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Out of challenges, Bruce Arians threw a flag on a bad call to prove a point

In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Cardinals-Buccaneers play, the Bucs got pressure on Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and took him down just as he threw the ball. The officials ruled that Murray got the ball away for an incomplete pass. The officials were wrong.

Replays clearly showed that Murray’s knee was down before he got rid of the ball, and it should have been a sack. Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians couldn’t challenge, however, because he had already used up his challenges. And yet Arians threw his challenge flag anyway.

Arians said today that he did it on purpose, knowing he would cost his team a timeout, because he wanted the officials to know how mad he was they blew the call.

“There’s a point in the game there’s only certain ways to get a point across. It could have cost us,” Arians said. “He was obviously on his knee. It was a timeout. I wanted to make a statement.”

Throwing away a timeout late in a close game seems like an odd way to make a statement, but Arians said he’s seen other coaches do it too, and he felt it was warranted at the time. He’s certainly not the only one driven mad by NFL officials this season.