Larry Fitzgerald's TD catch against the Cardinals.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Larry Fitzgerald’s great game-winning overtime touchdown catch in traffic for the Arizona Cardinals Sunday was that it wouldn’t have even happened with a different ruling on an even more spectacular catch a few plays earlier. The Cardinals’ home game against the San Francisco 49ers went to overtime at 12-12 thanks to kickers Robbie Gould (San Francisco) and Phil Dawson (Arizona) each going four-for-four in regulation, and after the 49ers’ overtime-opening drive stalled at the Cardinals’ five, Gould made it five-for-five with a 23-yard chip shot. That left Arizona needing a field goal to tie or a touchdown to win, and after Carson Palmer led a drive to the San Francisco 25, the Cardinals almost got the latter thanks to a crazy tip-drill catch from John Brown:

That was called incomplete on the field, though, and that ruling was upheld by the replay booth. It was definitely a close one, and it appears to have been decided by the on-field call going the 49ers’ way and the lack of conclusive evidence to overturn it. But if Arizona had wound up losing or settling for a tie, their fans would have had a decent gripe. Fortunately for them, that didn’t happen, with Fitzgerald making a tough end-zone catch in coverage four plays later:

That’s a remarkable catch by Fitzgerald, and one that helped minimize what otherwise would likely have been a whole lot of complaining about the officiating. It got the 1-3 Cardinals their first win of the year, and it helped overshadow an otherwise-lackluster performance from the Arizona offense. Now, it’s just those fantasy owners who have Brown rather than Fitzgerald who have a gripe.

[Matt Clapp on Clippit]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.