2. Desmond Howard, punt returner (1996)
If you set the Madden video game to rookie mode, you might be able to duplicate what Desmond Howard was able to do for the Green Bay Packers in an absolutely legendary 1996 season. When you think of the all-time great return specialists in NFL history, of course, guys like Deion Sanders, Devin Hester, and Dante Hall come to mind. But Desmond Howard is undoubtedly in that conversation as well.
His 1996 season was nothing short of legendary.
During the 1996 regular season, teams apparently were not smart when it came to kicking the ball to Howard. He somehow got 58 punt return opportunities that year and he capitalized. He averaged 15.1 yards per return for a grand total of 875 return yards and three punt return touchdowns. He added another 460 yards on kickoff returns.
His dominance continued into the playoffs where he added another 210 yards on nine punt returns with a touchdown, but that wasn't all. He also added two kickoff return touchdowns in the playoffs, one in the divisional round and another in the Super Bowl. He was named Super Bowl XXXI MVP after racking up 244 total return yards and a touchdown both as a punt returner and kick returner.
It's undoubtedly one of the most insane seasons you'll ever see from a return specialist with six total return touchdowns from the regular season to the postseason. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Howard would leave for the Raiders the next offseason and even though he came back to Green Bay for a stint, his NFL career finished in Detroit where he was a Pro Bowl return specialist as well.