Larry Fitzgerald enjoyed being the chased, not the chaser.
HONOLULU–Larry Fitzgerald enjoyed being the chased, not the chaser.
In the Super Bowl, a goal-line pass intended for Fitzgerald was intercepted and returned by James Harrison a record 100 yards for a spectacular touchdown.
At the Pro Bowl, it was Fitzgerald scoring on a big play to end the half as Harrison watched.
A week ago, Fitzgerald caught a 64-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass late in the game, only to see Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger engineer a 78-yard winning drive.
This time around, Fitzgerald’s late go-ahead score Sunday held up in a 30-21 victory for the NFC.
In Hawaii, everything seemed to work in Fitz’s favor.
Fitzgerald caught five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns, 44-year-old John Carney kicked two fourth-quarter field goals and the NFC rallied to victory over the AFC. The Arizona Cardinals’ All- Pro receiver, coming off a record-breaking postseason and a spectacular Super Bowl in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, earned MVP honors.
But the victory over the AFC, which featured three members of the Steelers’ defense, didn’t seem to ease the pain from the Super Bowl.
“No, not one bit,” he said.
With the win, Fitzgerald and his NFC teammates earned $45,000. He also earned keys to a new Cadillac, along with his gleaming, silver MVP trophy.
However, he’d much rather have his million-dollar hands on the Lombardi Trophy.
“I’m just glad we won, that’s the most important thing,” he said.
Cardinals teammate Kurt Warner started for the NFC and played just one series before making way for Drew Brees. Warner was just 1-of-2 for 8 yards.
“I would’ve liked to have won last week and not this week if I could switch them out,” Warner said.
Fitzgerald caught a 46-yard scoring pass from Brees before the half and a 2-yard TD lob from Eli Manning for the go-ahead score with 4:07 to play.
The NFC defense took care of the rest.
Eli Manning, making his Pro Bowl debut, was 8-of-14 for 111 yards. While big brother Peyton had better stats, 12-of-17 for 151 yards and a TD, Eli got the win.
“He didn’t play the whole second half, so it’s not about beating my brother, it’s just about having fun,” Eli Manning said.
The Mannings were the first quarterback brothers in Pro Bowl history. And Carney, who was a perfect 3-for-3, became the oldest player in the game’s history. He booted a 48-yarder with 2:06 remaining to make it 27-21 and sealed the win with a 26-yarder with 32 seconds to go.
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