Last night, Dion Lewis scored a touchdown for the Patriots on a kickoff return, along with scoring touchdowns on a reception and on a rush attempt. Earlier this year, Tyreek Hill did the same thing to provide the margin of victory over the Broncos. Those were the 12th and 13th times since 1960 that a player has scored touchdowns three different ways in a game.
- In 1995, Jimmy Smith pulled off a unique hat trick against the Broncos: He recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a fumble return touchdown, scored on a lateral on a kickoff return, and caught a touchdown.
- In 1976, Freddie Solomon, then with the Dolphins, scored via punt return, catch, and run against the Bills.
- In 1969, Travis Williams of the Packers scored via an 83-yard punt return, a 96-yard kickoff return, and on a 1-yard run against the Steelers.
- In 1965, Gale Sayers did it three times.
- Against the Vikings, Sayers scored three touchdowns in the 4th quarter — one on a catch, one on a kickoff return, and one on a rush.
- Later in his rookie season, Sayers rushed for four touchdowns, caught a touchdown, and had a touchdown on a kickoff return against the 49ers.
- Two years later, Sayers had another hat trick — and again against San Francisco — by scoring via a kickoff return, punt return, and rushing touchdown.
- Also in 1967, Saints Walter Roberts pulled off a hat trick against the Eagles, with a kickoff return, fumble return, and receiving touchdown.
- In 1962, Timmy Brown of the Eagles did what Sayers did in ’65 and what Hill and Lewis did this year. Against the Redskins, Brown had a 99-yard kickoff return, a 3-yard rushing touchdown, and a 10-yard touchdown reception.
- In the AFL in 1961, Abner Haynes nearly single-handedly pulled off an incredible 4th quarter comeback against the Bills, with a 69-yard touchdown catch, 3-yard touchdown run, and 87-yard kickoff return touchdown in the final frame.
- Bobby Mitchell — the other great running back on the Browns in the early ’60s — did it twice. Against the Cowboys in 1960, he had a 46-yard touchdown catch, 30-yard touchdown run, and 90-yard kickoff return touchdown. A year later, against Washington, Mitchell scored on a punt, catch, and run.
And for completeness’ sake, prior to 1960, Frank Minini, Joe Scott, Spec Sanders, Billy Hillenbrand, Hugh Gallarneau, Jay Arnold, Hank Bruder, Buckets Goldenberg, Art Folz, and Roddy Lamb had a touchdown hat trick at one point in their careers.