Similarities abound between Larry Fitzgerald's 2008 playoff run and the one that Cooper Kupp just completed. Without the benefit of a playoff bye, both notched four postseason games ending with a Super Bowl appearance. Both were January-dominant and lit up the biggest stage of all with a ring at stake.
But for Fitzgerald, the postseason Kupp delivered bested his own.
"I got memories, he's got hardware," Fitzgerald said, per the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers.
Fitzgerald, of course, is referencing the Arizona Cardinals' 27-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. He burned the Steelers for 127 receiving yards on seven catches, including a pair of touchdowns, on what was a 377-yard night for quarterback Kurt Warner. Kupp caught eight for 92 with a pair of scores himself, including the game-winner with under two minutes remaining. He won the MVP, while Fitzgerald had to watch a counterpart, Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes, take the SB XLIII MVP.
Apart from the outcome, however, it's hard to top what either did on the path to get there.
Fitzgerald caught seven touchdown passes in the playoffs that year, the most for a single postseason in NFL history, per NFL Research. Kupp tied Jerry Rice for second place with six. Kupp's 478 receiving yards in the playoffs rank second all-time as well, behind -- guess who? -- Fitzgerald's 546. Most catches in a playoff run? Kupp's 33 broke the mark, just three more than Fitzgerald.
Both players, of course, were utterly dominant in the respective regular seasons, as well. Fitzgerald's 1,431 yards were his career-high in an All-Pro campaign, and he led the league with 12 TD catches. Kupp took the rare triple crown, leading the NFL in all three categories (145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards, 16 TDs) in a 17-game season.
It's a fine tip of the cap from the ever-classy Fitzgerald, a future Hall of Famer who spent all 17 of his NFL seasons with the Cardinals.
He certainly could have gone on a championship chase and signed with some teams more Super Bowl-ready than his own; Arizona made the playoffs just four times in his 17 years.
For one glorious playoff run, however, there were none better than Fitzgerald -- at least until now.