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Larry Fitzgerald: Cardinals focused on winning the NFC West

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

Many NFL fans think the two best teams in the league are in the NFC West, in Seattle and San Francisco. But Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald thinks the best team in the NFC West is in Arizona.

Fitzgerald told Ed Werder on ESPN that the Cardinals fully expect to finish 2014 atop the NFC West.

“We always talk about winning the NFC West,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s our goal first and foremost, getting to the playoffs. We did a good job after the bye week, finishing 6-2. Obviously it wasn’t good enough to get us into the tournament but we finished strong and were able to execute more efficiently down the stretch.”

Fitzgerald said he’s not taking any shots at the Seahawks or 49ers (or the Rams), but he’s not backing down from those teams, either.

“We understand and respect those teams,” Fitzgerald said of the Seahawks and 49ers. “They’re very talented and they’ve been to the playoffs for the last couple years. But we’re very confident in our abilities. We match up very well with those teams and St. Louis as well. We’re confident in our ability to play at a high level against the best teams in the league.”

Winning the NFC West will be a tall order. But Fitzgerald sounds confident that the Cardinals can do it.

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78 Responses to “Larry Fitzgerald: Cardinals focused on winning the NFC West”
  1. dukeearl says: Jul 4, 2014 7:51 PM

    What would you expect him to say?
    That they don’t have a snowballs chance?

  2. tacomatiger says: Jul 4, 2014 7:57 PM

    They got lucky in seattle last year

  3. edzo82270 says: Jul 4, 2014 7:58 PM

    This division used to be the doormat of the league. Even the Rams are making progress towards respectibility.

  4. doe22us says: Jul 4, 2014 7:59 PM

    They have the tools.. to do it ferocious D and steady Offense, they laid it on the Hawks was it in Seattle??

  5. billybone says: Jul 4, 2014 8:00 PM

    Even as a Hawks fan I got nothing but mad respect for Fitz. Wish him the best but sure as hell hope his team and him fall flat on their face when they play the Hawks. NFC West has turned into a slugfest.

  6. champs794 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:00 PM

    Larry Fitzgerald’s already got vacation plans for January and he’s fine with that. He could have signed with anyone years ago if he wasn’t. The extra playoff mileage doesn’t pay very well.

  7. thevikesarebest says: Jul 4, 2014 8:03 PM

    2014 NFC west:49ers:11-5 Cardinals:10-6 rams:9-7. Shehawks:6-10.

  8. luz56 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:11 PM

    Uneducated comments by posters….locked and loaded with upgrades to the O and D… Slugfest yes in the NFC West… 2015 is a different story for the Cards with cap hell

  9. nealc53 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:21 PM

    REDSKIN fan – Live in Seattle and Seahawks will still win 10 or more=this year

  10. jeffesky says: Jul 4, 2014 8:24 PM

    As a hawks fan i think everyone in the division thought the SB last year was SF and SEA. whom ever can survive this division is the SB favorite.

  11. red2616 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:36 PM

    Anyone who belittle the Cards or dismisses them doesn’t know Football.
    The Cards have a Damn good chance at at the Super Bowl, not just the NFC West. . They played extremely well once Levi Brown was gone. Remember this was a 10-6 team with first year coaches and a HORRIBLE O-Line. They beat the so called unbeatable Seahawks at home. The barley lost to the 49ers the last game and that was 20 minutes after the Saints beat Tampa to nock the Cards out of playoffs. It was extremely stupid of Harbaugh that game. Once the Saints won the Cards start benching their 1st stringers while the 49ers (a playoff lock at that point) still pushed and threw everything they had at a pointless game for them. They are lucky Kaeprnick, Gore, Boldin, or anyone didn’t get hurt. They won with 3 seconds left, after the Cards missed their 2nd FG. My point is that 10-6 and the Cards being better at the end of the season then the two playoff teams shows what they can do. Even with Washington out they have a top 5 front Def 3, a 2ndary that has the potential to be a top two and LB’s that still are extremely effective. Their offense is led by Palmer (if people actually looked past the INTs/1st 5 games and what he did after Levi Brown was gone would see what he can do) Fitzy, the way Ellington played and the depth at RB plus new weapons at WR, TE and new O-Line this team should not be under estimated by any stretch. If anyone says they suck, they have no chance or they are clearly the 3rd team at this point doesn’t know Football.

  12. nosleeptilsb says: Jul 4, 2014 8:36 PM

    Fitz is right, as everyone knows the West is the best. Any team in the west is better then any team in the rest of the league. The further west you go the tougher it gets. Take a sharp right when you hit Portland. The toughest of them all is in the heart of Seattle, where the ghost of Lombardi now resides.

  13. maestro1899 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:39 PM

    As a hawks fan i think everyone in the division thought the SB last year was SF and SEA. whom ever can survive this division is the SB favorite.

    LOL

    It’s funny to me that after the Broncos lost the Super Bowl, suddenly every fan and media member thought they were not Super Bowl -worthy.

    Funny, but after they destroyed the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, I don’t recall fans or the media questioning how good the Broncos were, nor do I remember anyone thinking they wouldn’t be SB-worthy when they were setting scoring records all season.

    Hindsight is 20/20, eh?

  14. kamthechancellor says: Jul 4, 2014 8:51 PM

    I belittle and dismiss you. 8-8 this season…AT BEST

  15. blackhawks2010 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:57 PM

    Did I just read somebody say Seattle got lucky last year? Good lord, some people should be restricted access to the internet.

  16. dacktle49 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:01 PM

    Sorry Fitz the 9ers will take the division back without question but the Cards will finish in second place and probably take one of the wild cards!
    #SEATTLEFANBASEEST.2013
    #PETERTHECHEATER

  17. iamdinguskhan says: Jul 4, 2014 9:07 PM

    I do believe you have to favor the Seahawks to win the division but one stumble or key injury any of the other teams are good enough to come up and win it. Whoever wins the West I would think has a real solid chance at the Super Bowl.

  18. tacomatiger says: Jul 4, 2014 9:07 PM

    AZ will be better, just not good enough to take the west. Carson palmer is a turd. They have no run game, the o line is almost as bad as Seattle’s. They do have a good D, but you won’t win with pick 6 turdbacks like palmer

  19. ccc23454 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:16 PM

    Larry Fitzgerald’s one good guy and a hell of a receiver, shame he has been wasted there with no real QB’s!

  20. goldrush36 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:17 PM

    blackhawks2010 says:
    Jul 4, 2014 8:57 PM
    Did I just read somebody say Seattle got lucky last year? Good lord, some people should be restricted access to the internet.
    ————————————
    No you read or actually I guess misread somebody saying the cards got lucky in Seattle.. Which clearly they didn’t because they dominated the game.

  21. fordmandalay says: Jul 4, 2014 9:19 PM

    I’m focused on dating Jennifer Lawrence, Larry. I think my chances are as good as the Cards.

  22. 4evrnyt says: Jul 4, 2014 9:31 PM

    People that think the Cards are getting better need to look closer at the stats. They have a good pass defense in stats because teams get an early lead and then run out the clock against them. Palmer was washed up 5 years ago and they have no run game to help him out.

    The guy above me has it right. 8-8 if they have a GOOD year otherwise they’re an under .500 team.

  23. 4evrnyt says: Jul 4, 2014 9:34 PM

    The Arizona Cardinals have no chance at all of making the playoffs, period. Washed up QB, no run game, defense that looks far better on paper then they do on the field. Did I mention their QB is old and washed up and that they have no run game? Oh and good luck keeping that old washed up QB alive behind that offensive line this year. That’ll work out well for you guys I’m sure.

  24. northbynw27 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:35 PM

    Yeah..and I’m focused on Emma Watson.

  25. vincelombardisghost says: Jul 4, 2014 9:46 PM

    Um….”nosleeptilsb”….I am the ghost of Vince Lombardi and I reside in Green Bay, not Seattle.

  26. kuranda84 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:50 PM

    Fitz is a stud. A class act.

  27. seadawgs72 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:55 PM

    As a Hawk fan i think it’s pretty cool that approx 4 years ago Seattle won the division at 7-9 & the division was the laughing stock of the NFL. Last season the 3rd place team was 10-6 & missed the playoffs (i don’t think it’s cool they missed the playoffs). I can’t remember the rams record but Fisher has that team in contention for ’14. Hands down the best division in the NFL. Although i see the 9ers taking a step back. Now my biggest fear is the division is gonna beat each other up so badly that whoever eventually does win won’t be in contention for home field throughout. Damn i can’t wait for preseason.

  28. raiderapologist says: Jul 4, 2014 10:00 PM

    blackhawks2010 says: Jul 4, 2014 8:57 PM

    Did I just read somebody say Seattle got lucky last year? Good lord, some people should be restricted access to the internet.
    ————–
    The poster suggested the Cardinals got lucky in Seattle last year. Your restriction suggestion does have merit, though. If it starts with you.

  29. bcfalcon says: Jul 4, 2014 10:14 PM

    You win the NFC west, you technically are in the superbowl!

  30. jayfish6402 says: Jul 4, 2014 10:20 PM

    If the division wasn’t so tight, they would have a week 1 bye from the playoffs and would have a shot at the Super Bowl. The Cards are way underrated.

  31. greenbridge27 says: Jul 4, 2014 10:37 PM

    The entire division is stacked. Arizona for whatever reason matches up well with Seattle as the teams have split the series for a few years now. Az smoked Indy(who beat Denver,Seattle and San Fran), smoked Carolina and won at Seattle in the rain. Those of you who dismiss them are trolls and nothing else. To the Niner fans, your team has had their # over the last couple of seasons but the gap is closing

  32. pantherfan40 says: Jul 4, 2014 10:40 PM

    Usa usa

  33. vusnu says: Jul 4, 2014 10:53 PM

    Do not count these Cardinals out – although I do think an upgrade at QB is needed sometime soon.

  34. joerevs300 says: Jul 4, 2014 11:04 PM

    I feel 100% confident in saying Arizona will not win the NFC West in 2014 :)

  35. hawkstradamus says: Jul 4, 2014 11:22 PM

    Fitz might have had the best performance by a wr in sb history. But he’s not getting back, unless he is traded to the Seahawks.

  36. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 4, 2014 11:29 PM

    Arizona will take the division this year.

  37. brokebackbrees says: Jul 4, 2014 11:39 PM

    Vikings will probably represent NFC in Superbowl this coming season, and unlike Seattle or New Orleans, they do it with out PEDs

  38. teambolt5000 says: Jul 5, 2014 12:08 AM

    AFC WEST vs. NFC WEST this year. Should be some great football.

    Chargers get their first win @ AZ, but both teams should get to 10-6 and make the playoffs.

  39. dfwhawkguy says: Jul 5, 2014 12:18 AM

    If they were in any other division they might have a chance to make some noise. However, they will have to be content to admire the new dynasty of the NFL and see if they can compete with the Whiners while holding off the Rams. Just remember that second is still just the best loser. #gohawks

  40. gcbean says: Jul 5, 2014 12:50 AM

    Good luck with that, Lawrence. At a minimum, you will be bumped by the Rams.

  41. norcalseahawkfan says: Jul 5, 2014 1:19 AM

    Seahawks won the super bowl, yep they did. Can’t change that now. Next year? I don’t know. Gotta play the games. So we will see. Fitzgerald is good. I love to watch him play.

  42. seahawkfanfrom1970s says: Jul 5, 2014 1:31 AM

    As a Hawk fan, I RESPECT the Cardinals. I respect every opposing team in the division. Having said that, the Cardinals STILL have to get past us, and we’re not just going to lay down this year.

    I do say that every NFC West team is going to be pure hell on any team outside the division that they have to face. The only division close to us for physicality is the NFC South.

  43. seahawkfanfrom1970s says: Jul 5, 2014 1:34 AM

    Why are Vikings posters posting on this thread? We’re talking about the four powerful teams in the NFC West, not some irrelevant pipsqueak team in Minnesota that everyone laughs at.

  44. enigma2742 says: Jul 5, 2014 1:41 AM

    they aint winning any superbowls any time soon so whatever

  45. kylexitron says: Jul 5, 2014 1:53 AM

    winner of the NFC west will win the superbowl. Book it.

  46. osiris33 says: Jul 5, 2014 2:23 AM

    The Cardinals lost their 2 best LBs, their best cover guy & have no running game, not to mention Carson Palmer is your QB. Seahawks will run away with this division and the NFL. last year was about “I told ya so.” This year the Seahawks are going to rub the NFLs noses in it.

  47. silverandblack052099 says: Jul 5, 2014 3:21 AM

    There is always a little bit of luck involved for every team the wins the Super Bowl.

  48. capn0bvious says: Jul 5, 2014 3:23 AM

    If someone from the NFC West has to step over Seattle and advance, I’d rather see the Cards or Rams. I have tried to respect the 49ers in the past, but since Seattle won the Super Bowl, I have noticed a lot of poor sportsmanship and bitterness from SF fans. Not the case with Rams and Cards fans.
    But it’s a moot point anyway, since the Hawks are going to repeat in February 2015.

  49. thyhootman says: Jul 5, 2014 4:30 AM

    Good luck with that!!!
    No titles for Larry, shame really.

  50. ilovecostcobut says: Jul 5, 2014 6:36 AM

    Nobody loves Larry Fitzgerald more than I do but his cap number next year is $23.6 million. No team can pay that, no player is worth that. “Cardinal for life”? Not with that contract.

    Now, when this comes to pass, when the Cardinals have to cut him, remember he could’ve done a Tim Duncan: He could’ve taken $10 million/year and stayed “for life” for real.

  51. operations666 says: Jul 5, 2014 7:44 AM

    To bad this amazing talent has had to spend so many post-Kurt Warner years in Arizona with mediocre quarterbacks. What an exciting player.

  52. nosleeptilsb says: Jul 5, 2014 7:49 AM

    Vincelombardisghost,…How do I break it to you nicely? When you gaze out at night, across the diamond speckled water, that is Puget Sound, not Green Bay. You have mistaken yourself for the ghost of Curly Lambeau. It happens.

  53. desertrace21 says: Jul 5, 2014 8:53 AM

    People that think the Cards are getting better need to look closer at the stats. They have a good pass defense in stats because teams get an early lead and then run out the clock against them. Palmer was washed up 5 years ago and they have no run game to help him out.

    ________________________________

    We are looking at different “stats”. Throwing the word stats out there doesn’t automatically make people think you know what the f you are talking about unless they are Vikings fans. Those “stats” you are referring to are not from the 10-6 team that was 6-2 the second half of the season and DESTROYED Seattle in front of the 12th man. I love watching this division. People call Palmer a bum, but look at the second half of the season.. Bruce Arians was just getting started. This team is getting their second full off season in under him with a season of playing experience. They are just going to figure it out more and get better. No PED’s. No coach that bailed on a college that he cheated into national championships. Hopefully the NFC West gets 3 teams in this year and we can actually watch some good playoff football!

  54. avr29 says: Jul 5, 2014 9:19 AM

    Among all the reasons as to Arizona being better this year, the crappy offensive line play is something Seattle had to deal with lay year. There wet games that not a single other quarterback in the league would have had a chance. Injuries to the best lineman on the team kept backup players out there against some of the best defensive lineman in the league. Russell Wilson is the most elusive quarterback in the league in terms of evasion, and he needed to be. Now that guys are healthy, and a couple spots are upgraded, they can’t possibly be as bad.

    The Cards put in a rookie at safety, and a %70 Mathieu, and they might not be as good defensively as they were last year. That said, Palmer is still at least average, Fitz is Fitz, Michael Floyd is emerging, and Ellington has promise. Tough division for sure, but I think the Seahawks still finish at the top of the division, with Arizona and San Fran fighting over second place and a ticket to the dance. It’s possible to see all 3 in there, but not likely.

  55. sportsnut101 says: Jul 5, 2014 9:53 AM

    Wish they would trade him
    He is waisting his remaining prime yrs with carson automatic pic palmer

  56. 80sbroncofan says: Jul 5, 2014 10:22 AM

    Just 4 years ago the NFC West was the laughingstock. Now any of those teams would be a contender in any other division.

  57. winninaintsinnin says: Jul 5, 2014 10:55 AM

    Cards are worrisome, but remember Seattle went 13-3 despite 18 missed starts for their 3 best linemen. 8 left tackle, 7 right tackle and 3 center. And even when back in Okung played with turf toe and Unger with a bad shoulder.

    And of course they had no speed at WR so teams could gamble.

    Defeses will have to play more honestly this year and not just stack the box.

    I think a lot of people will be surprised at how good Seattle’s offense “suddenly” is.

  58. trollhammer20 says: Jul 5, 2014 11:10 AM

    Cards won a close defensive battle in Seattle, but earlier in the year were blown out at home.

    The key for them is how well they replace Dansby and Washington. They had the #1 rushing defense last year, but with 2/3rds of their “center triangle” gone, that’s going to be a pretty tough feat to duplicate. If they can remain top-tier against the run, they’ll do well. If they can’t, SF and Seattle will punish them.

  59. chawkup says: Jul 5, 2014 11:28 AM

    All 4 teams would win the NFC East.

  60. notthetroll says: Jul 5, 2014 11:40 AM

    It could be a slobberknocker out west this year.
    Hit him again!

  61. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 5, 2014 11:46 AM

    That entire division is money and will once again represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. You could argue they have the top four teams in the league now. The afc can’t play defense, maybe besides the patriots. This division has the best defenses in the nfl.

  62. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 5, 2014 12:40 PM

    felt bad for Cards last year..

    last year Cards were better than ANY team in the AFC yet did not even make the playoffs.. think about that!

  63. soldyou says: Jul 5, 2014 12:43 PM

    Toughest division the NFL.

    Every team has a soild defense.

  64. pksoze says: Jul 5, 2014 1:33 PM

    I thought the Cards had the meanest defense in the NFL last year, if that defense plays as well and Palmer plays better, that is a SB team.

  65. luz56 says: Jul 5, 2014 2:29 PM

    AZ Cards fan here… Love the changes and year two into the system…the O is much stronger… Palmer is a VG QB in the right system and protection and he has that.. Yes INTs will still be an issue but he has weapons… Ellington Fitz Flyod Ginn and Brown.. Yes losing DWas and Dansby are bad but Acho and Alexander are back with an upgrade at S and Minter…

    St Louis will be the team to best in 2015 bank on it!

  66. derrickwatson2014 says: Jul 5, 2014 2:51 PM

    Really…. The Cards? Do you truly believe that Palmer can carry these guys… the game in which they won against Seattle. Carson Palmer threw 4 interceptions… Seattle did not have their top 2 recievers, 2 Starting DL, their OLB, and Seattle’s OL was decimated by injury…. If Palmer throws 4 INTs in any other game against the Hawks it’s a blow out… ask Peyton… These guys got throttled in Arizona against the Hawks and never did beat the 9ers and the rams looked like a real team against them… there is no way these guys get better than 10 wins and again that will not be enough… maybe if they can keep the team together for another 2 years or so

  67. radar8 says: Jul 5, 2014 5:27 PM

    tacomatiger says:
    Jul 4, 2014 7:57 PM

    They got lucky in seattle last year
    ———————————————

    No luck was involved. They brought it. Expect that from more teams this year.

  68. radar8 says: Jul 5, 2014 5:38 PM

    silverandblack052099 says:
    Jul 5, 2014 3:21 AM

    There is always a little bit of luck involved for every team the wins the Super Bowl.

    ———————————————————-

    In order to win a Super bowl, a team has to be:

    Good
    AND
    Lucky

    You need both. Good is not good ehough.

  69. palatypus says: Jul 5, 2014 5:39 PM

    2014 Russell Wilson will be better than 2005 Carson Palmer.

  70. 4d9erdynasty says: Jul 5, 2014 10:50 PM

    This division is crazy good. Let the best team represent the NFC west.

  71. ckruszka says: Jul 5, 2014 11:14 PM

    No team with the exception of the Pats has repeated any back to back SB’s in the last decade. With that being said, niners won’t make it, neither will the seahacks. No-one can predict who will be in the SB BEFORE the season starts.

    A season has many variables such as injuries and other happenings that can’t be predicted. Sorry.

  72. omeimontis says: Jul 6, 2014 12:40 AM

    The Cardinals can help out the 49ers by beating the Seahawks twice in 2014.

  73. 12hawksfan1976 says: Jul 6, 2014 12:50 AM

    Cards celebrate a Week 16 win like it’s their Super Bowl. They hope you forget the ‘Hawks mauled them on Thurs. Night Football at home on National TV and put a historic 58-0 BEATDOWN on them in Dec. 2012.

    Celebrate Week 16 wins, Cards. ‘Hawks are happy with a shiny new Lombardi.

  74. ancienthawkfan says: Jul 6, 2014 4:14 AM

    Hawks D will be even better this year as will the O. OL will finally become a cohesive group AND stay healthy. Harvin, Richardson, Baldwin and Kearse will make us not miss Tate one bit. Wilson will run less, throw a bit more and the league will be introduced to Michael, who will become a weapon this year and a force next. Hawks will have speed everywhere and will be a tough matchup for everyone on both sides of the ball. Lots of names that are not known nationally will play key roles and make names for themselves. If the OL can and the injuries the Hawks will win a VERY tough division on their way to a second SB appearance.

  75. ronfai says: Jul 6, 2014 5:56 AM

    Cardinals have been streaky for last 3 seasons. They’d best put together a longer, more meaningful stretch if they want to win division. They aren’t a complete team yet. Their D is good but not dominant and Palmer gives it up too many times.

  76. bigragu1 says: Jul 6, 2014 11:22 AM

    Good luck with that Fitz

  77. eacuna05 says: Jul 6, 2014 5:30 PM

    Without two near-chokes in STL, and one vs. TB at home, this is SF’s division for the 3rd straight time.

    The Niners are the team to beat in the NFCW, as their 5-1 division record compared to SEA 4-2 div. record would suggest.

  78. beltramiscott says: Jul 7, 2014 11:52 PM

    I am a cardinal fan and I do respect the three other teams in our division. All very tough. All very talented. We have adds and losses to our team, two losses were very hurtful. However our adds were much better than our losses, we are a much better team than last year. When Seattle’s coach said after the game in Seattle “this is not the same team we played earlier in the year”. We are better than that right now. If you want to hate Palmer, go ahead. I am very glad we have him, and fitz and floyd and ginn and brown. We will win the west. This is our year, it is to bad both of the old ILB will miss it to. our new ILB will be just fine, we have great coaching, we have a great secondary. A great d-line, the best in football.

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