As the Chicago Bears traveled to Miami to take on the Dolphins, the scene was set for Devin Hester to set the all-time record for most return touchdowns in NFL history in front of his hometown crowd.
Besides being a native who attended the University of Miami, Hester delivered one of his most memorable return touchdowns at Dolphin Stadium, a 92-yard return to start Super Bowl XLI against the Colts (see it below).
Hester, who grew up just north of the city, had 40 friends and family members in attendance. Leading up to Thursday night’s game, Hester reminisced of his college days with the media and talked about returning. "Everybody who played at Miami goes back and hangs out on the beach,'' he said. "Every club you go into, you're going to find someone who played for the 'Canes. We all bonded together. We go half on a table and chill all night.''
But it wasn’t just hanging out on South Beach that was on Hester’s mind. Once he stepped on the field it was strictly business. Despite Miami’s attempt to keep the ball out of his hands, Devin still managed to return a punt for 24 yards and nearly broke loose for the record-setting touchdown. Miami punter Brandon Fields managed to prevent Hester from taking it to the house in front of his friends and family.
Hester’s homecoming saw him total 68 all-purpose yards. He grabbed four passes for 41 yards and four punt returns for 27 yards against the Dolphins, which proved to be enough to help get the Bears through and stay atop the NFC North with a 7-3 record. It was Chicago’s 700th victory, more than any other franchise in the NFL.
With Chicago firing on all cylinders, the Bears will host the Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) in NFL’s week 12. Hester will have the opportunity to dazzle fans at Soldier Field and steal the headlines from the red-hot Michael Vick, who has been the talk of the NFL since his six-touchdown performance during a week 10 victory over the Washington Redskins.