Chants of 'LAR-RY, LAR-RY' mark Arizona's comeback win
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals were winning. The crowd was chanting "LAR-RY, LAR-RY!"
For a few noisy minutes, it was just like the good old days in Glendale.
Forget that this was a game between teams with two of the worst records in the NFL, Arizona's come-from-behind 18-15 victory over San Francisco was reason for celebration, the first win at home for first-year coach Steve Wilks.
"It was great," Larry Fitzgerald said. "Anytime you can beat the 49ers, for me, that's the biggest win in our division."
Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 102 yards. He was especially effective in the fourth quarter, catching four for 81 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown catch . He also caught a two-point conversion pass after Josh Rosen's game-winning 9-yard TD pass to fellow rookie Christian Kirk with 34 seconds to play.
The Cardinals (2-6) beat the 49ers (1-7) for the eighth time in a row and second time in three weeks.
"Defensively, guys are putting their best foot forward and playing as hard as they can," 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said. "We're playing against other NFL guys. We're playing against a Hall of Fame receiver in Larry and he made some plays down the stretch. We've got to find a way to make more plays."
Here are some things to consider from Arizona's comeback win over San Francisco.
Fitzgerald caught four passes for 81 yards in the final quarter, including a 13-yard TD catch. He also caught a two-point conversion pass after the game-winning TD, spiking the ball afterward, something he said he's never done before in his 15 NFL seasons.
"Larry normally hands off the ball to the ref," Arizona safety Antoine Bethea said, "but getting our second win, first at home, everybody's excited."
Fitzgerald joked that he was extra upset because his oldest son had decided to go to the state fair instead of the game.
State Farm Stadium was far from full, but it shook from the "LAR-RY, LAR-RY" chants.
Fitzgerald's 112th career TD catch moved him ahead of Tony Gonzalez into seventh on the NFL career list.
Arizona's offense didn't exactly light it up under new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, but there were signs about the direction he wants to take the team.
Leftwich took over play calling duties following the firing of Mike McCoy last week, in the wake of Arizona's 45-10 home loss to Denver.
"I thought we did a great job," Wilks said. "Byron had us into a rhythm. As you can see, the operations were great from a standpoint of just getting a play in, being able to get to the line of scrimmage, and ID-ing the defense and linebacker was outstanding."
Rosen said there wasn't time to make a lot of changes to the offense but cited Leftwich's demeanor.
"I think he has really good timing with a lot of his play calls," Rosen said. "He's got really good poise."
San Francisco entered the game with the No. 2 rushing offense in the NFL but the 49ers had trouble moving it on the ground most of the day.
San Francisco had 107 yards rushing, averaging just 3.5 yards per attempt.
Arizona surprised the 49ers by sticking with a 4-3 base defense most of the time after usually going with a "nickel" scheme all season.
"We hadn't seen any base all year from them," 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard said, "it was all nickel going into it, even last game we played them."
Rosen was coming off a difficult game against Denver, when he threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball away twice.
And he had a difficult first half against San Francisco. He caused a safety when he was called for intentional grounding from the end zone and threw an interception that set up a 49er field goal.
But he was poised when his team needed it most in those two late TD drives.
"Josh is not fazed by things like getting hit and bad plays," Fitzgerald said. "His emotions never waver. He doesn't get high, he doesn't get low. He always stays even-keeled. That's a great disposition to have as a quarterback because there are going to be bad plays."
While Arizona is off this coming week, the 49ers are headed for a quick turnaround. They will host Oakland on Thursday night.
"Season's not ending," San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said. "We're not going to sit here and run away. I want guys who are going to come out and fight, and I thought our guys did fight today. We just didn't do it well enough."
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