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Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett sets modern day record

Tyler Lockett, Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett registered 197 kickoff return yards on Monday, November 20. Lockett’s return yards are the most since the NFL changed the rule last year.

Lockett returned the Atlanta Falcons’ first kickoff 57 yards to put the Seahawks in solid field position. He later registered two returns of 39 yards, another for 37-yard return, and finally a 25-yard return on the second-half kickoff. The Falcons finally wised up and stopped kicking it Lockett for the rest of the game.

The NFL changed the touchback rule by moving them to the 25-yard line instead of the previous 20-yard line. Teams have adjusted by kicking the ball higher in the air, giving them time to get downfield in coverage. Given the difficulty returners continue to have this season, Lockett’s performance is extraordinary.

Lockett’s 197 yards earned him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award for Week 11. He currently ranks second overall in kick return yards with 517 .

The 2015 All-Pro continues to be one of quarterback Russell Wilson’s few weapons this season. Lockett compiled 1,126 all-purpose yards in the Seahawks’ first 10 games, ranking him fourth in the NFL.

Lockett isn’t the only returner rising to the occasion. Fellow NFC West wide receiver Pharoh Cooper leads the NFL with 603 yards, including a 103-yard touchdown earlier this year. The NFL’s third-best kick returner Andre Roberts also played in Monday night’s game. He recorded a 50-yard return in the Falcons’ 34-31 victory over Seattle.

Lockett will get an opportunity to pass Cooper when the Seahawks face the 1-9 San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, November 26.