MANY HAPPY RETURNS
August 9, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
The 2013 season featured many exciting plays in the return game. These exhilarating plays, made by some of the game’s most dynamic playmakers, started early and kept coming.
DEVIN HESTER recorded his 20th career return touchdown – including the postseason – in Week 7 with an 81-yard punt-return TD for the Chicago Bears. Hester’s 20 career return touchdowns are the most by a player in NFL history, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer DEION SANDERS (19).
Four rookies – St. Louis’ TAVON AUSTIN, Kansas City’s KNILE DAVIS, Green Bay’s MICAH HYDE and Minnesota’s CORDARRELLE PATTERSON – made their mark on special teams by returning a kick (kickoff or punt) for a touchdown last season.
Patterson’s 109-yard kickoff return touchdown in Week 8 was one of two kicks he returned for a score, and it tied the record for the longest play in NFL history (ANTONIO CROMARTIE, 2007). In Week 10, Austin returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown, the second-longest punt-return touchdown in Rams’ history.
For the second consecutive season, the NFL’s Super Bowl-winning club scored a kickreturn touchdown when Seattle’s PERCY HARVIN (left) opened the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII with an 87-yard kickoff-return touchdown for the Seahawks.
“He’s a terrific football player,” says Seahawks head coach PETE CARROLL about Harvin. “With the dynamics of the tremendous speed he has, the intensity he brings when the ball is in his hands, he’s unusually aggressive and such a versatile athlete, you have a lot of opportunities to do special things with him.”
A sampling of kick-return highlights in 2013:
Tavon Austin St. Louis Returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown and had receiving touchdowns of 81 and 57 yards in Week 10. He became the first player in NFL history with a 95+ yard punt-return touchdown and two 55+ yard receiving touchdowns in the same game. No player had ever had a 95+ yard punt return touchdown and one 55+ yard receiving touchdown in a single game.
Knile Davis Kansas City Recorded the longest play in Chiefs’ history when he scored a 108-yard KR-TD in Week 13.
Devin Hester Chicago In Week 7, returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown. Including the postseason, he now has 20 return touchdowns in his career, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (19) for the most in NFL history.
Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Tied the NFL record for the longest play in NFL history with a 109-yard kickoff return touchdown in Week 8 (Antonio Cromartie, 2007). In 2013, hebecame the first player in NFL history with four receiving touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns and two kickoff-return touchdowns in the same season.