After seeing what Jacoby Jones has done for the past two seasons, it's not often the Ravens don't have the upper hand in the special teams game. On Sunday, that won't be the case as the NFL's all-time return touchdown leader comes to town.
In the second quarter of a Week 3 56-14 skull dragging of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devin Hester returned a 62 yard punt for his 20th career special team's touchdown, breaking the previous record of 19 held by Deion Sanders.
"He has the perfect combination of skills for a returner. He's fast, and he has incredible change-of-direction skills," Ravens special teams coordinator, Jerry Rosburg said. "He can run up and smell somebody's breath and then disappear."
Hester spent the first eight years of his career with the Chicago Bears before being released. Now with the Falcons, Hester has a breath of fresh air and has experienced a resurgence in his career. Even though Hester is never considered much of a threat in the receiving game, he currently has 15 receptions for 235 yards and a touchdown. By comparison, he has the same amount of receptions and almost the same yardage as Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. However, Smith does have three touchdowns.
Given the offensive system Hester finds himself in with the likes of one of the game's best wideouts in Julio Jones and Roddy White disappointing, but still demanding attention, it has been a good season thus far for Hester.
Hester currently ranks fifth in return yards with 334 yards on 14 attempts (23.9 yard avg.). He has also fielded 10 punts for 125 yards (12.5 yard avg.) and a touchdown.
For the Ravens to neutralize Hester, they're going to have to rely on the strong leg of kicker Justin Tucker. Fortunately, Tucker isn't giving opposing returners much of a chance as his 80% touchback percentage is good enough for third-best in the league.
Kickoffs may normally give you extra time to grab a beverage or use the restroom, but with Hester in town, you'll want to make sure you're back in your seat once the whistle blows.
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