Around the NFC West: No fumbled chances

Around the NFC West: Oct. 26, 2012

Larry Fitzgerald has dropped only two passes in 218 targets since the start of the 2011 seasons.

That is impressive, but it also comes as little surprise.

It's news in the NFC West whenever Fitzgerald drops a ball, so when it happened during a Week 5 game against the St. Louis Rams, reports noted that the Arizona Cardinals receiver had gone 159 targets without one.

Here's a lesser-known note on Fitzgerald: He hasn't fumbled in a regular-season game since 2008.

Fitzgerald has made 337 receptions without fumbling since Josh Wilson, then with Seattle, forced the ball loose following a 21-yard Fitzgerald reception in the third quarter of a Nov. 16, 2008 road game against the Seahawks. Cardinals teammate Anquan Boldin recovered that fumble.

Arizona hasn't lost possession on a Fitzgerald fumble since it happened three times during a four-game period in 2007.

Of the 33 players with at least 200 receptions since 2009, Fitzgerald is the only wide receiver without a fumble. Tight ends Tony Gonzalez and Brent Celek also have no fumbles and 200-plus catches during that span.

The San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree is the only receiver besides Fitzgerald with at least 200 catches since 2009 and fewer than two fumbles.

The players with the most -- Davone Bess has 14 fumbles during that span, for example -- tend to be return specialists.

Note: The fact that I'm acknowledging the potential jinx factor in this sentence absolves me from any blame if Fitzgerald or Crabtree suddenly start coughing up the football.