Entering the second half of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets the Chicago Bears found themselves down 24-17.
Devin Hester fresh off his NFL record-breaking week against the Minnesota Vikings was ready to go. In a pivotal third quarter, Hester racked up two huge returns, one of them a 38-yard punt return despite the Jets attempts to avoid kicking to Hester.
Jets punter Steve Weatherford did a good job of avoiding Hester most of the game, but regrets giving Hester a chance at brilliance. “He had a (38-yard) return on me, so no, I’m not satisfied,” Weatherford said after the Jets’ 38-34 loss. “That’s the mystique of playing up here. It’s a tough place to kick, and he’s the best returner in the game.”
The 38-yard punt return put the Bears in to Jets territory, and Hester would go on to catch a 25-yard touchdown just moments later on offense. The touchdown would give the Bears a 31-24 lead.
The Jets would however rally to tie the game at 31 a piece, but the tie wouldn’t last long as Hester returned a kick-off 40 yards to midfield. Moments later Johnny Knox caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler sealing the victory as the stingy Bears defense allowed only a field goal during the fourth quarter and would hold on for a 38-34 victory.
For the Bears they move to 11-4 on the season and wrap up the regular season next Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay with a chance to finish the regular season with three consecutive victories.
As Hester continues his brilliance in every aspect of the game, his touchdown reception was his fourth of the season. A career best.
Hester’s Week 16 Stats
- 3 receptions
- 48 yards receiving
- 1 touchdown reception
- 1 40-yard kick return
- 1 38-yard punt return
Here is a little vintage Hester back at the University of Miami:
Follow Chris Serafino on Twitter: @CSerafino