Larry Fitzgerald recounts Cardinals’ OT playoff win vs. Packers, big plays
There was symmetry and nostalgia brewing on Thursday night.
For the 400th episode of the Big Red Rage on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, a special guest was required, and there is no one more special on the Arizona Cardinals’ roster than Larry Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald made his 11th appearance on the show, a fitting mark for No. 11.
With the Green Bay Packers as the Cardinals’ next opponent, Fitzgerald looked back at the 2015 NFC Divisional Round game against the Packers when Fitzgerald had two of the most memorable plays in franchise history.
Those two plays, of course, came right after one of the most remarkable comebacks when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed two deep throws, including a Hail Mary, as time expired to tie the game.
Fitzgerald jokingly referred to former Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel, who was covering Packers receiver Jeff Janis on the first completion.
“That particular moment — it was like a roller coaster,” Fitzgerald said. “So at the end of regulation you’re like, ‘Two Hail Marys? Two Hail Marys? Are you kidding … [Justin] Bethel, what are you doing on the first one? Smack that ball down on the second one.’
“So you’re just so dejected and Aaron [Rodgers] just did this so I’m going up to the coin toss and I’m like, ‘Please lord just let us win this coin toss because we can’t go into overtime after he just did that,’ so we got fortunate.”
Next came Fitzgerald’s long reception where quarterback Carson Palmer infamously scrambled through the pocket to find him wide open on the left side of the field with no Packers defender even close.
“We were able to win the coin toss and [Bruce Arians] came right over to me and said, ‘Look Larry, this is what we want to run.’ I was like, ‘Cool coach, let’s run for it,’ and I started running like, nobody’s with me, and I was like, ‘Huh. That’s cool. I like that. I know I’m never running free, but I’ll take it,'” Fitzgerald said.
That game went in the Cardinals’ favor after a big play by Fitzgerald.
The same cannot be said for his go-ahead touchdown catch in Super Bowl XLIII against the Pittsburgh Steelers with 2:37 left to put the Cardinals up three points.
When asked if he has any regrets over his career, that Super Bowl comes to mind.
“I would only change one thing,” he said. “I would have fell down at the 5 (-yard line) in 2009, not scored that 64-yard touchdown, and milked the clock a little bit and then scored a little bit later in the game.”
In the end, though, the Steelers had time to answer with their own touchdown to win the game.
“We gave Big Ben [Roethlisberger] too much time,” Fitzgerald said.