The Houston Texans are facing their most difficult opponent of the year if based on nothing other than record. However, the Bears aren’t just a team that hasn’t earned their record. They are a team that has potentially one of the best defenses in league history, and when their offense is clicking they are tough to stop.
In order for the Texans to win this game the defense is going to have match the number of turnovers the Bears get. There’s a chance that only represents a one turnover game as the Texans don’t turn it over much, but if the Bears are their usual selves the Texans defense needs to step up just as big.
If the Texans see the same offensive gameplan that the Bears used against the Cowboys in which they run plays away from DeMarcus Ware, then Antonio Smith will have to take over. They will obviously try to neutralize the MVP candidate J.J. Watt, and thus it will be up to everyone else to match his productivity.
Jared Crick is the guy to keep an eye on in this game as he will probably see a lot of time at nose tackle tonight as Shaun Cody will sit with broken ribs. If Crick can do what he’s done so far this season and get after the quarterback, it could be a long night for Cutler.
Charles Woodson said it best “We don’t need luck, Jay will throw us the ball.” Jay Cutler may be the best quarterback Chicago has had since the 80′s, but he is still unbelievably inconsistent and tends to lock onto receivers and not look away. I would be shocked if he doesn’t throw at least one interception while trying to force something to Brandon Marshall, but if he is able to throw it to his own receivers they may be unbeatable tonight.
I look for Danieal Manning to have the biggest game for the secondary as it is his first game against his former team and he wants to show that he deserves the big money he signed for last offseason.
Last week was the first time that the Texans had a field goal blocked in a very long time. The Bears also had a blocked punt. The Texans have given up two returns for touchdown this year. The Bears have Devin Hester. In order for the Texans to stand a chance they need to make all of those things non-factors. If the Texans give up big plays in the special teams game it will be very difficult to come away with a W.
Prediction: I think it will be 24-21 and the team with the least turnovers will win.