The Chicago Bears play host to the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon from Soldier Field in an interesting week two matchup. Both of these teams shocked many in week one, with the Bears grabbing the win against the 49ers and the Texans tying the Colts. Both came back to reality last week, as both grabbed losses, putting an added emphasis on righting the ship this week. The two teams last played in 2020, with Chicago coming away with a dominant 36-7 win. There's no doubt they'll be looking to replicate that success, though the Texans aren't going to make it easy for them.
Texans Looking For First WinFor the Texans, it has been a rough few years navigating being one of the league's worst teams, but things could be turning around. They were able to tie the Colts in week one, which was a massive confidence builder for this group. While they lost last week to Denver, they kept it within one score, which shows that this group has the talent to compete and this week could be when they see that first win. Going to Chicago is never easy to ask of a group, though with the Bears looking lucky to make it to .500 on the season, as well as somewhat rattled after losing to the Packers last week, the Texans will like their chances to spring the upset.
One issue for Houston is their inability to get key players healthy. With one of the longest injury lists in the league, they've already ruled out nine players for Sunday, including some key pieces on the defensive line. The most notable name is Davis Mills (thumb), though with the quarterback trending towards probable, that's huge news for their outlook on Sunday's game.
Second-year QB matchup coming 🔜— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 22, 2022
As mentioned earlier, Mills has been the leader for this group on the offensive side over the last few seasons and having him trending towards probable is good news. The lack of a consistent running game remains a massive concern for this group going forward though. Their inability to control the clock will continue to haunt them and with limited playmakers, taking care of the ball is a must as well.
Defensively, this group has done well so far. In week one, they were able to keep Jonathan Taylor in check, while allowing only 16 points to A Russell Wilson-led offense isn’t too shabby either. The key on Sunday will be whether they can contain Fields in the pocket and not let him hurt Houston with his legs. If they can force the Bears into throwing more than usual, it could get uncomfortable fast, which will also allow Houston to take Chicago’s fans out of it early too.
Chicago Back At HomeAfter winning the season opener in front of the Chicago faithful, the Bears turn to Soldier Field to make a difference in this one. Heading to Green Bay last week probably saw Chicago play better than the score line might show, though still a loss nonetheless. Not much was expected of Chicago coming into the season, especially with a new coach at the helm, but the team has appeared to bond together well. They remain inexperienced but considering what’s on the other sideline on Sunday, there’s still a lot to like when it comes to their chances.
The Bears also have a few injuries to worry about as well, as they head into the weekend. They are already without four players, all on the offensive line, with a handful of others questionable. With the lack of depth at key offensive positions, it's a difficult position to be in as they head into the weekend. On the defensive front, Roquan Smith (hip) is questionable as well and could be a key absence.
Picking up right where he left off last season, @trevisgipson doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. 😈— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 22, 2022
Offensively, this group remains limited without a doubt. Justin Fields is still young and while elusive and dangerous, he doesn’t have a ton of help around him. The offensive line is thin and with injuries within the wide receiver room, it’s been difficult for Fields to get into a rhythm. Expect a heavy dose of David Montgomery and the ground came in this one and if the Bears can control the clock, they are likely to control the game.
Chicago will like their chances on the defensive side to control this one. Their pass rush remains dangerous, as Aaron Rodgers can attest to after last week, while their secondary has some talent as well. There’s no doubt that the off-season saw them lose some key experience but the Texans aren’t the type of opponent where that’s likely to be a problem. Putting pressure on Mills will be key and there’s little doubt that the playbook will call for that on Sunday.
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Full-Game Side Bet
Houston showed in week one that their offense is going to surprise many opponents this season and with how well Davis Mills has been playing, and his likely inclusion in the lineup, confidence will be high for the offense. The Bears looked good themselves in week one but there's growing concern that the poor weather evened the playing field more than might have been originally thought. They struggled to stop the Packers last week and while the Texans are a far cry from being Green Bay, the lack of playmakers on offense for the Bears will come back to haunt them in this one. Additionally, according to covers.com, the Texans are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall, as well as sitting at 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between the two teams.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Bears know that controlling the game on the ground will be key in this one and they'll want to keep the Texans off the field in anticipation. Houston has a fast-paced group themselves and while they will put up points, it's likely that the Bears limit them in some capacity. With the ability to control the clock being key, expect the Texans to also try to focus slightly more on running the ball. In the end, Houston only put up nine points last week, allowing only 16 as well, while Chicago has been known for low-scoring games themselves over the last few seasons. Additionally, according to covers.com, the under is 7-1 for Houston in their last eight road games and in their last eight games following an ATS win. For the Bears, the under is also 4-0 in their last four games in September.