TEMPE, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald won’t be getting the keys to the city of Philadelphia any time soon. Philly’s battery throwing, Santa booing fans would probably prefer to lock him up in a holding room like the one the franchise installed at old Veterans Stadium for especially unruly fans.
That might be the only way to keep Fitz from doing what he does every time he faces the Eagles: dominating.
Fitzgerald has at least one TD reception in all seven career games against the Eagles (including postseason) and multiple TD receptions in three of those seven games.
In those seven games, Fitzgerald has 47 receptions for 802 yards and 11 TDs. In NFL history, only Bobby Mitchell (14 TDs in 22 games) and Charley Taylor (14 TDs in 20 games) have more receiving TDs against the Eagles.
Even when he was having a down year last season when he racked up his lowest receiving yard total (784) since his rookie season and the fewest TD catches (2) in his career, Fitzgerald still caught seven passes for 160 yards against the Eagles in Week 8, including a career-long 80-yard TD reception in the third quarter of a 24-20 win.
Fitzgerald wanted no part of this story when asked why he owns Philadelphia. Part of being a savvy veteran includes knowing not to provide the opposition with bulletin board material.
“I have no idea, honestly,” he said. “It’s just football. Sometimes things open for you; sometimes they don’t. It’s a great opportunity for our ball club. I look at it that way.”
While others are focused on Fitzgerald’s eye-popping stats, the number Fitzgerald is focused on is 12, as in 12 wins. With a win on Sunday night in Philadelphia, the Cardinals would reach that total for the first time in franchise history.
“Not only that, but what the 12th win could possibly imply for us as a team,” he said. “It’s a great number, one that will be special to be able to get and to be able to do it in a game where we could clinch our division — what more could you ask for?”
The Cardinals have not won the NFC West since 2009; Kurt Warner’s final season. With a Green Bay loss on Sunday in Oakland, the Cardinals could also clinch a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. If Fitz can produce another effort like he does every time he faces the Eagles, the Cardinals could enjoy another lengthy rest on the heels of this 10-day break.
Fitzgerald attended Valley Forge Military Academy in nearby Wayne, Pennsylvania, so playing in Philly feels like a homecoming just as much as games in his home state of Minnesota.
“Seeing a lot of my former classmates there and teachers and coaches — it’s nice to go back there,” he said.
While some players admit that consistent success against certain opponents provides an additional boost of confidence, Fitzgerald said he needs no such motivation.
“Not at all,” he said. “My confidence is the same no matter who I’m playing against. I just approach it the same. There’s no difference.”
Fitz vs. Philly
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is no slouch against the rest of the NFL, but his numbers against the Eagles are impressive.
Date Receptions Yards Touchdowns Oct. 26, 2014 7 160 1 Dec. 1, 2013 5 72 1 Sept. 23, 2012 9 114 1 Nov. 13, 2011 7 146 2 Jan. 18, 2009* 9 152 3 Nov. 27, 2008 5 65 2 Dec. 24, 2005 5 93 1 Totals 47 802 11 Average 6.7 114.6 1.6
*2008 NFC Championship Game