Fitzgerald's sagging numbers need a boost

November, 24, 2012
11/24/12
2:33
PM ET
Larry Fitzgerald's franchise-record streak with at least one reception lives at 127 games.

It lives following a one-catch, 4-yard game against New England in Week 2 and a one-catch, 11-yard game against Atlanta last week.

It lives, but it's not flourishing the way it has in the past.

Fitzgerald, with 52 catches for 596 yards and four touchdowns this season, is on pace for 83 receptions. That would be up from 80 last season, but that increase would not be a satisfying one.

Fitzgerald is on pace for 953.6 yards this season. That would be his lowest total since he had 946 yards in 13 games during the 2006 season. His average for yards per game has fallen to 59.6 this season, down from 88.2 last season and down from 81.8 for the 2005 through 2011 seasons.

Shaky quarterback play would seem to explain the drop, but Fitzgerald caught 90 passes for 1,137 yards in 2010, when Arizona posted a lower Total QBR score (23.9) than its current one for 2012 (27.7). Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall weren't better that season than Kevin Kolb, Skelton and Ryan Lindley have been this season.

Fitzgerald has possibly been easier to defend in the absence of a stronger running game. Arizona, playing much of the season without top backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams, hasn't threatened defenses as consistently on the ground. LaRod Stephens-Howling has posted two 100-yard rushing games recently, but his presence presumably did not force coverage away from Fitzgerald.

Perhaps Fitzgerald can get going against St. Louis on Sunday. He caught eight passes for 92 yards against the Rams in Week 5. That was the fourth-highest total for receiving yardage against the Rams this season. Rob Gronkowski (146), Jordy Nelson (122) and Calvin Johnson (111) had more.

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