Fitzgerald disappears in Cards' loss to Seattle - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Fitzgerald disappears in Cards' loss to Seattle

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Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011 6:50 pm | Updated: 9:07 pm, Sun Sep 25, 2011.

(AP) — For much of the first half, it was typical Larry Fitzgerald tormenting the Seattle secondary.

And then he was gone. Poof. Seemingly given the role of decoy rather than All-Pro.

It was an odd disappearing act for Arizona's star. But he wasn't alone. Most of the Cardinals' offense was off on Sunday.

"I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed in myself. I'm disappointed in our offense," Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb said. "Our defense played great, I thought. Special teams played good, put us in good position. But offensively ... I was not very good today."

Kolb and Fitzgerald connected on a spectacular 12-yard touchdown in the first half, but Arizona couldn't overcome Tarvaris Jackson's 11-yard TD run in that gave Seattle the lead, falling to the Seahawks 13-10.

It's not that Arizona (1-2) was without chances. There were plenty and that's what will sting for the Cardinals, who now have two losses by a combined four points. After Jackson's touchdown run early in the third quarter, Arizona had six possessions with a chance to pull even or take the lead.

The Cardinals couldn't convert on any of those chances. Their best chance came with less than 2 minutes remaining, but Kolb was intercepted by Seattle safety Kam Chancellor while trying to hit Todd Heap down the middle of the field.

Kolb finished 25 of 39 for 252 yards and two interceptions.

"There were a couple miscommunications, but that happens sometimes. Obviously, we need to clean that up," Fitzgerald said. "This is a tough place to play. You have to tip your hat to Seattle. They played very hard, they played strong. They had a good defensive scheme, they got some pressure on us. They caused us some commotion back there. We have to do a better job executing. That's the basic point."

Fitzgerald finished with five catches for 64 yards, all in the first half. His TD reception gave him the franchise record for most in Cardinals history with 67. It will go on Fitzgerald's career highlights reel as he leaped over Seattle safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Brandon Browner to haul in the pass as Kolb backpedaled away from pressure.

But that was it. His last catch came on a quick screen with 2:49 left in the second quarter and he was immediately cut down by Marcus Trufant for no gain.

According to STATS LLC, it was just the eighth time in Fitzgerald's entire career he was shut out in the second half.

He was targeted just twice over the final 32 minutes. One pass resulted in Trufant being flagged for pass interference on fourth-and-1 from the Seattle 40 with 1:57 left. Three plays later, Kolb tried hitting Heap and Chancellor jumped the route, picking off the pass at the Seattle 25 with 1:04 left.

"(Seattle) coach (Pete) Carroll always puts together good schemes. Even last year when we played against him. He makes things difficult for our offense to move the ball," Fitzgerald said.

Jackson went through a day when Seattle's fickle fans alternated among cheers, boos and chants for backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. They were all screaming when Jackson bullied his way in for the go-ahead TD run in the third quarter running over Arizona safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes at the goal line.

Yet they were back to booing Jackson minutes later when the Seahawks (1-2) bumbled a third-down snap and nearly fumbled deep in their own end.

Jackson's play and numbers weren't spectacular. He was 18 of 31 for 171 yards. But his only turnover came on a desperation throw at the end of the first half, and Jackson made an immediate connection with old friend Sidney Rice, making his Seattle debut.

Rice helped Seattle's offense as a whole. He had eight catches for 109 yards after missing the first two games with an injured shoulder. Rice's presence also made it easier for the Seahawks to run. Seattle finished with 122 yards rushing after gaining just 95 combined in the first two weeks.

Marshawn Lynch finished with 73 yards on 19 carries.

Arizona's run game had to revert to fourth-string back Alfonso Smith after Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling were both inactive with injuries.

Chester Taylor got the start but was mostly ineffective, and the Cardinals turned to Smith in the second quarter when Arizona quickened the pace on offense. Smith finished with 54 yards on 17 carries.

Jay Feely also missed a pair of field goal attempts for Arizona, from 51 yards in the first quarter with the wind at his back and coming up well short from 49 yards in the fourth quarter kicking into the swirling breeze. He's now missed five career kicks in Seattle, including three memorable misses while playing for the New York Giants.

"Obviously they're difficult kicks, but they're kicks I expect to make. I didn't think I hit them poorly, but obviously I didn't get the result I wanted," Feely said. "Frustration when you don't make plays when you have an opportunity to win games. From my perspective, when you have an opportunity to come through for your team and you don't, probably nothing worse in team sports."

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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