Today we’re evaluating the best kickoff returners to play during Buffalo’s playoff drought. One candidate in particular should stand out in the memories of Bills fans. Let’s read about the eligible players and their backgrounds.
For four seasons as Buffalo’s primary kick returner, McGee showed exactly what the position was all about. No one in Bills history has come close to returning as many kickoffs as McGee’s 207, and he only fumbled five times in his career. With 5 kick return touchdowns, he holds Buffalo’s career record and is tied for eighth-most in NFL history. His 2004 season, with three touchdowns, is tied for third-most in a single season. Among players with at least 30 kickoff returns, the only Bills with a higher average return yardage are O.J. Simpson and Wallace Francis.
In 2008, the rookie McKelvin took the mantle of kick returner to allow McGee to focus full-time on playing cornerback. His rookie season showed more of the same promise as McGee’s early career, with 28.2 yards per return and a 98-yard touchdown return against the Cleveland Browns. In 2009, McKelvin fumbled away a kickoff in the fourth quarter as the Bills were clinging to a slim lead over the New England Patriots, and he was removed from kickoff duty following that loss, before suffering a season-ending injury. Fumbles were a problem for McKelvin, who had 17 as both a kick and punt returner during his Bills career. He contributed as a kick returner in 2010 and 2012, and finished his time in Buffalo with a 26.0 kickoff return average.
In 2010 the Bills surprised just about everyone by selecting the explosive Spiller despite having two established running backs on the roster. The motivation was to add athleticism and playmaking talents to a talent-deprived roster, and to that end, the team worked Spiller onto the field as a kick returner in his rookie year. He had a 95-yard touchdown return in 2010, though his overall return yardage only averaged 23.0. Spiller made a few spot returns in his remaining time with Buffalo, and added a 102-yard kickoff return touchdown in 2014. He finished his Bills career with a 24.4 kickoff return average.
So, who was the best kick returner from Buffalo’s playoff drought? Vote below, and next time we’ll look at the best punt returners.
Who was the best kick returner of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
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