One area in which Chicago owns a clear advantage is in the return game, where the dynamite Devin Hester topped the NFL with a 17.1 average taking back punts and scored three touchdowns, including a 62-yarder against the Packers in the Bears’ Week 3 win. The spark-plug receiver also averaged a sizzling 35.6 yards while splitting kickoff duties with Danieal Manning (24.7 avg.), and a suspect Green Bay coverage unit that gave up a 102-yard kick-return score to Atlanta’s Eric Weems a week ago would be wise to keep the ball out of Hester’s hands.
Chicago kicker Robbie Gould (25-of-30 on field goals) is a reliable veteran with an 85.5 career success rate on field goal attempts, though he hasn’t made one longer than 37 yards at Soldier Field this year. Fourteen-year pro Brad Maynard is still an excellent directional punter, though his 40.1 overall average was last in the league.
The remainder of Green Bay’s special teams corps has been ordinary as well, with neither Nelson (21.6 avg.) and rookie nickel back Sam Shields (21.5 avg.) making a big impact on kick returns and Williams (8.4 avg.) doing a steady job on punts. Rookie punter Tim Masthay averaged nearly 44 yards per kick and put 25 attempts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line in a solid debut, but kicker Mason Crosby (22-of-28 on field goals) has made just 78.1 percent of his career three-point tries and can be an adventure.
— Sports Network