Houston Texans (4-8) at Chicago Bears (5-7)
The season is most likely over for both of these teams in regards to their postseason chances but in the words of Jimmy Valvano, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”. We’ll keep going, as we’ve always done. I started writing weekly columns about the Bears in 2016 and we shall continue despite the endless losing and disappointing seasons, every year except 2018.
With a likely coaching change on the NFL’s annual “Black Monday” (the day after the final regular season Sunday), I want to be the first to nominate former Bears LB and former NFL Coach Mike Singletary for the probable Bears vacancy. I’ll write more about that in a future column. For now, let’s preview this Bears/Texans game.
Troy Aikman’s Efficiency Ratings (AER)
- Houston Texans (4-8) : 25th overall, 14th offense, 29th defense
- Chicago Bears (5-7) : 24th overall, 28th offense, 11th defense
- Houston : 20th overall, 9th offense, 27th defense, 21st special teams
- Chicago : 19th overall, 27th offense, 8th defense, 10th special teams
Sports Betting Dime
As bad as the Bears have been during this six game losing streak, I have a hard time believing Houston is the favorite in this game. According to Sports Betting Dime, the Texans are two point favorites this Sunday at Soldier Field. Check out their game preview here. They calculate a narrow Bears straight-up (S/U) victory. I really like the way Sports Betting Dime breaks it down. I highly suggest checking out their website for gambling and forecasting purposes. They do a nice job with their comprehensive approach yet they make it simple for the average fan.
As referenced above, I think the Bears should be favored over Houston despite the miserable recent streak by Chicago. It’s a home game at Soldier Field, not that home-field advantage means much in 2020. However, it can’t/shouldn’t hurt. The Texans can move the ball and score but they have a poor defense and special teams. The Bears are/should be the better team. Chicago’s offense has been playing well lately (scoring 25 and 30 points the last two games) with QB #10 Mitch Trubisky back under center and OC Bill Lazor calling the plays.
The big question for this Sunday’s game is, can the Bears defense regain some of their swagger from the early season and prior years? Is OLB #52 Khalil Mack healthy enough to wreak havoc? Is ILB #59 Danny Trevathan just too old to cover anyone anymore? Is DE #96 Akiem Hicks gonna make a difference, or is he making the proverbial “business decision” after coming back from his hamstring injury? Is it the same with FS #39 Eddie Jackson and CB #23 Kyle Fuller? Will they step up and cover and tackle consistently? Will ILB #58 Roquan Smith get back to his normal All-Pro self after two very mediocre games? Will DC Chuck Pagano call anything different than he did last week when he sat in a weak zone defense all game, almost daring Matt Stafford to pass to wide open receivers that Bears rookie CB #33 Jaylon Johnson wouldn’t/couldn’t cover? How about a blitz or three against DeShaun Watson? How about teaching Johnson how to properly cover and pass off a receiver to a safety in a zone, or simply staying on him man-to-man?
Here we go again. I’m sorry but the Bears are a frustrating team to watch lately. I know what you’re thinking… Lately? How about yearly? How about frustrating for decades? Yeah, the “Dutch Lion” knows how you’re feeling. Nonetheless, as disappointed we are by this 2020 football season, we’re picking the Bears to win the game on Sunday. We think the pride and the luck will kick in at some point. Like we always say, “You’re never as good as you think and never as bad as you think”. In this case, Chicago is overdue for a win. PICK: Bears
Chicago Bears 27 Houston Texans 23