Larry Fitzgerald’s Play a Great Sign for the Cardinals


Sep 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver

Larry Fitzgerald

(11) scores a touchdown against Chicago Bears cornerback

Terrance Mitchell

(20) and strong safety

Antrel Rolle

(26) during the second half of the NFL game at Soldier Field. Cardinals won 48-23. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Fitzgerald has been a star for the Arizona Cardinals since he was drafted by the team in 2004. For so long, he was a lock for 80+ catches and 1,000+ yards every season. But in the last couple seasons, Fitzgerald has seen his production decrease.

This could be attributed to two things: his age, 32, and the fact that head coach Bruce Arians’ offense hasn’t really called for Fitzgerald to be that deep threat anymore.

The Cardinals have receivers like Michael Floyd and John Brown who are constant deep passing threats and Arians likes to go to those guys a lot.

But after two games so far in the 2015 regular season, fans of Fitzgerald are rejoicing.

In these first two games, Fitzgerald already has 14 catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns. At this time last season, Fitzgerald had a total of seven catches for 73 yards and zero touchdowns. It is a fantastic sign that Fitzgerald is being so heavily involved in the offense this early in the season.

Some of this early success might also have to do with the possibility that Floyd is not yet 100 percent after dislocating multiple fingers on his hand in a preseason practice. Floyd has played in both of the Cardinals games, but has just one catch for 18 yards.

Nevertheless, Fitzgerald is playing great so far in this young season. It shows that he still has gas in the tank and a lot left to give to this team. He still has some of the best hands in the league and is still a great threat in the red zone.

Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left) talks with quarterback

Carson Palmer

on the sidelines in the first half against the New Orleans Saints at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 31-19. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When Carson Palmer first arrived in Arizona, it seemed as though he and Fitzgerald were having problems getting on the same page in the passing game. More often than not, Palmer would overthrow Fitzgerald, possibly thinking he still had the wheels and the vertical leap to reign in those passes. But now we are seeing Palmer and Fitzgerald really click together and it’s turned into some amazing plays.

Yesterday against the Chicago Bears, the Cardinals ran a flea flicker play to Fitzgerald for a spectacular touchdown. Personally, I have not seen a play like that involving Fitzgerald since the 2008 playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons, a game that I attended. A flea flicker was run, Kurt Warner hurled the ball into the end zone and Fitzgerald leaped over two defenders to catch the ball for a touchdown. Google that play people, it’s worth it.

I hope to see this same kind of play calling that involves Fitzgerald even when Floyd is completely healthy. After only week two, Fitzgerald is only 586 yards away from surpassing his total of 784 receiving yards from all of last year.

If everyone stays healthy, with Fitzgerald playing like this, along with Carson Palmer’s brilliant play and that talented defense, the Arizona Cardinals are going to make a run in the NFC.