The Cardinals had a great game in New England on Sunday, pulling off a big upset and improving to 2-0. But the Cardinals’ best player didn’t have such a great game.
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald was held to just one catch for four yards against the Patriots, and he said afterward that his bad stat line was a testament to the game-planning greatness of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
“Coach Belichick is not the best coach in history for no reason,” Fitzgerald told the Cardinals’ website. “He’s done it for a long time. He does a great job defensively. It was good to get out with a win, to be honest.”
Belichick said before the game that he thinks Fitzgerald could go down as the greatest receiver in NFL history, and it was clear that the Patriots schemed to take Fitzgerald away. It worked well, and Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was disappointed his offense wasn’t able to get the ball in Fitzgerald’s hands more often.
“It’s unfortunate,” Whisenhunt said. “There were a couple of opportunities. Larry had one catch that was erased. The slant, we could have gotten that one, and there were a couple other ones where now you are talking about five or six catches and we’re not even having this discussion. Larry is going to have his catches. We’re certainly going to make sure we work on that.”
Fitzgerald said that he wasn’t concerned about his numbers, and if his presence helped open things up for tight end Todd Heap (who led the Cardinals with five catches for 62 yards), that’s just fine with him.
“I’ll get my opportunities,” Fitzgerald said. “When they come, I’ve got to make my plays.”
The good news for Fitzgerald is that he’ll be getting opportunities the rest of the season without having to face a Belichick-coached defense.