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Cordarrelle Patterson discusses history-making performance, emotions following Atlanta win

Grady Jarrett says: "We’re a totally different team with him on the field."

ATLANTA – Cordarrelle Patterson knew he had to make a play in the second quarter of the Falcons 27-24 win against Chicago on Sunday.

On the previous Falcons possession, Patterson lined up at running back, cut left, and bounced off a couple defenders before seeing open field.

As he cut up field, Bears' defensive back Jaquan Brisker came from behind and knocked the ball loose, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Chicago. The Bears ultimately capitalized on the play, extending the score to 17-7 when Justin Fields ran it into the endzone from four yards out with 4:31 left in the first half.

"That was in my head the whole time," Patterson said, "and as a football player, you just got to move on to the next play."


As Bears kicker Cairo Santos kicked downfield, Patterson stood firm deep in the end zone. He caught the ball, and the rest was history. Literally.

The 10-year NFL veteran took off up the middle of the field, maneuvering his way through defenders before finally breaking free for a 103-yard kickoff return touchdown.

This marked his first for the Falcons and ninth of his career, becoming the NFL's all-time kick return touchdown leader.

"I was happy when he kicked me the ball," Patterson said. "I just had to make a spark for my team."

Falcons players briskly ran over to Patterson, helping him celebrate the record-setting kickoff return. Mercedes-Benz Stadium went into a frenzy.

"Honestly man, I was trying to cry but all the guys was running up on me and doing all of this and doing all of that," Patterson said with a laugh. "It felt good man, I was trying to shed a tear, they wouldn't let me."

"Just my hungriness this year, you know, I didn't play a lot of kick return last year and this year man, coach gave me the green light," Patterson added. "I just have to thank Marquice [Williams] for that. He's a hell of a special teams coach."

Ironically, this return marked the third one against the Bears, his former team which he played for from 2019-2020. He has five kickoff return touchdowns with Minnesota, two for Chicago, one for New England and now, one for the Atlanta.

This officially broke the three-way tie between Patterson, Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington, who all had eight before Sunday afternoon.

"I'm definitely super proud of him to set the record against his former team. Perfect day for it and perfect time, we needed a big play," Grady Jarrett said. "He responded right after a mistake. Just a true pro. He's doing his thing and we're a totally different team with him on the field."

It was a momentum shifter to say the least, and it was ultimately a play that helped the Falcons get the win they needed.

When asked what was the biggest takeaway from Sunday's victory, Patterson's answer was clear.

"Defense, offense, special teams," he said. "We all stood up together as a unit. You don't want offense going out and doing everything, you don't want defense going out and doing everything and the same for special teams. We come as a unit and if we can continue to do that and grow, we'll be special man."


The Falcons Audible presented by AT&T

Each week, host Derek Rackley and former Falcons QBs Dave Archer and DJ Shockley will talk about the Falcons, the NFC South and the biggest storylines around the NFL.

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