Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Overtime victory in the Cards, and the coin

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona's overtime win over the Packers on Saturday night featured much more than Aaron Rodgers' latest Hail Mary and the Cardinals' "Hail Larry."

There was a coin flip that didn't flip, Patrick Peterson's 100-yard interception return that didn't count and Randall Cobb's one-handed 51-yard catch called back by offsetting penalties and much, much more.

It was a bizarre night in the desert when the Cardinals escaped with a 26-20 overtime win.

And that's not even counting Rodgers' jaw-dropping Hail Mary TD pass to tie it at the end of regulation or Larry Fitzgerald's 75-yard catch and run to set up his winning score.

The coin toss going into overtime was a "debacle," Rodgers said.

He called "tails" and referee Clete Blakeman tossed the coin into the air and it fell to the turf.

Rodgers said he got an explanation from Blakeman.

"It was just tossed in the air and did not turn over at all and landed on the ground," he said.

"So we obviously thought that was not right. He picked the coin up and … he flipped it (again) without giving me a chance to make a recall there. It was confusing. I think he was trying to avoid the embarrassment of what just happened and flip it quickly."

The coin landed on heads — both times — and Arizona got the ball to start the overtime.

And the league said Sunday that there was no need for a repeat of the coin flip.

While there's no rule specifying the need for another flip, referee Clete Blakeman used his judgment to determine that "basic fairness" dictated that the coin should be re-tossed, league spokesman Michael Signora said.

Rodgers said after the loss that he would have called "heads" on the second toss. But Signora said Sunday in an email to the Associated Press that a team "gets only one choice to declare heads or tails."

After all that was settled, Fitzgerald, in his 12th season with the Cardinals, made the difference.

The 32-year-old receiver, who set a franchise record with 109 catches this season, broke a handful of tackles as he made his way 75 yards to the Green Bay 5 after catching a pass from a scrambling Carson Palmer.

Two plays later, Fitzgerald lined up in the backfield and took a shovel pass for the winning score.

"I can't tell you how many times I've run that shovel in practice and just waiting for my opportunity," Fitzgerald said, "and lo and behold, the second round of the playoffs you get your number called on a shovel. My eyes lit up in the huddle."

The stadium rocked with chants of "Lar-ry! Lar-ry!" and the Cardinals were headed to the NFC Championship Game against Carolina.

Also, Packers receiver Randall Cobb was released from the hospital Sunday; he left Saturday's game with a chest injury. The Packers' leading receiver posted on Twitter that he was discharged from a Phoenix-area hospital after an overnight stay for observation. Cobb was hurt in the first quarter after stretching out for a diving catch, which was nullified by a penalty.

"Thank you for all the prayers and support," Cobb wrote.

Headset issue again: Chiefs coach Andy Reid said his team experienced problems with their headsets during Saturday's playoff loss at New England, though they worked fine in the crucial final minutes.

Reid said the problem occurred in the first half between the coaching staff and the radio in quarterback Alex Smith's helmet. But Reid said they cut out "just a little bit, not much," and did not think that they were anything out of the ordinary.

It's not the first time headsets have been an issue at Gillette Stadium. In the regular-season opener, Pittsburgh complained the coaches' headsets were filled with the Patriots' radio broadcast of the game. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin later said his coaches have had problems with headsets every time they play at New England.

Browns: New coach Hue Jackson indicated more clearly that the organization is leaning toward severing ties with troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel and addressing its glaring need at the game's most important position in the draft. In an interview Sunday with SiriusXM, Jackson said, "If there is a quarterback there at pick No. 2 or pick No. 32 (in this year's draft) that we feel is the best option, the best fit for our organization, our football team, then we need to go get him. I do believe that this team does need a quarterback."

Overtime victory in the Cards, and the coin 01/17/16 [Last modified: Sunday, January 17, 2016 10:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …