Johnny Knox runs a punt back for an apparent touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, although the play is called back for a penalty at Soldier Field on Sept. 25, 2011 in Chicago. The Packers defeated the Bears 27-17.
The best play of the Bears season so far is one that, unfortunately, didn't count. During the final minutes of the Bears' loss to the Packers, special teams coordinator Dave Toub trotted out a jaw-dropping trick play.
With the always-dangerous Devin Hester ready to receive a punt, the Packers focused all of their attention on him. Why wouldn't they? He already had the overall record for return TDs, and the Packers didn't want to let him get the punt return record (which he broke later in the season) on their watch.
Packer punter Tim Masthay let a booming kick go, and Hester looked up and readied his arms to receive it. The Bears defenders prepared their wedge to block for Hester, and the Packers swung all of their coverage to take out Hester.
The problem? Hester didn't have the ball. Johnny Knox, who was also deep, had caught the ball and returned it to the end zone. He was already to midfield by the time the Packers or even the TV cameras realized what was going on. The touchdown was nullified by a ticky-tack holding call, but that doesn't take away from the play's awesomeness.
Toub recognized the strength of his players, then creatively came up with a play to utilize those skills. Even Aaron Rodgers called it one of the best plays he had ever seen.
With nine games left in the season, will Bears fans get to see that play ever again?
Wellll, probably not that exact play. It was the perfect play at the perfect time, and even with at least 540 minutes of football left to be played, it's unlikely the Bears will be in the position to run such a perfect ruse. The Bears opponents also have watched the play, so they won't be fooled again.
However, that doesn't mean the play didn't have value. Instead of focusing just on Hester, opponents must respect Knox as a deep threat. This means Hester will have some freedom, because opponents aren't putting every player on him.
Even if the Bears never use that exact play again, don't count out Toub. He'll come up with another play to make our jaws drop.