Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson units NFL mark for kickoff TDs

ATLANTA — Falcons kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson has constantly been vocal about his love for particular groups, about how returning kicks has made his NFL profession.

On Sunday, Patterson turned the NFL’s all-time chief in kick returns for a landing with 9.

He set the report within the second quarter towards the Chicago Bears — one in every of his former groups — with a 103-yard return proper up the center of the Bears’ kick-coverage formation.

The Falcons went on to defeat the Bears 27-24.

Patterson had missed 4 video games earlier this season due to damage and had been labored again into the offense and to his kick-return function, which he reinherited from Avery Williams final week towards the Carolina Panthers.

Patterson took this return from the “A” in Atlanta’s finish zone, took it out of the top zone and up the center of the sector and bought a key block from Troy Andersen as he ran by Chicago’s protection. He cut up between Bears kicker Cairo Santos and defensive again Elijah Hicks on the Falcons’ 45-yard line, then sprinted the remainder of the best way. Hicks virtually tackled him from behind on the Chicago 5-yard line, however his diving try simply missed Patterson.

It was Patterson’s first kick return for a landing since 2020, when he led the league in kick returns (35), return yardage (1,017), longest return (104 yards) and touchdowns (one).

When Patterson reached the top zone, he was mobbed by his teammates as he broke a tie he had shared with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington, who every had eight kick returns for touchdowns of their careers. It was the seventh season of Patterson’s profession by which he had a kick return for a landing, two greater than some other participant in NFL historical past. Earlier than the 2022 season and coming off a career-best offensive yr for him, Patterson was adamant that he remained on kick returns as a result of he knew there was historical past to make.

“I’ve got a record to break, man,” Patterson mentioned in July. “I need one more before I can hang it up being back there, man. If I get one more, I’ll stop doing it.”

It is not clear whether or not that may really be the case for Patterson, who led the NFL in kick-return yards in 2019 and 2020 and thrice led the league in common yards per kick return. Coming into Sunday, Patterson had 4 kick returns this season for 112 yards, as opponents had not been letting him return as many kicks as he’d had up to now.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Patterson, who was taken within the first spherical of the 2013 draft by the Minnesota Vikings, has made the Professional Bowl 4 instances and been a four-time first-team All-Professional as a returner.