The feature match up of week 10 is without question between the Chicago Bears (7-1) and the Houston Texans (7-1) on Sunday Night at Solider Field. These two teams are arguably two of the top three teams in the NFL so far this season have amazing defensive units that can change a game in the drop of a dime. This should be a tremendous battle with these physical teams and which ever teams offense can minimize their mistakes should be the one who earns the victory.
The Bears defense enters the contest currently ranked second in points allowed per game (15 points), sixth in both total offensive yards allowed per game (318.9 yards) as well as rushing yards allowed per game (88 yards) and 16th in passing yards allowed per game (230.9 yards) while their offense is ranked 25th in total yards gained per game (325.3 yards), 29th in passing yards gained per game (196.8 yards), 11th in rushing yards gained per game (128.5 yards) and third in point scored per game (29.5 points, even though their defense is also responsible for plenty of the points as well).
Chicago is going to need quarterback Jay Cutler to have his best game of the year against a defense that is every bit as good as their own. This season Cutler has been up and down passing for 1,774 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 59.8% of his attempts. Cutler will look to get the ball to his favorite target Brandon Marshall who has 59 receptions for 797 and seven touchdowns, however if the Texans try to double team him then other options such as Alshon Jeffery or Earl Bennett may become more viable. Matt Forte (107 carries for 539 yards and 3 TD) will be key in this one for the Bears if he can find a way to create space against this Houston defense then the Bears should be able to prevail. The Chicago defense has scored seven touchdowns and allowed just nine this season not to mention have caused an NFL best 28 turnovers (17 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings will be ready to go for this game as it could stamp the Bears legitimacy as the best team in the NFL.
The Texans defense is currently ranked third in total offensive yards allowed per game (285.6 yards), fourth in passing yards allowed per game (203.8 yards), second in rushing yards allowed per game (81.9 yards) and tied for third in points allowed per game (17.1) while their offense is ranked 12th in total yards gained per game (371.8 yards), 16th in passing yards per game (233.8 yards), eighth in rushing yards gained per game (138 yards) and second in points scored per game (29.6 points).
Houston quarterback Matt Schaub must minimize his mistakes in this contest versus a Chicago defense that thrives when opposing offenses turn the ball over. This season Schaub has passed for 1,918 yards, 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 63.9% of his attempts. Arian Foster will have to be the key cog in this offense even more so than he usually is due to the fact that tight end Owen Daniels may not play and is a game time decision due to a hip injury. Foster is currently leading the NFL in both rushing attempts (192) as well as rushing touchdowns (10) and is fifth in rushing yards (770) however this week he will have his work cut out for him against this Bears defense. Wideout Andre Johnson will have to pick up the slack and have a throwback game whether Daniels plays or not due to the fact that he won’t be 100% even if he does. The Houston defense features arguably the best player on that side of the ball currently in the NFL and he of course is J.J. Watt who this season has recorded 39 tackles, 10.5 sacks (1st in NFL), 10 pass deflections (four of which have led to interceptions for his teammates), eight tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. As a whole the Texans defense has forced 14 turnovers (nine interceptions and five fumble recoveries) and if they want to win this game they will need a few of those in this one.
With two unbelievable defenses on the field this game could come down to which ever offense makes the least amount of mistakes and one big play late. Or it could come down to which ever defense can create points off of turnovers; its a toss up in so many aspects. I’ll take Chicago because they’re at home and I think they’re defense maybe slightly more dynamic than Houston’s but it won’t easy and it will be close. Bears 22 – Texans 17.