In the history of the NFL, Bears Hall of Famer Gale Sayers is the only player who has averaged 30 yards per kickoff return for his career. Current Bears kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson is getting close.
Patterson had two kickoff returns on Monday night, one a 104-yard touchdown and the other for 31 yards. That performance improved Patterson’s career average to 29.9 yards per kickoff return, the second-best in NFL history. Patterson is just a whisker short of 30 yards a return for his career, putting him second in NFL history behind Sayers’ mark of 30.6 yards per kickoff return.
Monday night’s kickoff return touchdown was the eighth in Patterson’s career, tying him with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington for the all-time NFL record.
Sayers had six kickoff return touchdowns, but he did it in a short career that saw him return just 91 kickoffs before retiring. Patterson has 230 career kickoff returns. So Patterson isn’t providing highlight-reel returns quite as frequently as Sayers did. But he’s returning kickoffs like no one since.