Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke a four-game losing streak on Sunday, but it was a bittersweet moment for the coach.
The victory came at home against Arians's former team, the Arizona Cardinals, where he served as head coach for five seasons before announcing his retirement. In 2019, Arians agreed to come out of retirement to sign a 4-year contract with the Bucs, and has thus far led the team to a 3-6 record in his first season at the helm.
Sunday was his first matchup against the team he used to coach.
"I hate playing friends," Arians admitted in his postgame press conference. "I'm just happy we're winning and they got a long flight home."
Tampa Bay defeated Arizona in a close game that was clinched by a one-yard touchdown run by Peyton Barber with just under two minutes remaining in the game. The Cardinals, led by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury, fell to 3-6-1 after the loss.
Arians saw some success during his time with the Cardinals. He twice led the team into the postseason, though neither time were they able to advance past the NFC Championship game.
He faces an uphill battle if he wants these Buccaneers to reach that point, however. Tampa Bay currently sits at third place in the NFC South behind the 5-4 Carolina Panthers and the 7-2 New Orleans Saints.