GLENDALE, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald heard the report about this being his last season and quickly swatted it down.
“I don’t talk about my future,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m have for dinner tonight, let along what I’m doing next year.”
There’s no reason to look that far ahead. He’s too busy still playing well right now.
Looking 23 not 33, Fitzgerald was at his sure-handed best against the New England Patriots on Sunday night to kick off his 13th NFL season. He caught balls in traffic with ease, shed tacklers to add yards after the catch and made the spectacular look routine.
By the end of the night, it wasn’t enough.
Despite Fitz being Fitz, the Cardinals opened the season with a 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night after Chandler Catanzaro missed a 47-yard field goal in the final minute.
“We had it going a little bit, but nothing sustained,” Fitzgerald said. “We have to find a way to be able to get it going and maintain the positive drives to be able to score.”
Fitzgerald got one task out of the way quickly, snaring a pass on Arizona’s opening drive to extend his NFL-record streak to 180 games with a catch. He reached for the pylon on a 3-yard pass from Carson Palmer in the second quarter, moving into a tie for 10th on the NFL’s all-time receiving touchdowns list.
Fitzgerald lit up the highlight reels with an over-the-shoulder 1-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter for his 100th TD reception. That moved him into a tie with Steve Largent and Tim Brown for eighth all-time , four behind Antonio Gates for seventh.
“That’s the GOAT right there,” Cardinals tackle D.J. Humphries said. “He’s always going to show up.”
Fitzgerald also was key in getting the Cardinals into position for a potential game-winning kick, catching three passes for 46 yards on Arizona’s final drive.
He finished with eight catches for 81 yards, but had to watch from the sideline as the final play unfolded.
It came in the form of a wide-left field goal by Catanzaro after a low-and-wide snap by new long snapper Kameron Canaday.
More history, more great plays, but still one frustrating loss.
“Obviously, we would have loved to be able to get down and score a touchdown, but we weren’t able to do that,” Fitzgerald said. “That ended up costing us the game.”