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Chicago Bears on Pace to Set NFL Return TD Record

Charles Tillman
Charles TillmanJonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIOctober 9, 2012

Last Sunday the Chicago Bears defense scored a pair of touchdowns in its 41-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Charles Tillman returned an interception 36 yards for a TD in the third quarter, and Lance Briggs picked off a Jags pass in the fourth quarter and scored on the 36-yard interception return.

The two return TDs upped the Bears total for the season to five, which is tops in the NFL. It also put them on pace to challenge the all-time NFL record for return TDs in a season, 13, set by the 1998 Seattle Seahawks.

Following are the number of return TDs (kickoff, punt, interception, fumble recovery) for each NFL team this season through Week 5.

5: Chicago

4: New York Jets

3: Tennessee, Washington

2: Baltimore, Carolina, Houston, Minnesota

1: Arizona, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

0: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle

The 1988 Seahawks, who went 8-8 that season, scored eight TDs via interception, two by punt return, two by fumble recovery and one by kickoff return. The 2010 Arizona Cardinals had 12 return TDs putting them second all-time in this category.

Following are the teams that have scored 10 or more return TDs in an NFL season.


Team, Season, Return TDs

Seattle, 1998: 13

Arizona, 2010: 12

St. Louis, 1999: 11; Kansas City, 1999: 11; Kansas City, 1992: 11

Buffalo, 2004: 10; New Orleans, 1998: 10; Denver, 1997: 10; San Diego, 1997: 10; Kansas City, 1986: 10; Denver, 1976: 10


The Bears' position on top of the NFL return TD list should not come as a surprise. In fact, if you look at the number of return TDs scored by each NFL team since 2000, the Bears have 66 return TDs, which is nine more than the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers who are tied for second on the list, each with 57 return touchdowns.


The Top 10 in return TDs since 2000

1. Chicago, 66

2. (tie) Baltimore, Green Bay, 57

4. New England, 54

5. Buffalo, 53

6. (tie) Arizona, Tennessee, 52

8. Tampa Bay, 51

9. Detroit, 49

10. Seattle, 48


Note: Since 2000, the New York Jets have the most kickoff return TDs (17), the Bears have the most punt return TDs (16), Green Bay has the most interception return TDs (34) and Philadelphia and Arizona are tied for most fumble recovery return TDs with 16.

Statistics resource:


Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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