First call: Larry Fitzgerald throws a TD pass; Aaron Donald sets sack record
In Monday’s “First Call,” the Hartford Whalers are reborn! Larry Fitzgerald throws a TD. And a kicker channels his inner Mike Singletary.
Did you know he could throw?
It may be a little late in his career to go down this path. But Pitt product Larry Fitzgerald is trying to lay claim to being the best Panther alum to play quarterback in the NFL.
Aside from Dan Marino. Maybe.
Check out this throw from Larry Fitz on a trick play by the Cardinals.
Larry Fitzgerald touchdown ̶c̶a̶t̶c̶h̶ throw
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 23, 2018
That was for 75 yards to David Johnson. It was his first touchdown pass in the league. It was the 10th by a non-quarterback in 2018. That’s the most in the NFL since 2002.
What are your thoughts, Pam Oliver?
Larry Fitzgerald's Pass TD was the 10th this season by a non-quarterback.
That's the most Pass TD by non-QB in a season since 2002 (10). pic.twitter.com/SksxhMDsA9
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 23, 2018
And afterwards, Fitzgerald caught up with another former Pitt superstar.
Larry Fitzgerald snuck Pam Oliver a hit of the smelling salts pic.twitter.com/RXRMe7reBv
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) December 23, 2018
I don’t know if Donald can throw a TD. But a goal line run or two sounds good to me.
Donald also set a record — of sorts — in the game. His 18 1⁄2 sacks are a record for a defensive tackle.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 24, 2018
How about the style points, though?
Remember when I bestowed DeAndre Hopkins with the “Best Catch of the Year That Didn’t Count” award back in October for this gem against the Dolphins?
IN THE HISTORY BOOKS!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 23, 2018
Perhaps, I was premature. Check out Deontay Burnett of the Jets against Green Bay.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 26, 2018
Nah. Burnett still wins. But at least Hopkins stayed in bounds and completed the catch. It was just wiped out by an offensive pass interference call.
Actually, after this play in New Orleans, I might put Antonio Brown in second place.
— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 2018
Baker being Baker toward Hue
Sunday was the second time this year that the Browns played the Bengals with former Cleveland coach Hue Jackson on the Cincinnati sideline. Baker Mayfield wasn’t exactly warm toward Jackson last time.
And he took some guff for it. Mayfield was unapologetic, though. I guess Mayfield wasn’t fond of ol’ Hue as a head coach and doesn’t like the fact that he went to Cincy after he was fired this season.
Out of bounds but still incredible, @AB84
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 23, 2018
Mayfield continued rubbing Jackson’s nose in it with this stare down yesterday after a 66-yard completion to David Njoku in the final minutes of the game. Cleveland won 26-18.
Baker Mayfield was not a fan of Hue Jackson going to coach the divison-rival Bengals. pic.twitter.com/uvTblVZdo8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 25, 2018
Mayfield gave a typically smug non-answer answer after the game when asked about the stare down.
“That’s all right. We won. David did not score on that play,” the rookie QB said.
OK. Not sure how that’s an answer to anything. But, whatever. Beat Baltimore.
Hit of the year?
I know the NFL tries to flag every hard hit these days. Even if the hits appear legal. But you can’t do that to a kicker.
Atlanta’s Matt Bosher is glad they didn’t.
Baker Mayfield stared down Hue for 30 mins lmao pic.twitter.com/I8EKQss5Oj
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 23, 2018
For the record, Bosher is 6-foot, 208 pounds. Kenjon Barner, the Carolina return man, is 3 inches shorter and 13 pounds lighter.
What in the name of Kevin Dineen is going on?
As a misplaced Penguins fan growing up in Connecticut, my first chances to see Mario Lemieux were in the Hartford Civic Center.
The dearly departed Whalers were our state’s only pro team. Sports fans — those who weren’t wise enough to root for Pittsburgh teams as my family did — glommed onto the New York or Boston clubs.
So, it brought a tear to my eye to see the return of the mighty Whalers jerseys yesterday in Carolina against the Bruins. That’s where the franchise moved before the 1997-98 season.
THIS MAN HAS A FAMILY, MATT BOSHER. pic.twitter.com/LUE2ny9zJz
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 23, 2018
After goals, the Hurricanes Jumbotron even played the Whalers famous Brass Bonanza goal song.
Scoring in style 🐳 pic.twitter.com/CZribPY4xH
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) December 23, 2018
The only thing that wasn’t like a Whalers game … is that the new Whalers won 5-3.