One of the most frightening plays in football has to be that of a punt return. Just put yourself in the shoes of that man. You are basically running at a team of players where each and every one of them is sprinting towards you, trying to demolish you. But sometimes, these punt returners turn this fear into confidence and pull off some simply astounding punt returns, such as the five featured in this article.
1. Darren Sproles Against the Patriots
When many of us think of the best football players, we think of big, extremely strong and tall men, but Darren Sproles doesn’t fit the bill. Sproles is only 5’6, but don’t let his size fool you, he is an extremely dangerous player, just ask the Patriots. Sproles fielded a punt way back behind his own 20 and decided to run it back. After hitting the sidelines, Sproles made a quick move inside that caused two patriots players run into each other, while Sproles ran into the end zone.
2. Johnnie Knox Fakes Out The Entire Team
While this one didn’t “officially” count, it deserves a spot on this list. A penalty brought this score off the board, but what the Bears did on this return was magical. When the punter kicked it, the Bears return team all centered around Devin Hester and made it look as he was taking the punt. But, the ball had actually gone the other way, right to Johnnie Knox, who took it to the house easily.
3. Stedman Bailey Trick Punt Return
After Bears pulled off their trick, you would think more teams would be prepared for this, but that wasn’t the case. A few years after the Bears pulled it off, the Rams did the same against the Seahawks. What makes this one amazing was that the Rams were able to do this against one of the best teams in the league. This one fooled everyone watching and was a gutsy call that worked out for the better.
4. Patrick Peterson Overtime Game Winning Return
Even as a rookie, Patrick Peterson was something special. He had returned a few punts for TDs, but none was as insane as this. In an overtime game, standing at his own goal line, Peterson decided to take the game’s results into his own hands. He took a punt back 99 yards to win the game in overtime, while making a few amazing moves on the way.
5. Desean Jackson Game Winning Punt Return
Giants punter Matt Dodge had one job on this punt, keep it away from Desean Jackson and let the time expire to take the game to overtime. Unfortunately, he did not do that job. After first bobbling the punt, Desean Jackson backpedaled a few yards, picked it up and dodged and weaved his way through the Giants players like they were Swiss cheese en route to scoring and winning the game for the Eagles.