Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer releases the ball while being hit on a play that was called a fumble Sunday but should have been called an incomplete pass.
Carson Palmer's fumble-that-wasn't-a-fumble was indeed a pass, Bruce Arians said Monday. Unfortunately, the officials couldn't confirm as much until it didn't matter.
The Cardinals' coach relayed an explanation why the first-quarter play that led to a 46-yard touchdown return by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was not overturned. Arians said there was a problem with the
Fox network feed into the coaches booth.
"So they shut it down to fix it, and that's when the play occurred," Arians said. "There was no instant replay feed. It was confirmed a forward pass (later), but no one had an instant replay feed to look at it. The replay official went with his naked eye, so he went with the call on the field because there was no video to watch at that point and time."
The inability to see replay included the league office in New York, Arians added.
Arians said the officials told him at halftime that yes, it had been a forward pass. Asked how he responded to such news, Arians paused.
"What do you think?" he said.
As for the later missed chance to review on a third-down Greg Olsen catch along the far sideline, Arians said visiting teams are required to get sideline and end-zone replays. The Cardinals coaches upstairs got a regular-time replay first. By the time they got the slow-motion replay that showed Olsen wasn't in-bounds, the Panthers were snapping the ball.
"There was no chance," Arians said. "The guys upstairs did their job."
NEEDING IMPROVEMENT AT PASS PROTECTION
The Cardinals had a bad day up front protecting quarterback Carson Palmer Sunday. That was obvious to
anyone watching, or anyone who saw the Panthers pile up eight sacks. Guards Mike Iupati and Earl Watford particularly struggled, and Arians said of the issues "it was most them."
Right tackle D.J. Humphries was "on and off." The Cardinals also failed in blitz pickup twice on linebacker Luke Kuechly with "young, uncalled-for mistakes."
Arians noted that most problems are technique, which bothers him. The linemen open every practice working on specific techniques with offensive line coaches Harold Goodwin and Larry Zierlein.
Then "to go into a game and not use technique or use poor technique, that's not acceptable," Arians said.
AN AVERAGE GRADE AT THE HALFWAY POINT
Asked what grade he would give his team halfway through the season, Arians said it was a "C."
"About half the league is sitting right here together -- more than half the league, within a half-game or game of each other," Arians said. "That's the parity of the league."
Arians continues to eye the Seahawks, who at 4-2-1 are a game-and-a-half better than the Cardinals at 3-4-1.
"That's the only good thing right now," Arians said. "We're not happy with the first half of the season, but for the second half of the season, to be a game or a game-and-a-half (out), knowing we will play them again, if we take care of our business, that game should matter."