At five-foot-10 and 175 pounds, rookie wide receiver
Down by four points, the Browns forced Kansas City to punt on the first play of the second quarter. As the Chiefs lined up,
Benjamin fielded the punt at the seven-yard line, ran through the middle of the Chiefs’ coverage unit, got to the Browns’ sideline and crossed back to the middle of the field before getting into the end zone. It was the longest punt return in Browns history, and also, the longest for a touchdown.
“It worked out perfectly,” Benjamin said. “I knew I was going to take it. When they saw Cribbs run up, they thought, ‘We’ll just kick it to 80. Then, we’re going to make a big play.’
“As soon as I passed the first defender, I saw a number of brown jerseys and I knew I had it. They led me to a touchdown. Once I made the gunner miss, I had great blocking on the outside. If I made one person miss and get up the field, I knew I wouldn’t be stopped.”
Not bad for a scheme that was originally designed for a different result.
“It was honestly designed as a punt block, but we knew, given the pressure that we would apply, those guys were going to have to stay in longer to protect,” kicker
Benjamin’s ability to return Dustin Colquitt’s punt for a touchdown came as no surprise to his teammates.
“Travis is the fastest man I have ever seen in person,” running back
Browns coach Pat Shurmur credited the players for executing the plan of special teams coordinator Chris Tabor on the punt return, which helped spark the Browns to score 20 unanswered points over the game’s final 45 minutes.
“It was a huge lift,” Shurmur said. “It puts us ahead in a game. We just took an 80-yard punch for a touchdown. That was a punch in the gut. To get a play like that to put you back on top is something that you always hope for in a game.”