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Fitz Shows His Hands But Not Future, And Browns Aftermath

As the game wound down Sunday, the Browns tried an onside kick with little time or hope left in what was a 38-24 loss. The kick was tried, and who scooped it up? Larry Fitzgerald, who has always been, whether in Year 2 or Year 16 of his career, the best guy for the "hands" team a franchise could ask for. A future Hall of Famer covering it up, even after a game in which he made three catches for 42 yards on the opening drive and then didn't get a catch the rest of the way, and was rarely targeted.

This isn't to say that was wrong. I mean, the Cardinals clicked all day on offense. They ran for 226 yards. They punished the Steve Wilks-directed Browns defense. And they also tried to get Fitz a touchdown, on the final drive that ended with a field goal. The Browns came up with a defense to foil that one.

"I wanted him to get in the end zone that last play," running back Kenyan Drake said, adding "he's way bigger than the football player. His nickname, 'Larry Legend' fits well because he's just legendary in everything that he does."

No, no one knows if that was Fitz's last home game. He doesn't either. He doesn't really want to chat about it. "When it's over, it's over," he repeated. "I'm not going to lose any sleep. Everybody's replaceable. There will be another No. 11 here a couple of months after I leave. He might not be as handsome as I am though."

I'm good staying out of any Fitz-versus-whomever-handsome debates. But I'm feeling pretty confident there will not be another No. 11 with the Cards a couple of months after he leaves. I'm feeling pretty confident there won't be another No. 11 ever.

-- Whatever the reason, Patrick Peterson had a great game Sunday. Odell Beckham did little until the final (meaningless) drive, and Peterson had an interception, another that he couldn't quite get his second foot down that would've foiled that last drive, and two other near-misses. He also was a willing tackler. It's the Peterson the Cardinals need.

-- Chandler Jones, 15 sacks now. And he played pretty well against the run.

-- Kliff Kingsbury challenged the non-call of pass interference by Browns defensive back Damarious Randall on Christian Kirk in the end zone in the third quarter, on third-and-3 from the Browns 22. On review, it was flipped to pass interference – the second time Kingsbury has won such a challenge, after the Richard Sherman-on-Kirk play in San Francisco – to set up a Drake 1-yard TD.

"It looked obvious to us," Kingsbury said. Asked what the process was for someone watching the replay to tell him to challenge, Kingsbury added, "when it's that blatant, there's like eight people in my ear."

-- Kyler Murray was the best quarterback on the field Sunday. And when he ran the ball, he was a lot more willing to run in traffic rather than immediately sliding. I have to wonder if that wasn't somewhat Baker Mayfield-related. Murray wanted this one on a lot of levels.

-- Murray has 504 yards rushing this season, setting the franchise record in that category for a quarterback. Hall of Famer Charley Trippi had the previous record of 501.

-- Damiere Byrd's play was excellent – six catches for 86 yards – but what might've been more noteworthy was that Kingsbury said the Cardinals don't get him the ball enough. Something to keep in mind as we head into the offseason, and also interesting given that Byrd was inactive for a few games.

-- Kingsbury is going to bring up game-to-game, but it's clear (and been clear) Drake is the main running back. The question now is whether the Cardinals can re-sign him. He punted the question, saying he's about one game at a time, but you have to think the Cardinals want him around in 2020.

-- New tight end Dan Arnold had been turning heads in practice, and his touchdown Sunday aside, he was definitely someone the Cardinals will work with into the offseason to see what kind of role he could have in 2020. The 6-foot-6 Arnold and the 6-5 Hakeem Butler next year in red zone situations? That could be fun.

-- One other quick Fitz postgame note. As Fitz met the media in a tight scrum near his locker, and there was a question was how his father tweeted out pregame about how it might be Larry Fitzgerald Senior’s last game in Arizona – of course a reference to how Fitz Jr. might retire.

"He doesn't know anything," his son said. "We've talked about this for a long time. I speak for myself. If I have something to say, I'll say it myself. I don't share my personal information with anybody."

Meanwhile, about a foot away was Fitz's father, the long-time media member who was recording his son like any other reporter there, like they weren't related at all.

-- The Victory Monday the players got is often in name only – there aren't any meetings, but rare is the player who doesn't come in to work out or get some stuff done. That includes the rookie QB.

"I'll be busy, but it's nice to have it in the back pocket," Murray said with a smile.

Farewell to State Farm Stadium for another season. We'll be back for training camp soon enough.

WR larry Fitzgeral talks with QB Kyler Murray and WR Christian Kirk on the sideline of a 2019 game against the Browns

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