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First call: Saquon Barkley hits rookie milestone; taking 'tips' from Sidney Crosby



Updated 1 hour ago

"First Call" for New Year's Eve features stellar performances from Pitt and Penn State favorites. The Jaguars are a disaster, so that's fun. Jim Lites rip into his own player, what any of it, you know, accurate?


Barkley busts the record books

Penn State product Saquon Barkley passed a major milestone for NFL rookies in style Sunday.

That run Barkley over 2,000 yards from scrimmage in 2018. Edgerrin James and Eric Dickerson. They were named offensive rookie of the year in their first seasons. Barkley should earn the same honor with the Giants.

Barkley ends the season with 2.028 yards from scrimmage. New York's blossoming superstar broke the rookie record for pass receptions by a running back.

He finished the year with 91 catches. Reggie Bush had the old record at 88. I do not know what the rookie mark is for planted defenders via stiff-arm. But I'm sure Barkley set that mark, too. That one on Jeff Heath of Dallas should count for two.

Plus he had this 3-yard dunk of a touchdown.

That's kind of like taking off the free-throw line, right? I mean with pads n'all?

Despite Barkley's 143 yards from Scrimmage, the Giants still lost to Dallas, 36-35, to finish 5-11.


Finishing strong

Who knows how to do things for Pitt in their Sun Bowl game against Stanford. A former Panther was great with a bang Sunday, though.

Larry Fitzgerald made this one-handed touchdown grab in Arizona's season finale.

Fitzgerald hit the 1,300-reception mark. Tony Gonzalez (1.325) and Jerry Rice (1.549) are the only other players to reach that total. He did it in fewer games (234) than either of them.


Bunch of babies

After being caught in the AFC championship last year, the Jaguars fell apart in 2018. They finished 5-11, closing out by losing three of four, including Sunday's uninspired 20-3 defeat in Houston.

Running backs T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette were so visibly disengaged, they drew public admonishment from vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin.

Fournette and Yeldon were seen on the bench throughout the game, refusing to participate in the guidelines even during offensive series. Fournette was inactive. Yeldon was dressed but did not get a touch.


Here's a little New Year's tip for ya

Every time Sidney Crosby scores one of his patented tip-in or swat-out-of-the-air goals, we declare it one of the great examples of hand-eye coordination in the history of pro sports.

Even though he does it all the time.

Maybe we are right to do that. But if we are, then what do we do with this doozy from Connor McDavid?

It's "sid-esque" at the least, no? As was Jake Guentzel's.

And do not Zach Aston-Reese, who took a page out of Sid's net-front handbook.


Pfft. Facts? Please!

Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites lights up his two best players. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn "(expletive) horse (expletive)," among other things and glowing reviews of their play, which you can read here.

Some of the criticisms included in the report from Seguin to go to high-danger areas, the stars that hitting the post too much.

Wow. It made Jim Rutherford's assessment of the Penguins this season look like mild criticism at worst.

Here's the problem. A lot of what Rutherford said was right. Much of what Lites said was wrong, or highly exaggerated. At least according to "The Point."

That's why, as you may expect, Benn did not exactly take the comments well.


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