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Greatest kickoff returner ever? Cordarrelle Patterson makes some NFL history with TD

Frank Schwab
·1-min read

There’s a reason Chicago Bears returner Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t hesitate taking the opening kickoff of the second half Monday night out of the end zone, even though it was 4 yards deep.

And there was a reason Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was screaming at his special teams coach on the sideline after Patterson took the return 104 yards for a score.

Patterson is dynamic on kickoff returns, and he might retire as the consensus pick as the best kickoff returner in NFL history. The score was Patterson’s eighth kickoff return for a touchdown, which ties an NFL record shared by Leon Washington and Josh Cribbs. Washington and Cribbs aren’t in the top 25 all time in kickoff return average. Patterson is second, trailing only Gale Sayers. Sayers averaged 30.6 yards per kickoff return. Patterson averaged 29.6 before Monday night, when he bumped that up a bit.

Cordarrelle Patterson, in his role as a running back, leaps over a Vikings defender. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Cordarrelle Patterson, in his role as a running back, leaps over a Vikings defender. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

When it comes to punt and kickoff returns combined, Bears legend Devin Hester is considered the greatest of all time by many. Hester was equally elusive on kickoffs and punts. Patterson has a great knack for returning kickoffs. He has the speed to get upfield fast and the moves to dodge defenders on the fly.

Patterson might not have necessarily worked out as a receiver after being a first-round pick of the Vikings in 2013. But he has made his impact in other ways. He has the share of an NFL record to prove it.

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