It’s official. Cleveland Browns receiver Joshua Cribbs is the best kick returner in the history of the National Football League. In a surprisingly exciting 41-34 win over the Kansas City Chiefs today, Joshua had a 100-yard kickoff return in the first quarter to break the all-time NFL record of six he had shared with five other players—Dante Hall, Gale Sayers, Mel Gray, Travis Williams and Ollie Matson. Later in the game (yes, the Chiefs were still kicking to him), Joshua returned one 103 yards for the eighth kickoff return of his career. The two kick returns in one game also tied an NFL record.
What’s surprising is not that Joshua Cribbs returns kicks (or punts) for touchdowns. You can almost count on that happening. It’s that teams continue to afford him the opportunity. Part of my game plan against Josh would be to kick the football out of bounds on punts (no exceptions) and pop-up kickoffs to roughly the 30-yard line. I realize that’s easier said than done sometimes, but you can’t blatantly disregard his big play ability and expect to not pay the price. Today, the Chiefs paid the price with their 11th loss of the season.