Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears Preview: Offense
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.
The Offense for the Texans needs to shed the title of slowstarters and come out swinging early. The key to beat a defense like the Bears is to get some semblance of a running game going unlike what they did against the Packers, so that they have to respect the play action.
Nov 4, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) and running back Arian Foster (23) celebrate a score against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Bills 21-9. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
Matt Schaub has been great this year. He has done exactly what the Texans need of him and if the season ended today he would have to be their most valuable offensive player. In order for him to continue to gain praise he’s going to need a strong showing again tonight.
If the Texans stand any chance whatsoever tonight it will fall on Schaub’s shoulders. The Texans won’t abandon the run and Foster will almost assuredly get 20 carries for 70 or so yards. If Foster can shred a Bears defense that has been stout against the run then Schaub should be in his comfort zone, however if he doesn’t Schaub will have to step up and lead us to a victory.
My surprise of the week is that Matt Schaub will have his first 300-yard game of the season and lead the Texans to a close victory against the Bears.
Ben Tate is out again this week meaning Arian will have a lot more of the running duty on his shoulders. He does good in pressure situations though as proven by last year against Baltimore in the playoffs when he knew he was really our only offensive threat and took the pressure in stride.
The Texans could really use big numbers from Foster today, but against a stout Bears defense it isn’t likely that Foster will see another 100-yard performance.
The most interesting thing to watch will be if Foster is able to have another rushing touchdown and extend his streak to nine games this year.
Nov 4, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels (81) attempts to catch a pass against the Buffalo Bills in the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
The wide receivers will have their hands full this week as they face a secondary that features the player with the most forced fumbles in this season in Charles Tillman and most interceptions in Tim Jennings. Andre has come on strong this year but against this cornerback group I would be happy to see five catches for 50 yards so long as it leads to no turnovers.
Because that group is so good at forcing turnovers I expect to see Schaub do what he does best: check down to the tight ends. The Bears sit in the cover two almost every play and the Texans have one of the best sets of tight ends in the league at finding the holes in the zone.
In order for the Texans to win this game they don’t need big days from their receivers, they just need efficient ones without turnovers.
The offensive line had another pretty good game last week against what is supposedly a good pass rush in Buffalo. They will need to show up in a big way today and prove that they are one of the best in the league. If the Texans want to beat the Bears the offensive line will need to create holes for Foster and keep Schaub upright.
Prediction: I think it will be 24-21 and the team with the least turnovers will win.