Here’s a rhetorical question: Would a Lovie Smith coached Chicago Bears team have let any team run the opening kickoff back for a touchdown? Highly unlikely, but unfortunately that’s exactly what happened to the Bears in their Week 2 match-up against the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Vikings did have the 105-yard kick return, however, that particular run back didn’t hurt the Bears too much as they still came away with the win. And one reason that that win was even possible has to do with the Windy City Flyer himself, Devin Hester.
I’ve gone on the record and openly questioned if Hester had lost his mojo. If Week 2 is any indication, then he’s back. Case in point, after rookie Cordarrelle Patterson ran the opening kick off for a touchdown, Hester returned the favor by taking the Vikings’ first kickoff 75-yards into scoring position. As a matter of fact, when the day was all said and done, Hester averaged (50)-yards per kick and/or punt return. Although he didn’t make it into the end zone, Hester’s returns flipped field position multiple times and allowed the offense to work with a shortened field the majority of the game.
In the Smith era in Chicago, one of the team mantras was winning two out of three phrases of the game, and last Sunday despite the fact that Smith is no longer coach of the Bears, that’s precisely what his former team did in order to secure a division win. If the Marc Trestman led Bears continue to win two out of three phases of the game it’s going to be hard to keep the 2013 version of the Bears out the playoffs.