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Seahawks-Bears matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's battle between the Seahawks and Bears.

Seahawks punt coverage vs. Bears RS Devin Hester

The Seahawks had a taste of Hester's big-play ability in 2010.

Chicago trailed Seattle, 23-13, with 2:14 left in a Week Six game at Soldier Field last season and sent out the punt team. Jon Ryan booted a 48-yard punt to Hester, who returned it 89 yards for a touchdown on a play in which Ryan was injured after taking a big hit from Bears WR Earl Bennett.

The Bears didn't recover the onside kick attempt on the ensuing kickoff and Seattle held on to win, but head coach Pete Carroll didn't back down from Hester the next time he faced him. The Seahawks punted to Hester again when the two teams met in the playoffs and Hester had returns of 26 and four yards.

Seattle will hope it doesn't have to punt many times Sunday, but Hester should get some opportunities. Ryan is one of the league's better punters and he has pinned teams inside their own 20-yard line 26 times this season, which is tied for second-most in the league.

The Seahawks already have allowed two punt returns for touchdowns, though, and Chicago's struggling offense could really use some long returns from Hester.

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