Former Crimson Tide players combined to scored 96 touchdowns during the 2021 NFL regular season.
In the 2010 NFL regular season, 26 Alabama alumni played. One scored a touchdown – running back Kenneth Darby, who reached the end zone three times for the St. Louis Rams.
Eleven years later, Alabama had 68 players appear in the regular season, the most for one college program in one campaign in NFL history. And 20 of those players combined to score 96 touchdowns.
The next-highest collection of touchdowns in the 2021 NFL regular season belonged to LSU, which had 14 alumni score 71.
This season was the third in a row that 20 former Alabama players scored touchdowns. They accounted for 85 touchdowns in 2020 and 83 in 2019.
Alabama’s NFL touchdown production took a big jump in 2018, when 12 alumni scored 71 TDs. That broke the school record established the previous season when 11 former Crimson Tide players had scored 45.
In the seasons between three touchdowns in 2010 and 45 in 2017, six Alabama alumni had 18 touchdowns in 2011, eight had 32 in 2012, five had 19 in 2013, seven had 35 in 2014 (surpassing the school mark of 34 established in 2004), nine had 34 in 2015 and eight had 33 in 2016.
Because of Darby’s 2010 touchdowns, former Alabama players have scored touchdowns in 46 consecutive seasons – every one since coming up empty in 1975.
In 1975, nine Alabama alumni played in at least one NFL regular-season game. Three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame – New England Patriots guard John Hannah, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath and Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler. But none of the nine scored a touchdown.
In 2021, four former Alabama players scored at least 10 touchdowns – Patriots running back Damien Harris had 15 and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had 10 apiece (and Henry missed the final nine games of the regular season).
Two other Alabama colleges had alumni score touchdowns in the 2021 season. Six former Auburn players accounted for 16 touchdowns, and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, a West Alabama alumnus, scored nine touchdowns.
Auburn has had at least two alumni reach the end zone in the NFL in every season since failing to cross the goal line in 1976. In 1976, the former Tigers in the NFL were three centers, one guard, one punter and one safety.
In 1975, the only touchdown scored during the NFL’s regular season by a player from the Iron Bowl rivalry was safety Mike Fuller’s 42-yard punt return for the San Diego Chargers in a 13-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Nov. 30.
Auburn’s high mark for collective NFL touchdowns came in 2005, when seven alumni combined for 39 TDs. Running backs Stephen Davis of the Carolina Panthers and Rudi Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals scored 12 touchdowns apiece that season.