threw his defense under the bus.

Kupp caught a 44-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to set up a Matt Gay field goal as time expired. Gay converted the kick to secure a 30-27 win.

Arians told reporters after the game that the Bucs called an all-out blitz on the big Kupp play, but some players failed to execute properly.

“Some guys didn’t blitz,” Arians said. “I don’t know if we didn’t get the call, but it was an all-out blitz and we should have gotten a ton of pressure.”

The Bucs did get pressure on the play. Stafford was hit as he threw. It’s hard to see how more blitzers would have resulted in more pressure or less time for Stafford to throw. You can see the play here.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Darius Slay was among those who were critical of the defensive play call.

No one would have second-guessed the play if the Bucs got to Stafford and sacked him. The reality is the quarterback made a great throw with pressure in his face, and the aggressive call burned Tampa Bay. Arians probably could have just said that instead of calling out his players.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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