The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped their third straight game when they fell 27-23 to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, but it could have easily been a much-need victory.
In the final minutes, rookie linebacker Devin White sniffed out a fake field goal attempt, stuffing the holder-turned-runner short of the first-down marker, and knocking the ball loose. Bucs safety Andrew Adams scooped up the ball and raced to the other end zone, appearing to give the Bucs the lead.
But the line judge on the play blew a quick whistle, ruling the play dead and preventing any challenge or review from awarding Tampa Bay the go-ahead score.
After leading his postgame press conference by criticizing the call, Arians did it again when he took the podium back in Tampa on Monday.
"Not to beat a dead horse, but an inadvertent whistle," Arians said. "If we have those last three minutes and some change with a three-point lead, and win the game, I think everybody is writing different stories, talking different things. So, it was more than just a play."
Arians went on to decry the lack of accountability when it comes to officials making mistakes.
"Everybody except one guy saw the ball out, and blew a quick whistle," Arians continued. "My biggest thing is, referees aren't held accountable. Coaches get fired, general managers get fired, players get cut. Referees aren't accountable, and it's a shame. It's been that way for 40 years, and now that we've got a new agreement, it'll be that way for 40 more years."
The Bucs certainly made enough mistakes of their own to cost themselves Sunday's game, but it's not overstating to say that White's hit and the subsequent score could have been a season-changing moment for a Tampa Bay team desperate to find an identity in their first season under Arians.
Instead, it's just the latest in a long line of creative ways the Bucs have found to lose a game, and yet another "sorry" letter from the league officials.