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Redskins-Bears matchup of the day: Wednesday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Oct. 20, 2010 @ 11:37 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week Seven game between the Redskins and Bears.

Bears PR Devin Hester vs. Redskins' punt coverage

The last time the Redskins' Mike Shanahan coached against the Bears — Nov. 25, 2007 — Devin Hester returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 88 yards for a TD in the third quarter vs. Denver. Shanahan's Broncos, who started Jay Cutler at quarterback, blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and the Bears won 37-34 in overtime.

Washington hasn't done a good job of covering punts this season. Only one team has had more punts returned against them than the Redskins (18), who rank 24th punt-return average allowed (10.8).

Will that, coupled with Hester's two punt returns for TDs this season, be enough to keep Shanahan from giving Hester a chance to make a return in Week Seven?

He has to consider advising P Hunter Smith to punt out of bounds as long as the Bears are within striking distance. Keep in mind, though, that the Broncos' punter, Todd Sauerbrun, did kick to Hester back in that ’07 game even after his return for a TD.

With Chicago's offense coming off a poor performance vs. Seattle, giving Hester a chance to make a return and swing momentum into the Bears' corner would be a risky move.

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