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Bruce Arians takes blame for Cardinals' loss as he reevaluates everything

PHILADELPHIA -- Bruce Arians stood behind a podium Sunday evening, as the humidity choked the room in the bowels of Lincoln Financial Field, and did what head coaches do.

He took the blame for the Arizona Cardinals' dismal performance in their 34-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

It wasn't him who allowed 21 points in the first quarter. It wasn't him who couldn't block a four-man rush. It wasn't him who gained just 31 yards on the ground.

But it's Arians' team, and he was the one responsible for making sure the Cardinals were ready after traveling cross-country on Friday.

"This is one of those games where everyone is looking for an excuse or somewhere to point a finger, but I've got to point it at me because our team obviously was not ready to play in all three phases," Arians said.

The Cardinals had about 4.5 hours to reflect on everything that went into their demolition during their flight home Sunday night. That's a long time to watch game film and replay every mistake, every missed third down and every one of Carson Wentz's four touchdown passes. It's a long time to think about what took place in practice last week and over the approximately 48 hours spent in the City of Brotherly Love.

Whoever figures out the answer first should tell Arians.

"I was kind of shocked," Arians said. "But I obviously did something wrong."

What he did wrong and where he did it throughout the week will consume Arians over the next 48 hours until Wednesday, when the Cardinals get back on the practice field.

It might help him that Sunday wasn't an isolated performance. Arizona has now lost six of seven games in the Eastern time zone over the past two seasons. Arians likes to dismiss talk of the Cardinals' East Coast issues as "excuses," but the pattern of losses speaks for itself.

Sunday's loss, which dropped Arizona to 2-3 overall and further out of the NFC wild-card picture, opens another opportunity for Arians and the Cardinals to reevaluate everything from the entire week of practice to how Arizona traveled to everything in between.

"We'll view the film with open eyes," Arians said. "We had a hell of a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But a lot of it is the preparation from Friday to kickoff. If you're relaxing too much and not thinking about it, you need to focus on it a few hours in those times after Saturday morning walk-through."

There were consistent issues that showed up in practice, right guard Evan Boehm said, but he felt like Arizona addressed them, fixed them and moved on. However, they have consistently popped up in games, as well.

"We have to start correcting those quick, and things will start turning around for us," Boehm said.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson headed into Sunday's game thinking it would be an opportunity for the Cardinals to separate themselves.

While Arians publicly took the blame, his charges tried to relieve him of that responsibility.

"Coach wasn't out there playing," Boehm said.

Right tackle Jared Veldheer said no one in particular was to blame.

Quarterback Carson Palmer said each player will evaluate himself on an individual basis.

"We're all going to look at our own games and our own situation and find ways to improve," he said. "We have to find out what went so wrong and find ways to improve."

The Cardinals haven't hit the panic button yet. There are still 11 games left, and the NFC West might be up for grabs.

"There is a lot of football left to play," defensive tackle Frostee Rucker said. "We just have to go about it one game at a time, and it starts with Tampa."