Numbers Game: Larry and the Rookies

Numbers game, Tremaine Hill

The Rookie in Charge

The Red Headed Bandit is stealing the hearts of the Cincinnati Bengals faithful, and they have good reason to be excited about the Rookie Gun Slinger. Andy Dalton has steadily been putting up some impressive numbers and is leading the Bengals on a valiant charge towards the AFC North title.  Along the way he’s been making some stops in the Cincinnati and NFL Record Books. In last week’s defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Andy Dalton (1,866) surpassed Greg Cook (1,854) for most rookie passing yards in a single season by a Bengals rookie passer.  He then joined Jim Plunkett and Dan Marino for the most TD passes by a rookie in a team’s first 9 games with 14. Currently Dalton is on pace to throw for 3,317 passing yards which would make him the 4th rookie in NFL history to throw for 3,300 plus yards in a single season (though Cam Newton may make him the 5th), joining a list with two former 1st overall draft picks:

Player Rookie Season Passing Yards
Peyton Manning 1998 3,739
Sam Bradford 2010 3,512
Matt Ryan 2008 3,440
Andy Dalton 2011 3,317*

*Projected

In Range of History

Let’s call him Mr. Consistent, cause in his 8 year career that’s all Larry Fitzgerald has been on the field.  His route running and hands are second only to the greatest wide receiver to play the game, Jerry Rice, in my opinion.  What’s not just my opinion is that Larry Fitzgerald has just about every Cardinals receiving record, and this Sunday he’ll join a prestigious list in the NFL Record Books. For his career Fitzgerald has 8,996 receiving yards, and when the Cardinals face the 49ers on Sunday, Fitzgerald will be 28 years, 81 days old.  Why do his career receiving numbers and Birthday mean anything?  Because Fitzgerald needs only 4 receiving yards to become the second youngest player in NFL History to reach 9,000 career receiving yards.  Only a man by the name of Randy Moss was younger (27 years, 310 days). Here is the company he will join if and when he surpasses that 9,000 yard mark:

Youngest Players to 9,000 Career Receiving Yards

Player Age
Randy Moss 27 years, 310 days old
Larry Fitzgerald 28 years, 81 days old
Jerry Rice 29 years, 71 days old
Andre Johnson 29 years, 155 days old
Torry Holt 29 years, 175 days old
Isaac Bruce 30 years, 8 days old

Tremaine Hill is the lead Researcher for NFL Playbook.  Watch NFL Playbook: Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm ET only on NFL Network.

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