ATLANTA – Cordarrelle Patterson set the NFL’s career record for kickoff returns for a touchdown in electric fashion on Sunday.
The Atlanta Falcons running back scored his ninth career touchdown on a kickoff return, splitting the Chicago Bears’ special teams coverage and racing for a 103-yard touchdown during the Falcons’ 27-24 victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ESPN reported.
The return enabled Patterson, 31, a 10-year veteran from Rock Hill, South Carolina, who played collegiately at the University of Tennessee, to break a career tie with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington, according to NFL.com.
The Bears had just gone ahead 17-7 after a 4-yard touchdown run by Justin Fields in the second quarter.
Patterson fielded the return in from the “A’ in Atlanta’s end zone and got a key block from Troy Andersen as he ran up the middle of the field, ESPN reported.
He sprinted between Bears kicker Cairo Santos and defensive back at the Atlanta 45-yard line and avoided a diving Hicks at the 5-yard line to score, the cable sports outlet reported.
It was the seventh time Patterson had scored on a kickoff return of 100 yards or more, according to NFL.com. No one else in league history has scored more than three.
Three of Patterson’s scoring kickoff returns have come against Chicago.
The scoring run made up for a fumble by Patterson earlier in the game.
It was Patterson’s first kick return for a touchdown since 2020, ESPN reported. That season he led the NFL in kick returns (35), return yardage (1,017), longest return (104 yards) and touchdowns (one), according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Patterson missed four games earlier this season because of injury and worked his way back into the lineup at running back and as a kick returner, ESPN reported.
Patterson, who joined the Falcons in 2021, finished Sunday’s game with 59 rushing yards on 12 carries, NFL.com reported.