Larry Fitzgerald sounds off on virtually non-existent home-field advantage
The empty stadiums zero fans have been a huge adjustment for everyone involved, but especially to NFL veterans like Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. His team has been off to a 2-1 start to begin the season after an opening game win against the San Francisco 49ers.
Fitzgerald, an 11-time Pro Bowler, alluded to the absence of fans as a key factor in their win at a supposed hostile territory like the Niners’ Levi’s Stadium:
“I would say the home-field advantage is definitely not the same,” he said, via SI.com. “We went to San Francisco. That place is usually really tough. They have a loyal fan base, they’re used to winning, they’ve had a lot of success and not having that added element makes it easy, especially as an offensive player in terms of the communication. The way we play with a lot of tempo, Kyler can look out literally and just tell you what you have. You can check something and communicate very easily to your teammates. ‘I got this guy, you got this guy,’ or you can hear the defense communicating when they’re talking, in and out or a bracket coverage. You can actually hear them talking to each other. OK, they’re playing zone or playing man,” Fitzgerald continued.
“You have a better understanding of what’s going on just because you can hear everything and not hear the crowd distracting you. So it’s a lot easier to play on the road thus far. We’ve only had one road game, but it definitely wasn’t nearly as challenging as it has been the last 16 years.”
Larry Fitzgerald remains a pivotal player in the Cardinals’ offense as he plays his 17th season in the league. He garnered 34 receiving yards on 4 receptions against the 49ers, tallied 50 receiving yards on 7 touches against the Washington Football Team, and contributed a reception in their first loss of the season against the Detroit Lions.
Despite his advancing age, Fitzgerald still attracts multiple defensive players which then opens up the aerial attack for fellow wideout DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals will have a chance to win more games if the veteran will continue to be a factor in their offensive rotation.
Fitzgerald and the rest of the team will be tested by the Carolina Panthers in a Week 4 matchup as they hope to get back on the winning track once again.