Last Friday, Da Windy City questioned the true value that Devin Hester has for the Chicago Bears on special teams.
Hester responded against the Minnesota Vikings with a team-record 249 kickoff return yards and was honored as being the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Hester proved against the Vikings that he can make a difference in the game as the Bears were put in better field position on their game-winning drive after the Vikings shied away from the Bears’ returner on the kickoff.
The Pittsburgh Steelers plan on kicking away from Hester on Sunday.
Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham will be designated with the duties of trying to avoid Hester. Of his five kickoffs this season, only two have been returned for a total of 16 yards.
Overall, the Steelers special teams unit has been strong this season. Football Outsiders gives the Steelers’ special teams a DVOA percentage of 3.7%, which is the 10th highest in the NFL. The strong points for the Steelers Special Teams this season are kickoffs and punt returns.
By comparison, the Bears have a DVOA percentage of 1.8%, a mark that is the 13th highest in the NFL. For the Bears, there strong points on special teams are kickoff returns and field goals.
Last week, the Bears’ special teams played a pivotal role in the team’s victory. The Bears’ special teams will need to come up strong once again as the team goes on the road for the first time this season.