Cordarrelle Patterson

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Cordarrelle Patterson
refer to caption
Patterson with the Chicago Bears in 2019
No. 84 – Atlanta Falcons
Position:Kick Returner
Personal information
Born: (1991-03-17) March 17, 1991 (age 30)
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:227 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Northwestern (Rock Hill)
College:Tennessee
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 29
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Receptions:216
Receiving yards:2,087
Rushing yards:1,017
Rushing average:6.1
Return yards:7,127
Touchdowns:26
Tackles:22
Player stats at NFL.com

Cordarrelle Patterson (/kɔːrˈdærəl/ kor-DARR-əl;[1] born March 17, 1991), nicknamed "Flash", is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Tennessee and was drafted as a wide receiver by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has also been a member of the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, and Chicago Bears.

In a game against the Green Bay Packers in 2013, Patterson tied the NFL record for longest play and set the NFL record for longest kick return with 109 yards, the longest possible.[2] Patterson is considered one of the greatest return specialists in NFL history, with an league record-tying eight kickoff return touchdowns in his career.

Early years[edit]

Patterson attended Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he played football, basketball, and ran track.[3] He was coached by Jimmy Wallace.[4] As a senior in 2008, he caught 75 passes for 944 yards with 18 touchdowns, leading his team to the State Class 4A Division II championship game, and was named All-state selection.[5] Patterson was also a three-year letterman in track & field at Northwestern High School. He spent part of 2009 beginning a post-graduate year at North Carolina Tech Preparatory Christian Academy, but did not play football.[6]

College career[edit]

Hutchinson Community College[edit]

Football[edit]

In 2010, Patterson transferred to Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he played junior college football and was recognized as a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American in 2010 and 2011.[7] He holds more than a dozen records at Hutchinson C.C., including career receiving yards (1,832), career receptions (113), career receiving touchdowns (24), career total touchdowns (36), career points (216), career kickoff return average (41.9), and career all-purpose yards (3,379).[8]

In 2011, Patterson was a first-team All-American as a freshman, claiming the honors as a return specialist. He totaled 645 yards on 21 combined kickoff and punt returns with three touchdowns, and also recorded 52 receptions for 908 yards and nine touchdowns.[9]

As a sophomore, Patterson earned first-team All-American honors on offense and was named the 2011 Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Year after catching 61 passes for 924 yards and 15 touchdowns, carrying the ball 32 times for 379 yards and six touchdowns and averaging 48.2 yards on 10 kickoff returns with three more scores.[10]

Track and field[edit]

In addition to football, Patterson competed in track & field, where he clocked personal-bests of 10.33 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.19 seconds in the 200-meter dash at the Jayhawk Conference Championship.[11] He also competed in the long jump, and recorded a collegiate-best jump of 6.85 meters (22 ft, 4.5 in) at the Southwestern Invitational Championships.[12] On May 16, the Levelland Meet saw Patterson part of a 4x100-meter relay team that timed 40.32 (season-best). At the Lawrence Meet, he helped the sprint medley 1,600-meter unit time in at 3:28.50.[13]

Tennessee[edit]

Patterson was a highly touted recruit in 2012 coming out of Hutchinson Community College. Rated as a 5-star prospect by 247Sports.com and the top JUCO player in the country, Patterson received scholarship offers from upper-tier Division I programs.[14] He ultimately chose to attend the University of Tennessee over LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, and others.

At Tennessee he played for Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers football team in 2012.[15] He made an immediate impact with his athletic ability and offensive versatility. Primarily used as a wide receiver, he also excelled as a return specialist and all-purpose running back. In the season opener, a 35–21 victory over North Carolina State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, he had six receptions for 93 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown to go along with two rushes for 72 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.[16] In the next game, a 51–13 victory over Georgia State, he showed his versatility with three receptions for 71 receiving yards, an 18-yard rush, and three kick returns for 108 net yards.[17] In the following game, a 37–20 loss to the rival Florida Gators, he had eight receptions for 75 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.[18] After a limited role in the 47–26 victory over the Akron Zips, he had a 46-yard rushing touchdown in a 51–44 shootout loss to the rival Georgia Bulldogs on September 29.[19][20] In the 55–48 victory over Troy, he had nine receptions for 219 receiving yards and a touchdown.[21] On November 17, in a 41–18 loss to rival Vanderbilt, he had an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.[22] In the regular season finale against the Kentucky Wildcats, he had four receptions for 88 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in the 37–17 victory.[23] Despite Tennessee's disappointing 5–7 record in the 2012 season, he scored at least one touchdown by reception, rush, kick return, and punt return, with 10 total touchdowns in 12 games.[24][25] In 12 starts Patterson racked up a school-record 1,858 all-purpose yards (set by Reggie Cobb in 1987) to rank first in the SEC, tied for 18th in NCAA.[26]

On January 9, 2013, Patterson, along with college teammates Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter, and Darrington Sentimore, announced his intention to leave college early and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.[27]

Statistics[edit]

Season Team GP Rushing Receiving Returning
Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Ret Yds Avg TD
2010 Hutchinson CC[28] 11 7 19 2.7 0 52 908 17.5 9 21 645 30.7 3
2011 Hutchinson CC[29] 12 32 379 11.8 6 61 924 15.1 15 10 482 48.2 3
2012 Tennessee[30] 12 25 308 12.3 3 46 778 16.9 5 29 772 26.6 2
Total 35 64 706 11.0 9 159 2,610 16.4 5 60 1,899 31.6 8

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 1+78 in
(1.88 m)
216 lb
(98 kg)
31+34 in
(0.81 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.42 s 1.60 s 2.61 s 4.40 s 7.28 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
10 ft 8 in
(3.25 m)
11[31]
All results from NFL Combine/Pro Day[32][33]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

2013 season: Rookie year[edit]

Patterson in 2013

Patterson was selected in the first round with the 29th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft in a draft-day trade with the New England Patriots; the Patriots received four draft picks (a second, third, fourth and seventh).[34][35][36]

In the season-opener on September 8, Patterson caught his first NFL pass from quarterback Christian Ponder for a 10-yard gain and had two kicks returned for 54 yards.[37] In Patterson's second career game against the Chicago Bears on September 15, he scored his first NFL career touchdown by returning the opening kickoff for a 105-yard kick return touchdown, marking the first kickoff return touchdown the Bears had allowed since September 30, 2007.[38][39] For his outstanding performance on special teams during the month of September, Patterson was honored as the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month.[40] In Week 8, Patterson returned the opening kickoff 109-yards for a touchdown, tying the NFL record for the longest play ever. After Patterson's performance against the Green Bay Packers, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[41] On November 7, Patterson caught his first touchdown pass on a two-yard reception.[42] On December 1, Patterson ran a touchdown for 33 yards helping the Vikings win in overtime over the Chicago Bears.[43] Patterson's best-receiving performance of the season came in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens with five catches for 141 yards; in that game, he scored his longest receiving touchdown when he took a bubble screen pass from Matt Cassel 79 yards to the end zone with just 45 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.[44][45] In the season finale victory against the Detroit Lions on December 29, he scored the final two touchdowns at the Metrodome.[46] The first of them came on a 50-yard run in the first quarter, and then he added an 8-yard reception with 9:19 left in the game. The rushing touchdown set a team record for the longest rushing touchdown by a Vikings receiver.[47]

Patterson finished his rookie year with 45 catches, 469 yards, and five touchdowns. On January 2, 2014, Patterson was selected to play in the Pro Bowl, filling in for Antonio Brown.[48] On January 3, 2014, Patterson was named as a starter on the 2013 Associated Press (AP) All-Pro team as the kick returner.[49]

2014 season[edit]

Patterson signing autographs during training camp in 2014

Patterson suffered through a disappointing 2014 season under new head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner.[50] The team drafted rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, but Bridgewater and Patterson failed to create any chemistry. The second year receiver caught only 33 passes for 384 yards and one touchdown. His return yards also plummeted.[51] Patterson ended up losing his starting job to Charles Johnson, a practice squad player the team picked up from the Cleveland Browns. Johnson was drafted the same year as Patterson in the seventh round by the Green Bay Packers. By the end of the 2014 season, Patterson went from starter to fourth on the team's depth chart.[52]

2015 season[edit]

Patterson had an opportunity to reacquire his starting position after veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings was released during the off-season.[53] After newly signed veteran Mike Wallace established himself as the starter and rookie Stefon Diggs emerged as a premier receiver in Charles Johnson's absence, Patterson was dropped to fifth position and relegated to return duties. He received minimal play at wide receiver throughout the season, only amounting two receptions all season. However, he had two kick return touchdowns, the first in Week 10 against the Oakland Raiders and the second in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks.[54][55][56]

2016 season[edit]

In 2016, Patterson struggled as a receiver but remained a successful kick returner.[57] He was named to his second Pro Bowl and second First-team All-Pro, both as a returner.[58] Overall, he recorded 52 receptions for 453 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. In addition, he had 25 kickoff returns for 792 net yards and a return touchdown, which came against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11.[59][60]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

Patterson playing catch in a game before the Ravens

On March 13, 2017, Patterson signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.[61] He joined a position unit that contained Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, Seth Roberts, and Johnny Holton.[62]

On September 10, 2017, in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans, Patterson had one rush for five yards and one reception for two yards and served as the kickoff returner in his Raiders debut. The Raiders won on the road by a score of 26-16.[63] On September 17, 2017, Patterson ran the ball for a 43-yard touchdown in a 45–20 victory over the New York Jets in Week 2.[64] During Week 6, he had a 47-yard rushing touchdown as the Raiders narrowly lost to the Los Angeles Chargers by a score of 17–16.[65]

Patterson finished the 2017 season with 31 receptions for 309 yards to go along with 13 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns.[66]

New England Patriots[edit]

On March 18, 2018, the Raiders agreed to trade Patterson and a 2018 sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots for a 2018 fifth-round pick. The deal became official on March 20, 2018.[67][68]

Patterson made his Patriots debut in the season opener against the Houston Texans, recording a six-yard reception in the 27–20 victory.[69] During Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, he scored his first touchdown as a Patriot on a 55-yard reception.[70] During Week 7 against the Chicago Bears, he fumbled the ball early in the game but later returned a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown.[71] During Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers, the injury-depleted Patriots used Patterson as their second running back to back up James White. Coming out of the tailback position, Patterson led the team in rushing, gaining 61 yards on 11 carries and scoring a touchdown.[72] Patterson finished the season with 21 receptions for 247 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Patterson also ran the ball 42 times for 228 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.[73]

The Patriots finished atop the AFC East with an 11-5 record and earned the #2-seed for the AFC Playoffs.[74] Patterson appeared in his first playoff game since the 2015 season with the Vikings.[75] In the Divisional Round against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had a three-yard rush and a 23-yard kick return in the 41–28 victory.[76] In the AFC Championship, he had two receptions for 18 yards and returned three kicks for 80 yards in the 37–31 overtime road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.[77] Patterson had two receptions for 14 yards, a 38-yard kick return, and seven rushing yards as the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 13–3 in Super Bowl LIII.[78]

Chicago Bears[edit]

On March 13, 2019, Patterson signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Chicago Bears.[79][80]

2019 season[edit]

Patterson made his Bears debut in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. In the game, he rushed once for -2 yards and caught a three-yard reception as the Bears lost 10–3.[81] During Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, Patterson recorded a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 36–25 loss.[82]

In November, Patterson recorded 294 kickoff return yards on ten attempts and four tackles as a gunner on punts. For his performance, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for the second time in his career, while he was the first Bears player to win the award since Devin Hester in October 2011.[83] On December 17, he was voted into the 2020 Pro Bowl roster as a starter; at the time, he led the NFC in kickoff return average with 29.6 yards per return.[84]

At the end of the season, Patterson was named first-team All-Pro as a kick returner and second-team All-Pro as a special teamer. He finished the year with the NFL's most kick return yards (825), while his yards per return (29.5) led the NFC and was second in the league. His 29.9 kickoff return average was also the second-highest in Bears' franchise history behind Chicago Hall of Fame icon Gale Sayers.[85]

2020 season[edit]

In Week 10 against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, Patterson tied the NFL record for the most kickoff return touchdowns in a career when he returned the second half-opening kickoff for a 104-yard score that gave the Bears the lead. The touchdown also set the franchise record for the longest kickoff return in team history, surpassing Sayers' 103-yard score in 1967.[86]

On December 21, Patterson was named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season. At the time of the roster reveal, he led the league in kickoff returns (32) and yards per return (29.4).[87]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On April 15, 2021, Patterson signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.[88]

NFL career statistics[edit]

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
NFL Record
Led the league
Bold Career-high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Returning Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2013 MIN 16 6 45 469 10.4 79T 4 12 158 13.2 50T 3 43 1,393 32.4 109T 2 0 0
2014 MIN 16 7 33 384 11.6 28 1 10 117 11.7 67T 1 34 871 25.6 51 0 1 1
2015 MIN 16 1 2 10 5.0 9 0 2 15 7.5 9 0 32 1,019 31.8 101T 2 1 1
2016 MIN 16 8 49 401 8.2 30 2 7 43 6.1 22 0 26 801 30.8 104T 1 2 0
2017 OAK 16 2 31 309 10.0 59 0 13 121 9.3 47T 2 19 538 28.3 49 0 3 0
2018 NE 15 5 21 247 11.8 55T 3 42 228 5.4 27 1 23 663 28.8 95T 1 1 1
2019 CHI 16 4 11 83 7.5 33 0 17 103 6.1 46 0 28 825 29.5 102T 1 0 0
2020 CHI 16 3 21 132 6.3 25 0 64 232 3.6 13 1 35 1,017 29.1 104T 1 0 0
Career 127 36 216 2,087 9.7 79T 10 167 1,017 6.1 67T 8 240 7,127 29.7 109T 8 8 3

Postseason[edit]

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Returning Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2015 MIN 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 3 65 21.7 34 0 0 0
2018 NE 3 0 4 32 8.0 15 0 3 10 3.3 6 0 5 141 28.2 38 0 0 0
2020 CHI 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 2 2.0 0 0 2 68 34.0 42 0 0 0
Career 5 0 4 32 8.0 15 0 4 12 3.0 6 0 10 274 27.4 42 0 0 0

Records[edit]

NFL records[edit]

  • Most kickoff return touchdowns in NFL history: 8 (tied with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington)
  • Longest kickoff return touchdown: 109 yards (October 27, 2013)[89]
  • First NFL player to have a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown, a 75-yard touchdown catch, and a 50-yard rushing touchdown in the same season (2013)[90]

Vikings franchise records[edit]

  • First wide receiver to rush for 100 yards in a game: 102 yards (September 7, 2014)[91]
  • Longest rushing touchdown by a wide receiver: 67 yards (September 7, 2014)[91]
  • Most kickoff return yards in a season: 1,393 (2013)
  • Most kickoff return yards in a season by a rookie: 1,393 (2013)
  • Highest kick return average in a season: 32.4 (2013)
  • Highest kick return average in a career: 29.6 (2013–present)
  • Most kickoff return touchdowns in a season: 2 (2013) (tied with Percy Harvin)[92]
  • Longest play by a Viking: 109 yards (October 27, 2013)
  • Most Kick Returns returned for a touchdown: 5 (Tying with Percy Harvin)
  • Most games with 100 kick return yards: 13
  • Most kick return yards by a Viking: 4,040
  • Most Special Team touchdowns by any Viking in franchise history: 5 (tied with Marcus Sherels)

References[edit]

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External links[edit]