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What was the greatest single season by a Falcons returner?

It may depend on whether you like efficiency, eye-popping returns, or touchdowns.

Falcons v Rams X

We’re going to round out our best single seasons series with returner, an underrated gig that the Falcons have had a lot of luck with over the years. Well, not recent years, but you know what I mean.

Here are the candidates, who will make you long for the return games of yesteryear despite Kenjon Barner’s solid 2019.

1992 Deion Sanders

Prime Time only had a handful of unproductive punt returns this year, but he was a dynamo on kickoffs, managing 40 returns for 1,067 yards (26.7 yards per return) and two return touchdowns, one of which went for 99 yards. Sanders probably isn’t remembered fondly enough for his work on returns, and this was his finest year doing it.

2000 Darrick Vaughn

My absolute favorite season on this list. Vaughn didn’t return one single, solitary punt, which would seem to leave him at a disadvantage compared to many of the other players on this list. He makes up for it by posting the single most impressive kick return season I can think of.

In 2000, Vaughn returned 39 kicks for 1,082 yards, a 27.7 yards per return average that represents a team record for a player with more than 20 returns (Cannonball Butler twice cleared a 30 yard average with 13 returns). He also scored three times on returns, including a 100 yard gallop that was the second-longest in team history. Just a fun year.

2003 Allen Rossum

Lethal year for Rossum, who averaged 14 yards per punt and scored a touchdown while chipping in a franchise record 62 kickoff returns for 1,291 yards, or 20.8 per kick. He combined to return more kicks and punts than anyone else in team history.

2010 Eric Weems

For my money, the best season on this list belongs to a man who was too often maligned for his work as a returner. In 2010, Weems had 18 punt returns for 230 yards and a touchdown (12.8 yards per) and came awfully close to breaking Vaughn’s team record for kick return average with 40 for 1,110 and another touchdown (27.5 yards pre return). That kick return touchdown is, at 102 yards, the longest in team history.

2014 Devin Hester

You’d expect perhaps the greatest returner in NFL history to be on this list, and he didn’t disappoint. Hester’s 2014 was one of the most efficient seasons in team history, as he posted a 25.1 yard per return average on kickoffs, an absurd 13.3 yards per return on punt returns, and took a punt return to the house.

Who’s your pick?


Which Falcons returner had the greatest single season in team history?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    1992 Deion Sanders
    (69 votes)
  • 5%
    2000 Darrick Vaughn
    (12 votes)
  • 15%
    2003 Allen Rossum
    (34 votes)
  • 17%
    2010 Eric Weems
    (39 votes)
  • 24%
    2014 Devin Hester
    (55 votes)
  • 6%
    Other (please specify)
    (14 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now