Devin Hester's TD fourth best play of year
Jan/21/14 10:23 PM Filed in: Devin Hester
Last week ChicagoBears.com invited fans to select the Bears' top five plays of the season. Finishing in fourth place with six percent of the vote was Devin Hester's 81-yard punt return touchdown Oct. 20 in a 45-41 road loss to the Redskins.
Hester caught Sav Rocca's 53-yard punt at his own 19-yard line just inside the left sideline. He then sprinted all the way across the field and picked up a convoy of blockers down the right sideline. Eric Weems, Jerry Franklin and Khaseem Greene were among those who threw key blocks.
"It was designed to go right," Hester said. "We practiced on it every day. We knew their kicker kind of tends to punt it to our left. We just wanted to make sure when we got that opportunity that we sealed the gunner backside and formed that wall, and that's what they did. The guys up front did a great job of setting up that wall and letting me around the corner."
With the 81-yard touchdown, Hester extended his NFL all-time records for punt return TDs to 13 and combined kick return TDs to 18. He also tied Hall of Famer Deion Sanders' all-time NFL mark of 19 return TDs, which includes punts, kickoffs, missed field goals, fumbles and interceptions.
"It means a lot," Hester said at the time. "I'm still pressing forward with my career and trying to better myself before my days are long gone, and to tie a legend like that is an honor."
The Redskins tried to keep the ball out of Hester's hands most of the day, hitting short kickoffs that were returned by Weems, Joe Anderson and Dante Rosario. A week earlier, Washington had allowed the Cowboys' Dwayne Harris to return a punt 86 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 90 yards to set up another TD.
"We knew that this was going to be a team that was going to keep it away from me just because of the previous weeks that they had," Hester said. "They had been struggling on special teams and we assumed that they were going to shy away from our return game. We knew we had to take advantage of the opportunity I got because we knew we weren't going to get that many."