Top 5 Catches of Larry Fitzgerald’s Career
Since the mad rush of free agency has passed and the amount of news coming out of the NFL has decreased as the march toward the 2014 draft continues, I thought it would be an appropriate time to have a little fun and reminisce about the top 5 catches of Larry Fitzgerald’s 10-year career with the Arizona Cardinals. As we all know Fitzgerald has established himself as the undisputed best receiver in Cardinals history and by the numbers is the most productive receiver in NFL history before the age of 30. Fitzgerald’s rare combination of elite size, leaping ability, hand-eye coordination, hand strength, and incredible body control has lent itself to a number of eye-popping receptions, and made it very difficult to pick just five. Plays such as Fitzgerald’s amazing jump ball catch in double coverage against the Panthers in the magical 2009 postseason, his one-handed touchdown reception against the Packers in the Wild-card round of the 2010 postseason, and his end of the half hail mary touchdown reception against the 49ers in 2007 were all left off of the list among many others. Without further ado I present to you the five best and most memorable catches of Larry Fitzgerald’s career thus far…
5. Fitzgerald’s 38-yard one-handed over the shoulder reception against the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 Preseason on August 11, 2011.
Unfortunately this is the best photo I could find of the reception but I have included a link to a video of the catch on NFL.com here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d82166c0c/Cardinals-vs-Raiders-highlights Although this catch came in a meaningless preseason game in Oakland in 2007, the level of difficulty associated with it was staggering. Fitzgerald is able to stop his momentum mid-route, locate the football flying directly above his head and simultaneously catch it with his left hand off of his helmet while warding off Raiders defensive back DeMarcus Van Dyke
4. Fitzgerald’s one-handed diving reception in week 17 of the 2011 season against the Seattle Seahawks in overtime
This was the second of two incredible diving grabs on this possession for the Cardinals in overtime. This catch put the Cardinals in field goal position and set up a 28-yard field goal by Jay Feely to win 20-17 in overtime and propel the Cardinals to an 8-8 season after starting 1-6. The catch was also made on the one and only Richard Sherman by the way in case you were wondering. Check out video of the catch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coBVetunyhk
3. Fitzgerald’s one-handed 180 degree reception on the sideline vs. the Buffalo Bills in week 6 of the 2012 season.
Unfortunately no photo of the catch seems to exist but check out a GIF of the recpetion here: http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2012/10/14/3503360/larry-fitzgerald-catch-gif This catch is the opitomy of all that is Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald displays all of his greatest attributes including concentration, hand strength, body control and contortion, awareness and leaping ability all in one incredible catch on the sideline. Fitzgerald shows why he is truly a master of his craft on this catch
2. Fitzgerald’s 42-yard touchdown reception in double coverage off of a flea flicker pass from Kurt Warner in the Wild-Card round of the 2009 postseason.
This catch was the first of a number of unforgettable plays from the Cardinals in their magical and unexpected run to the Super Bowl in the 2009 playoffs. Warner and Fitzgerald were the culprits behind a large number of these classic plays which will forever be ingrained in every Cardinals fan’s mind. This incredible leaping reception in double coverage was the Cardinals first touchdown of the 2009 playoffs and set the tone for the magic that was to come.
- 1. Larry Fitzgerald’s 65-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XLIII to give the Cardinals a 23-20 lead with 2:28 left in the 4th quarter
Ah yes the best moment in Cardinals history which was unfortunately followed by the most heartbreaking, but I’m not going to dwell on that anymore. This was Fitzgerald’s second incredible touchdown catch of the biggest game of his career and gave the lowly, cellar dwelling Arizona Cardinals franchise a 23-20 lead in the Super Bowl with just over two minutes remaining. It was a simple slant route which Fitzgerald broke for a long touchdown. Fitzgerald’s adrenaline in the moment gave him an extra gear on this play as he galloped 65 yards down the middle of the field for the score. The touchdown was symbol of the Cardinals breaking free from the oppressive chains of NFL purgatory that the franchise had been stuck in for the better part of 60 seasons and is exactly why this is the most memorable catch thus far in Larry Fitzgerald’s career. You can relive the number one moment on the countdown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE5-tceg4ZU
Here’s to hoping Fitzgerald has many more mind-blowing and memorable highlight catches in a Cardinals uniform as he transitions into the second half of his career.