VIDEO: Remembering When Texans Kicker Neil Rackers Obliterated a Returner
By Zach Brunner
Typically, when people say the returner only has the kicker to beat, it means they are on their way to scoring a special teams touchdown. However, when the kicker involved is Neil Rackers, getting past him is not certain.
During Week 7 of the 2011 season, the Houston Texans traveled to take on divisional foe the Tennessee Titans. The game became very lopsided, with the Texans leading 34-7 in the fourth quarter, thanks to a 200-yard, 3-touchdown day from running back Arian Foster.
The Titans were already demoralized, as they awaited yet another kickoff from 12-year pro Rackers. Not only did Rackers run down the field looking for contact, he took a great angle on the return after the wedge-busters came in and did their part.
Beating many down the field. Rackers collided with the returner, putting possibly the biggest shot a kicker ever has on a returner. Typically, any kicker "tackles" are late shoves out of bounds, but not in the case of the veteran. This was no slouch of a return man either — Marc Mariani was coming off a Pro Bowl rookie season in 2010.
What is even more impressive is that Rackers was in his 12th and final NFL season, so this was no young guy looking to prove himself. In fact, Rackers had already put together a long career of proving himself, totaling 49 tackles with the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and Texans.
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