ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – With 10:32 to play in Denver’s Week 2 game at the New York Giants, Denver led 31-16. Seconds later, the Broncos’ lead ballooned to 38-16 thanks to an 81-yard punt return touchdown by
That play highlighted a performance that saw Holliday average 30.3 yards on four punt returns in the Broncos’ 41-23 win against the Giants.
On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Holliday earned the AFC Special-Teams Player of the Week Award to mark the second such honor of his career. He won the award for the first time after returning a kickoff 105 yards for a score in Week 9 of the 2012 season – his first career return touchdown.
After returning his first punt of the game for 4 yards, Holliday’s next three efforts went for 14, 22 and then the 81-yard score against the Giants.
“I thought Holliday’s return came at a critical time,” quarterback
Through two weeks, Holliday is averaging 19.6 yards per punt return, which is tops in the NFL. His punt return touchdown against the Giants was the first punt returned for a score in the league this season.
Holliday has also continued his personal regular-season win streak through two games in 2013, pushing the streak to 18 straight regular-season contests. He spent the first five weeks of 2012 with the Houston Texans, helping them start the year 5-0, then was claimed off waivers by Denver before its Week 6 game at San Diego.
That game kicked off the Broncos’ 11-game win streak to end the 2012 campaign. With two wins to start 2013, that streak now stands at 13, representing the longest active regular-season win streak in the NFL and the second-longest in club history.
Since joining the Broncos before Week 6 of last season, Holliday leads all players with a 12.6 punt-return average and ranks third with a 30.2-yard kick return average. His five overall special-teams return scores leads all players as well.
Those five special-teams return scores have come in just 19 career games for a one score per 3.8 games average. That rate is tops in NFL history since the 1970 merger. His five scores ranks second in Broncos history. He trails Rick Upchurch, who returned eight kicks or punts for touchdowns in his 124 games with the Broncos. Holliday’s five scores have come in just 13 appearances with the team.
“You have to believe (in yourself) that much to come out and make a play,” Holliday said after the Week 2 win. “Every time I get the ball in my hands, I just try to make a play for my team.”