WR Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona Cardinals
|6-3, 223||Born: 8-31-1983||College: Pittsburgh||Drafted: Round 1, pick 3|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2015 Week 20 vs CAR (7 / 4 / 30 / 0 rec)
There were two sights not typically seen for Cardinals fans yesterday; Larry Fitzgerald dropping passes and Larry Fitzgerald unable to contain his post-game emotions. Both were equally upsetting. When an offense is at-best out of rhythm and more often, at its worst and continuously turning the ball over, gaudy stats or impressive plays are difficult to find, and unfortunately Fitzgerald was without any on Sunday. Fitzgerald did have the second-most receptions, but none were of any consequence and while it would have been unlikely to affect the game in any tangible way, both drops came on would-be first down conversions. An unfortunate thud to end what has been an exclamation-point season for Fitzgerald.
2015 Week 17 vs SEA (7 / 6 / 55 / 1 rec)
Unsurprisingly, it was Fitzgerald who appeared to play with a modicum of intensity on Sunday, or at least more than his teammates can claim. Fitzgerald continued to do his usual thing, working the middle of the field with relative success and even finding the end zone for the team's lone score, but in an offense as disjointed as the Cardinals' was on Sunday, drives were not sustained long enough for his possessions to make an impact. Fitzgerald's touchdown, a 17-yard reception, came on a simple slant to the inside when Fitzgerald's defender misdiagnosed an out-route leaving Larry relatively wide-open.
2015 Week 16 vs GB (5 / 4 / 29 / 1 rec)
The box-score numbers for Fitzgerald are almost comically small, but when your defense scores twice, opportunities are not quite at a premium. Still, despite only four catches and less than 30-yards, Fitzgerald found a way leave his imprint on the game most notably by scoring the team's first touchdown. After two shaky drives, the Cardinals took advantage of great field position and marched all the way down to the three-yard line. Facing a 3rd and goal from the three, the Cardinals lined up in a 3-WR set with Fitzgerald in the slot. A combo route with David Johnson coming out of the backfield made the defense pause ever so slightly, just enough time for Fitzgerald to sit in the zone and make the touchdown grab. Fitzgerald later picked up an important 12-yards on the end-of-the-half drive that ended with John Brown's touchdown, but remained quiet the rest of the afternoon. Whether because of the emergence of other weapons, most notably David Johnson and Michael Floyd, or simply because of what the coverage dictates, Fitzgerald has been relatively quiet for several weeks now, but at 13-2 and with a first-round bye secured, Larry does not seem to mind one bit.
2015 Week 15 vs PHI (5 / 3 / 43 / 0 rec)
Despite a game in which the Cardinals passing attack took advantage of short and intermediate routes, it was not Fitzgerald who was most heavily involved. In fact, he was the least targeted receiver of the big-three. Still, Fitzgerald was able to make his presence felt with key first-down pickups, drawing a pass interference penalty that helped set up an David Johnson touchdown, and as always with his excellent run blocking that helped pave the way for the rookie RB's career night. The depth and talent of the Cardinals skill-position players are what allows them to put up 33 points without much contribution from their star wide receiver, and Sunday was Fitzgerald's turn to cede the way for his teammates breakout evening.
2015 Week 14 vs MIN (6 / 5 / 41 / 0 rec)
Despite being widely considered the best blocking wide receiver in the NFL, it is an odd occurrence when Larry Fitzgerald's biggest highlight of a game comes not on a spectacular catch, but from a demolishing block. Fitzgerald had fairly pedestrian numbers in the passing game, and even failed to secure the type of difficult catch late in the game that he has forever been known for, but on Michael Floyd's 42-yard touchdown reception, Fitzgerald made his mark on the game and the Vikings secondary. In a likely mistake, both Fitzgerald and Floyd ended up in the exact same spot, running out routes to the first down marker on the sideline with Fitzgerald having just a bit more depth than Floyd. Palmer's pass looked to target both receivers, but it was Floyd who caught it and turned up field with Fitzgerald in front of him. Fitzgerald drove the Vikings defender 10-yards before tossing him into the ground, assisting Floyd in scoring untouched.
2015 Week 13 vs STL (11 / 8 / 55 / 0 rec)
Fitzgerald left a minimal mark on Sunday's game, notching just 55 yards receiving with 23 on one catch alone, he did manage to make his mark on NFL history. Fitzgerald caught 8 of his 11 targets, with that eighth making him the youngest wide receiver in NFL history to reach 1,000 career catches. As a bit of cosmic balance, it came in the same building he caught his first career reception as well. Fitzgerald never quite got going on Sunday, but the attention paid to him by the Rams defense opened up one-on-one opportunities for Michael Floyd all afternoon, and his sensational blocking helped the Cardinals to a big afternoon on the ground. With this milestone behind him, the only thing left for Fitzgerald to capture in his Hall of Fame career is the Lombardi Trophy that just barely eluded him before.
2015 Week 12 vs SF (14 / 10 / 66 / 0 rec)
Despite the heavy amount of targets and receptions (once again, team leading in both,) Fitzgerald never really got going on Sunday. This was in part a byproduct of the stagnant offense never finding a flow, not to mention Fitzgerald drawing multiple end-zone penalties on plays that may otherwise have been touchdown receptions, but in the end, Fitzgerald failed to eclipse the 70-yard mark. Fitzgerald was able to provide Palmer with a consistent 3rd-down target, but beyond that it was not one of Fitzgerald's most noteworthy efforts.
2015 Week 11 vs CIN (13 / 8 / 90 / 0 rec)
Had it not been for the late game-winning drive, Fitzgerald's night would have seemed a lot quieter. Fitzgerald was targeted early while the Cardinals offense was still out of sync, but became more decoy than dominator during the Cardinals scorching 3rd-quarter. In the end, Fitzgerald did what he always does, lead the team in receptions and targets, and amass nearly 100 yards on the evening, but his two catches on the Cardinals last drive were by far his most impactful. On both plays, Fitzgerald was matched up against acting-#1 CB Leon Hall, and both times Fitzgerald simply beat him in one-on-one coverage. Fitzgerald's two catches accounted for 38 of the team's 70 yards on the drive. This is now back-to-back weeks Fitzgerald has failed to find the end zone, but in both instances has still left an impressive mark on each game.
2015 Week 10 vs SEA (15 / 10 / 130 / 0 rec)
In many ways, Fitzgerald had the kind of game he's had all season long, leading the team in catches, targets and yards while expertly exploiting the intermediate level, but to do it against Richard Sherman and the rest of Seattle's secondary is another level of impressiveness. When Fitzgerald wasn't making big plays in the passing game he had the pleasure of blocking Kam Chancellor all night in the run game, an unenviable task in which he more than held his own. Fitzgerald failed to find the end zone Sunday night, but it was another excellent game in this rejuvenated season.
2015 Week 8 vs CLE (11 / 9 / 84 / 1 rec)
Fitzgerald had another excellent game on Sunday, leading the team in targets and receptions, scoring once and providing one of the most gif-worthy moments of all of Sunday's action, delivering a crushing stiff-(fore)arm while picking up extra yards after a catch. Fitzgerald did contribute to the team's four turnovers, fumbling once late in the second quarter just outside the Brown's red zone, but apart from that played a nearly flawless game. Fitzgerald did have his ankle rolled up on during his touchdown catch, causing him to come up a bit gingerly, but did return to the game, showing very few ill effects. With two weeks off due to the bye week he should have plenty of time to get healthy, but will still be worth monitoring when they begin to get ready for Seattle.
2015 Week 7 vs BAL (5 / 3 / 39 / 0 rec)
It was a rare night for Fitzgerald, failing to lead the team in any receiving category, nor finding the end zone. It was not for lack of effort, Fitzgerald was targeted twice in the end zone (drawing a pass interference penalty on one,) and was slightly overthrown on what would have one of the longer passing plays of the game. After an explosive start to the season, it is no surprise teams are focusing more attention on Fitzgerald, but even that combined with the emergence of Michael Floyd into this offense, expect this game to be more of an aberration than the norm for Fitzgerald going forward.
2015 Week 6 vs PIT (10 / 8 / 93 / 0 rec)
Fitzgerald had another typical afternoon, accounting for 8 catches and nearly 100 yards on the day, although unable to find the end zone. Fitzgerald's highlight of the afternoon came on a 44-yard catch and run on a quick wide receiver screen. Fitzgerald was not quite as much the centerpiece of the offense as he has been in weeks past, but remained highly effective in the loss.
2015 Week 5 vs DET (7 / 5 / 58 / 1 rec)
Even on a low-volume passing day, Fitzgerald continued to do what he has done all season, leading the team in targets and receptions, and finding the end zone. On the touchdown, the last of Palmer's three, Fitzgerald used his big frame to get gain inside positioning on a quick slant from the 2-yard line. Fitzgerald's fantastic run blocking was also on display Sunday, setting the edge on both Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington's longest runs of the day.
2015 Week 4 vs STL (9 / 7 / 99 / 0 rec)
In many ways, Sunday was another typical game for Fitzgerald. He led the team in yards, tied for the most receptions and nearly the same in targets. Fitzgerald dominated the intermediate part of the field and displayed his impressive run-blocking once again. All of this is the norm, but Sunday featured two very uncharacteristic plays for Fitzgerald. A rare first quarter drop from Fitzgerald proved inconsequential as the Cardinals were subsequently able to pick up the first down and continue driving down the field, but Fitzgerald's fumble in Rams territory on the Cardinals first possession of the second half proved quite costly. A one-point game at the time, the Cardinals defense had just forced a punt and the appeared to be picking up steam. Any score would have given the Cardinals their first lead of the game and an obvious shift in momentum, but instead Fitzgerald's fumble led to another Rams touchdown. Considering Fitzgerald's torrid start to the season, and the rest of his stat-line Sunday, both errors should be considered as nothing more than unfortunate aberrations.
2015 Week 3 vs SF (11 / 9 / 134 / 2 rec)
The resurgence of Fitzgerald continues, with another multi-touchdown game and another 100+ yard receiving effort. Continuing the trend he established in week 1, Fitzgerald led the team in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns once again. Opening the game with consecutive receptions of 10 yards or more, Fitzgerald established a tone early that continued throughout the game. While it is clear Fitzgerald is benefitting from Palmer's mastery and the pressure imposed on the defense from his fellow skill-position players, as Coach Arians mentioned in his postgame comments yesterday, the biggest difference for Fitzgerald this season is health. Much was made about his decline the last two years, but rarely did that mention the MCL and hamstring injuries Fitzgerald dealt with. Finally healthy, Fitzgerald has a full grasp of his role in the slot and, simply put, is playing exceptional football right now.
2015 Week 2 vs CHI (9 / 8 / 112 / 3 rec)
It is difficult to put Fitzgerald's day in proper context. After an illustrious career, it was shocking to everyone, including Head Coach Bruce Arians, that Sunday was Fitzgerald's first ever three-touchdown regular season game. Furthermore, Pro Football Focus rated it as Fitzgerald's best pass grade since 2011. And while we know Fitzgerald often spends time on the sidelines campaigning for more balls, he spoke after the game about how important it is for him to be playing on a good team again, and how unimportant his role and stats are. The truth of that statement, of course, lies somewhere in the middle, but what is very clear is Fitzgerald is playing with a fiery passion and savoring this team success. Sunday's performance also highlighted the many attributes of Fitzgerald's game over the years. He made plays on deep targets that he'd begun to see less and less of, trucked over defensive backs with the improved strength and run-after-catch ability he developed later in his career, and as always showed off the incredible hands that have made him a superstar. In a different way, all three of Fitzgerald's touchdowns highlighted elements best described as "vintage Fitzgerald." Fitzgerald led the team across the board, in targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns and with the longest (non kick-off return) play of the game. Right now, the health of he and his quarterback appear to be the only thing that could derail Fitzgerald's resurgent season.
2015 Week 1 vs NO (8 / 6 / 87 / 0 rec)
Fitzgerald's consistency has caused these recaps to read a bit like a broken record, but his role in this offense is such a known quantity at this point its almost unavoidable. He was once again the most targeted receiver, led the team in both receptions and yards, and often the first read in conversion situations. He lined up both outside and in the slot and primarily worked the short and intermediate routes. Fitzgerald did find himself wide-open on his lone deep-post of the day, but a badly overthrown ball by Palmer erased a likely touchdown. Even still, Fitzgerald was excellent in the passing game and showed off his willingness as a blocker as well. He is also the heart of the team and a fired up Fitzgerald ignites a passion in the home crowd the way very few others could. So long as both he and Palmer stay healthy, this section should likely read similar each week.
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