GLENDALE, Ariz. — He might not have been the whole story of the game, but he clearly was the star of it, even in a losing effort.
Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals’ ageless wide receiver, just keeps making big play after big play the older he gets and somehow also seems to always make it look easy. That’s what he did during the Cardinals’ 28-17 loss to the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, tying his single-game career record by hauling in 13 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Yes, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott showed some uncanny athleticism by deftly rolling out to his right twice on busted plays and slinging it downfield for two huge strikes to Brice Butler, both of which were huge plays for Dallas.
Fitzgerald, though, made more than a dozen of them and in the process, moved past Marvin Harrison (14,580) and into eighth place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list.
“That’s Fitz. That’s Monday night. He’s a Monday player,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “It was a great performance by him. It’s a shame we couldn’t play better around him.”
Fitzgerald did all he could, but could not prevent the Cardinals from falling to 1-2. He said he “left a few plays out there,” but he really didn’t. He looked like he was still in his prime, especially on his 15-yard touchdown catch on a post-corner route and an incredible grab on a 24-yard reception on a must-have, third-down conversion.
He was all over the 50-50 balls thrown his way by Carson Palmer.
“Yeah, we had some favorable looks today,” Fitzgerald said. “In some weeks there are good looks and in other weeks, they’re just not there. That’s just the National Football League.”
At age 34, however, Fitzgerald seems to be defying Father Time. Consider that just last season, he led the league in receptions with 107. With 22 receptions through three weeks, he might just get there again.
“Nothing that Larry does ever surprises me,” Arians said. “Especially in crunch time.”
Fitzgerald, though, walked away from this one with regrets and disappointment. That, and a ton of bruises, scrapes and cuts.
“It’s demoralizing anytime you lose the game,” he said. “It was great energy, we had the home-field advantage, it was Monday Night Football — this would have been a great one to be able to get. But it didn’t come to fruition. We’ve just got to get back to the drawing board and get ready for San Francisco on a short week. But it stings. It definitely stings.”
And don’t let the salty veteran fool you by telling you the hits he took Monday night wouldn’t hurt as much had the Cardinals won the game.
“At 34, it hurts all the time,” he said. “It’ll hurt at practice. Everything hurts.”