The 5: Best images of Larry Fitzgerald’s TD catches, 15 years after his 1st

Oct 10, 2019, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:50 am
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates wide receiver Damiere Byrd scored ...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates wide receiver Damiere Byrd scored a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Fifteen years ago, it was the first of many.

As a 21-year-old rookie wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald caught his first touchdown pass of his career in an Oct. 10 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. In the fourth quarter, quarterback Josh McCown found Fitzgerald down the field on a 24-yard connection to give the rookie his first touchdown.

That season, Fitzgerald would go on to tally eight total touchdowns.

To date, he has 118 career touchdowns, including two this year. He ranks sixth in the all-time receiving touchdowns list.

Take a look back at some of Fitzgerald’s most memorable touchdowns of his career, in images:

2009 vs. Atlanta Falcons

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

While Fitzgerald has seemingly not lost his speed or athleticism, his leaping grabs like this one are in the past — or at least not as common since he’s shifted to playing more as an inside receiver.

Arizona’s NFC Wild Card round of the 2009 playoffs began with an aggression that would propel the upstart 9-7 team all the way to the Super Bowl. Quarterback Kurt Warner flung a 42-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald in the end zone off a flea-flicker play.

It had the Falcons’ Lawyer Milloy and Chris Houston throwing up their arms as they realized they’d been had.

That gave the Cardinals a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, a fine start to an eventual 30-24 victory.

2015 vs. Green Bay Packers

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) scores the game winning touchdown in overtime as Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels (76) defends during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 26-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A Green Bay Packers Hail Mary pushed last year’s NFC Divisional Round game into overtime, and just when it felt like the Cardinals had lost momentum, Fitz came to the rescue. His 75-yard catch-and-run play set up Arizona inside the 5-yard line, and a shovel pass from Carson Palmer allowed the receiver to finish what he started, giving the Cards a 26-20 victory.

Perhaps it wasn’t the most difficult of plays, but it did express just how much Fitzgerald has aged over time and showed more of the offensive creativity that has helped him build one of the best postseason careers for a receiver.

Fitzgerald closed with 176 receiving yards and a touchdown on eight receptions for the game.

2009 vs. Panthers

Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald (11) reaches the ball over the goal line for a touchdown as Carolina Panthers' Chris Harris (43) defends during the second quarter of an NFL divisional playoff football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The 2009 NFC Divisional Round game for the Cardinals wasn’t much of a contest.

Arizona would win 33-13 in Carolina as Fitzgerald rolled up 166 yards on eight catches. His one touchdown followed a first-quarter jump-ball catch in double coverage. OK, so that one was a better highlight package, but Fitzgerald’s diving touchdown at the pylon made for a pretty good image.

It was a good summation of the game, as the Cardinals went ahead 27-7 before the half.

2009 vs. Pittsburgh

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches a 1-yard touchdown pass in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, top, during the fourth quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Fitzgerald’s go-ahead touchdown with 2:37 left in the game may have been more iconic — and painful — for Arizona fans, in Super Bowl XLIII but his mid-fourth-quarter score that pulled the Cardinals within 20-14 made for the better still-shot.

At the 1-yard line, Kurt Warner threw a corner fade that Fitzgerald caught at its peak. However, Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor also got a mitt on the ball.

At this moment, it looked like there was too much going on for either to make a clean grab. But Taylor wasn’t able to do anything but lose grip as Fitzgerald’s hands gripped and shoulders ripped the football at an awkward angle as he came down for the touchdown.

2012 vs. Eagles

Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald (11) makes a jumping touchdown catch in front of Philadelphia Eagles' Nnamdi Asomugha in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There’s not much to say here. This was a 2012 regular-season game, and Arizona led 10-0 when quarterback Kevin Kolb hit Fitzgerald up the middle for a score in the second quarter. There is no grand storyline to this eventual 27-6 win, nothing that really stood out.

Except for the amazing Spanish radio call of Fitzgerald’s catch. And that this photo was repurposed in pencil by an artist on a YouTube timelapse.

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The 5: Best images of Larry Fitzgerald’s TD catches, 15 years after his 1st