The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the New York Giants on Sunday when kicker Matt Gay missed a game-winning field goal as time expired, and it came with a little help from his coach.
The Bucs trailed 32-31 in the final minute. After a long pass gave the Bucs the ball on the 9-yard line with less than 15 seconds to play, all they needed to do was set up for the short game-winning field goal.
Before running a play, Bucs head coach ordered his team to take an inexplicable delay-of-game penalty, backing them up to the 14-yard line. After Jameis Winston took a knee to move the ball to the middle of the field – backing the ball up two more yards – Gay lined up for a last-second, 34-yard field goal.
After the game, Arians explained the decision to make the kick longer.
"I just took it on purpose," Arians said. "He's better back. The field goal is easier back five yards. No sense hurrying."
Often a field goal can be more manageable from a little farther back if there is an issue with the angle from close in. But in this case, the Bucs still had the option of moving the ball to the middle, which they did on the subsequent play.
Gay was 4-4 on field goals in the game before the miss but had missed two extra-points. Interestingly, the game-winning try was just one yard longer than an extra point. And if you watch the video above, the five yards probably made a huge difference in losing the game.
Here are Arians' comments: