Bears notebook: Devin Hester now aims to break return record
Devin Hester vows not to stop after tying Brian Mitchell’s NFL record with his 13th career touchdown return in Chicago’s 23-20 loss to Seattle.
"I’m not satisfied with tying it; I want to break it," said Hester, who had an 89-yard punt return Sunday. "I don’t want to have two names up there."
He does want to share the record, though.
"I want to make sure these other 10 guys have their names on the list as well as mine," Hester said of his blockers. "I don’t want mine to be the only one saying that I broke the record."
Hester tied the mark in 262 career returns, one-fourth as many as Mitchell (1,070). Hester is also second in punt return touchdowns with nine, one behind Eric Metcalf’s record.
Earl Bennett made the key block on Devin Hester’s 89-yard punt return when he crunched Seattle punter Jon Ryan with a blind-side hit.
"I just saw the opportunity and went for it," Bennett said. "I wasn’t trying to kill the guy, man. I was just playing football. I hope he’s all right."
Bears continue to get sacked by all
The Chicago Bears continued to have trouble protecting the quarterback Sunday, giving up six sacks against Seattle during a 23-20 defeat at home.
Chicago now leads the league with 27 sacks allowed on the season. Jay Cutler, who missed last week’s game due to a concussion, has been sacked a league-high 23 times.
"It’s protection, and it’s on everybody. We say that every week, but it’s not changing much," Cutler said. "We’ve got to figure it out. It’s on me, it’s on the offensive line and it’s on the receivers.
"We’ve got to make corrections somewhere on down the line."
Knox has career day
Wide receiver Johnny Knox had a career-best 120 yards receiving, hauling in five catches in his first 100-yard receiving day of his young career.
The three highest single-game receiving days of his two-year career have all come this season. Knox had 94 yards against Green Bay (Sept. 27) and 86 versus Dallas (Sept. 19).
Hasselbeck solid in win
Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck hurt the Bears with his arm Sunday, going 25-for-40 for 242 yards, throwing for a touchdown without an interception. He finished the day with an 87.7 passer rating, and he had the Bears defense guessing throughout.
"He’s really the commander, and today he was commanding well. When you’re the defense and he’s on like that, you don’t know what to expect. It is frustrating," Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said. "He was so good, and he was in a rhythm. He did a great job, had good command and executed his offense well."
Gould still gold from in close
Though Robbie Gould missed a 54-yard field goal that would have been huge later on, he did nail two shorter kicks, giving him 55 straight makes from inside the 40 yard-line. Gould hit from 34 and from 24 yards out in the second quarter, and he has the longest current streak from within 40 yards in the NFL. The last field goal he missed from that distance was on Oct. 21, 2007, at Philadelphia (39-yarder).
Bears reporter Jay Taft can be reached at 815-987-1384 or firstname.lastname@example.org.