Fitzger­ald clos­ing in on re­ceiv­ing mile­stone

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Baum

TEMPE, ARIZ. >> Larry Fitzger­ald is clos­ing in on an­other mile­stone, and it’s an im­pres­sive one.

The 35-year-old re­ceiver needs to catch just 33 yards worth of passes Sun­day at Kansas City to move past Hall of Famer Ter­rell Owens into sec­ond place on the NFL’s all­time yards re­ceiv­ing list.

As usual, Fitzger­ald brushed aside talk of the mile­stone in his weekly meet­ing with the me­dia Thurs­day.

“Hon­estly, I don’t re­ally think about it,” he said.

Mod­esty aside, there’s no doubt that Fitzger­ald is very aware of his place among the greats in the game.

Half­way through his 15th sea­son, Fitzger­ald has 15,902 yards re­ceiv­ing, be­hind Owens’ 15,934 and Jerry Rice’s phe­nom­e­nal 22,895.

Fitzger­ald needs 58 catches to pass Tony Gon­za­lez for sec­ond on the NFL ca­reer re­cep­tions list. Fitzger­ald has 1,268 catches to Gon­za­lez’s 1,325 and Rice’s 1,549.

Fitzger­ald also is clos­ing in on Rice’s record for re­cep­tions with one team. Fitzger­ald, who has spent his en­tire ca­reer with the Car­di­nals, needs 14 re­cep­tions to pass the 1,281 catches Rice had with the San Fran­cisco 49ers.

There are num­bers that Fitzger­ald will talk about with pride, and that’s what he’s ac­com­plished in the post­sea­son.

He has 942 yards re­ceiv­ing in nine post­sea­son games, most of any player in his first nine play­off con­tests. His three 150-yard play­off re­ceiv­ing games are most in NFL his­tory. His five 100yard games are tied for third all-time, be­hind Michael Irvin and Rice. Fitzger­ald is tied for third in post­sea­son TD re­cep­tions (10), be­hind John Stall­worth and Rice. And Fitzger­ald did it in only nine games.

Fitzger­ald’s per­for­mance in Ari­zona’s sur­prise run to the Su­per Bowl in the 2008 sea­son shat­tered NFL records for yards re­ceiv­ing (546), re­cep­tions (30) and touch­downs (7).

In Ari­zona’s divi­sional game against Green Bay in 2015, Fitzger­ald caught eight passes for 176 yards, in­clud­ing the two big­gest plays of over­time. He is the only player in NFL his­tory to aver­age at least 100 yards re­ceiv­ing and a touch­down in ev­ery post­sea­son game.

“I think ev­ery player wants to be at their best in the big­gest mo­ments,” Fitzger­ald said. “I think my num­bers in the play­offs say that I’m a guy who steps up in the big­ger mo­ments. I think that’s some­thing you look at the greats in his­tory, the Jerry Rices and the Michael Jor­dans and the Kobe Bryants, the Reg­gie Jack­sons of the world, those guys , when their teams needed them the most, they were able to find some­thing to make a dif­fer­ence in the games.”

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