ARIZONA’S LARRY FITZGERALD IS STILL AN EAGLES KILLER
If you kook at the offensive stats the Arizona Cardinals have put up through the first four weeks of the season, you may get the impression the Eagles defense will not have all that much of a challenge when they face their NFC rival this Sunday at the Linc (1:00 P.M. FOX).
Cardinal’s quarterback Carson Palmer is 37 years old. He has thrown five interceptions this season already. His rushing game is the worst in the league and he is working with a patchwork offensive line.
One thing Palmer still has in his tool box that still comes through is future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
The 34-year-old can still get the job done. Fitzgerald caught the game-winning 19-yard touchdown pass in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers last week.
The 6-foot-3, 218 pounder is a certified Eagles Killer.
In eight career meetings–including playoffs — Fitzgerald has 50 catches for 845 yards (105.6 yards a game) an 11 touchdowns.
He is currently riding streak of 199 consecutive games with a reception, third longest in NFL history.
“He’s a great player, he has all the intangibles, he’s a Hall of Fame guy,” Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham said at his locker this week. “He does tremendous stuff, he does all kinds of dirty work for his team…blocking…he’s just a complete receiver. He’s definitely a guy you want to be part of your team. He’s one of those guys you know is going to work. He’s smart, fast, still strong…he hasn’t lost his stuff too much even though he’s been in the league a long time, I fell like I’ve been watching him since I was a little kid. He has done everything you’d expect to see from a guy who will get that gold jacket.”
Bradham said he and his teammates are getting ready for the onslaught.
“He’s one of the best and you have to be ready for him and try and take advantage of things we can take advantage of to keep him off schedule and try to keep the ball from going to him. “We’ve got some things we’re going totry and do.” We just got the game plan, so we’ll see what we’re going to do with him.”
The Eagles players all talked about putting pressure on the Cardinals offensive line, and Palmer, in an effort to stop Fitzgerald. But in the end, they all said their success would depend on their own discipline.
Defensive end Brandon Graham explained.
“We’ve got to trust the game plan,” Graham said. “We have to make sure we do our job the best we can. I always tell myself, I got ten other players out there, if I do my job right and trust everybody else is going to do their job, it will all work together.”
“That’s all we’ve got to worry about,” Graham continued. “Worry about us and not worry about what they do too much. We need to worry about our scheme, how we’re filling our gaps this weekend. We want to make sure we maximize that in practice so in the game, it’s just like practice.”
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii