CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Norman opened the week of hype for his NFC Championship Game showdown against Larry Fitzgerald with respect — if not a shot at his opponent’s age.
“The guy is crafty,” the Panthers cornerback said on Sunday after his team held off the Seahawks, 31-24, and advanced to the doorstep of Super Bowl 50. “What’s the saying, the older you get the finer the wine?”
Fitzgerald certainly has shown that to be true. At 32 and after 12 NFL seasons, he’s still a dominating player as he exhibited against the Packers on Saturday night in Arizona’s divisional-round win. Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 176 yards, including a meandering 75-yarder that set up his 5-yard shovel-pass catch for the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
“The man is ballin’ and he’s doing it at a high level,” said Norman, the Pro Bowl cornerback who has routinely faced opposing teams’ top receiver and will almost certainly be charged with covering Fitzgerald. “You have to know that and understand that coming in here on Sunday, what he likes to do, and try stop it the best we can. We’re not going to stop everything, we know that. But the things he likes to do, we have to put the wraps on it.”