Many Happy Kickoff Returns
NFL 2012 Football
The 2011 season featured many exciting plays in the return game. There were a total of eight 100+ yard kickoff-return touchdowns, the most in any season in NFL history. These exhilarating plays, made by some of the game's most dynamic playmakers, started early and kept coming.
In Green Bay, rookie Randall Cobb recorded a 108-yard kickoff return-touchdown on opening night, tying the NFL record for the longest kickoff return in history (ELLIS HOBBS, 2007). Also on Kickoff Weekend, San Francisco's TED GINN, JR. became the 12th player in NFL history to return a kickoff (102 yards) and a punt (55 yards) for a touchdown in the same game, accomplishing the feat just 59 seconds apart. In total, there were eight combined kickreturn touchdowns (five punt, three kickoff) in Week 1, the most combined kick-return touchdowns in a single week in NFL history.
In Arizona, rookie Patrick Peterson became the first player in NFL history with four punt-return touchdowns of at least 80 yards in a single season. His four punt-return touchdowns in 2011 also tied for the most in a single season with Pro Football Hall of Famer JACK CHRISTIANSEN (1951), RICK UPCHURCH (1976) and DEVIN HESTER (2007). Peterson and Christiansen are the only rookies to accomplish the feat.
"He's a special young man," says Cardinals head coach KEN WHISENHUNT of Peterson. "I'm glad that we have him on our football team. He has such a great feel and he is definitely a force in the return game."
A sampling of kick-return highlights in 2011:
Randall Cobb, Green Bay
Recorded a 108-yard KR-TD on Kickoff Weekend, tied for the longest kickoff return in NFL history (Ellis Hobbs, 2007).
Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland
Registered a PR-TD in Week 16, marking his 11th career combined kick return touchdown (three punt, eight kickoff), the fifth-most in NFL annals.
Jacoby Ford, Oakland
Had a 101-yard KR-TD in his 20th career game (Week 6) and joined TRAVIS WILLIAMS as the only players in NFL history with at least four KR-TDs in the first 20 games of a career.
Ted Ginn, Jr., San Francisco
On Kickoff Weekend, recorded a 102-yard KR-TD and a 55-yard PR-TD, becoming the 12th player in NFL history to have both in the same game.
Devin Hester Chicago
Ran his career total of combined return touchdowns to 18 (12 punt, five kickoff, one missed field goal), one behind Pro Football Hall of Famer DEION SANDERS (19) for the most in NFL history.
Patrick Peterson, Arizona
Became the first player in NFL history with four PR-TDs of at least 80 yards in a single season. His four PR-TDs tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen (1951), Rick Upchurch (1976) and Devin Hester (2007) for the most in a single season in league annals.
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