Two of the top teams in the NFL square off on Sunday Night Football, as the Chicago Bears take on the Houston Texans at Soldier Field on Sunday at 8:20. The game will be broadcast on NBC.
Why you should watch: The 7-1 Bears face off against the 7-1 Texans in a showdown that many believe is a preview of the Super Bowl in February. While I wouldn’t go so far as to predict that, this game will pit two of the best teams against one another. The Texans and Bears have both established themselves as the elite of their respective conferences, blowing past many of their opponents. Both have powerful running attacks and menacing defenses, and the game should be exciting from start to finish.
What to watch for: The running games against the opposing defenses. Since each team has an elite running back and both teams have excellent defenses, I couldn’t pick just one of each to say is what you should watch. Instead, Matt Forte squaring off against J.J. Watt and Co. should be every bit as exciting as watching Arian Foster take on Brian Urlacher and the torrid Bears D. Football purists should be salivating at these matchups, especially when they’re taking place at a legendary field such as Soldier Field. Texans backup Ben Tate is out with an injury, so the brunt of the burden will once again fall on Foster’s shoulders. Let’s see if he can handle it.
Key matchups: J.J. Watt against the Bears offensive line. The offensive line for Chicago has not been great over the past couple of seasons, and that has led to a lot of Jay Cutler eating turf. Tomorrow night could be no different when J.J. Watt, a leading MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award candidate, roll into town. Watt has made a name for himself batting down passes and destroying offensive gameplans all by himself, as he often requires tight end help or a chip from the runningback, which could disrupt timing in the offense. It will be interesting to see how the Bears deal with him, whether they double team him or not, and how great an impact he has on the game.
The Pick: The Bears come through in a tight one, 19-15. The Bears D will cause a couple of turnovers that will lead to points for Jay Cutler and the offense. Having Charles Tillman in the lineup will take Andre Johnson out of the game and make the Houston offense one-dimensional, which will be too great an obstacle to overcome on the road in the frozen air of Chicago.