“About four years ago, I might have been pouting on the sidelines,” the wide receiver said, with the knowledge he didn’t get a reception Saturday night against the Cowboys until just over a minute remained in the game.
But then Fitzgerald got one to extend his streak to 101 straight, and it was a doozy – a 26-yarder on fourth-and-15 that sparked the Cards’ game-winning drive in the 27-26 win. And it was enough.
“I really wasn’t too frustrated, honestly,” Fitzgerald said, although it’d be hard to believe otherwise if the Cardinals hadn’t rallied to win. “I wish I would have been able to have more impact in the game, but you never know when your number is going to be called.”
“He wants the ball,” Skelton said. “He wants to be the guy that we’re targeting. Any game-changer is going to feel that way.”
Skelton emphasized Fitzgerald isn’t one to complain and Fitzgerald said “that’s not my style.” The Cowboys often used safety help over the top of coverage to limit Fitzgerald, but coach Ken Whisenhunt said ultimately, “our quarterback just didn’t connect with him.”
On the lone reception, Fitzgerald still gained enough yards to put him over 1,000 yards for a fifth season (1,012) to tie Anquan Boldin for the most 1,000-yard receiving seasons in franchise history. Without it, the Cardinals wouldn’t have won.
“To be able to come and win a game in that fashion against America’s Team on Christmas, you can’t ask for a better setting,” Fitzgerald said with a smile.
The Cardinals’ amazing run of return touchdowns this season grew when both starting cornerbacks,
The Cardinals now have 12 returns for touchdowns this season, one shy of Seattle’s 2003 NFL record.
“Thank goodness we’ve done something good this year,” Whisenhunt said.
It was the first time a team had two interception returns in the first quarter of a game since Andy Katzenmoyer and Ty Law did it for the Patriots against the Dolphins in 1999.
“Everybody is trying to make plays,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “When we’re in practice, when somebody gets a pick or picks up a fumble, we always escort the man into the end zone. That’s really paid off.”
Roberts had five catches for 110 yards, including a 74-yard bomb for a touchdown from Skelton that was the Cards’ longest TD pass since
“I think a lot of the young guys, even John and
The TD pass was Skelton’s first as a pro.
Cardinals defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson was taken to the hospital before the game after he fainted while driving down the ramp into the coaches and players parking lot, his car hitting a cement barrier. Henderson was conscious when he was taken away. Assistant defensive backs coach Rick Courtright said he was planning on visiting Henderson as he was leaving the locker room.
The only reported injury was linebacker O’Brien Schofield, who came out after hurting his groin. Schofield returned, however, and notched his first NFL sack later in the game.