Hester Returns Bears to Win Column
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 17, 2007 2:14PM
Returns for touchdowns can be fluky. Sometimes great return guys go ages without breaking one open. And sometimes guys get lucky multiple times in short succession, never to do it again. Chicagoist wondered whether Devin Hester's amazing rookie campaign — which saw him return three punts, two kickoffs and a missed field goal for TD's — was a fluke or if he really is that special of a player.
After Sunday's 20-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, we know for sure that it's the latter. Hester returned a punt 73 yards in the second quarter that put the Bears up by two touchdowns. He very nearly broke another punt return for a TD — returning it to the Chiefs' 18-yard line. And he had another 95 yarder called back because of a penalty. He's the real deal.
And on Sunday, he might have been the difference maker. While the defense played excellent football yet again, the offense remains off kilter. Cedric Benson did get on track and ran for over 100 yards. But we feel like we sound like a broken record when we dump on Rex Grossman yet again. After a decent first half that saw him throw for 120 yards and a TD pass to John St. Clair (yes, the backup offensive lineman), Rex lost his mojo in the second half. He finished with just 160 yards passing and threw two interceptions in the second half, earning himself a whopping 56.0 passer rating.
How long before coach Lovie Smith finally decides it's time to dust off Brian Griese and make the switch? Two games into the regular season, and we see the same Rex that made us cover our eyes half the time last year. Do we all want to go through that again? As long as the Bears keep winning, we'll expect to see Grossman remain under center in spite of the hometown boos. But with the Dallas Cowboys coming to town for a Sunday night game, could an appearance by Bad Rex that embarrasses the Bears in front of a national crowd mean a switch?
Photo by REUTERS/Frank Polich.