Digging Deep: Chicago Edition
The Texans moved to 8-1, tying the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in the NFL, with their sloppy 13-6 win over the previously 7-1 Chicago Bears. While it was not a pretty game by any means, the Texans went into Chicago and beat the Bears outdoors in bad conditions. The statistics for this game may not look very impressive, but this game was more about toughness and making big plays at the right times than putting up big numbers.
The number of rushing yards Arian Foster gained. The Bears have a really good defense, but Foster was able to get over the 100 yard mark on 29 carries. He also caught the Texans’ only touchdown. Foster’s performance was huge for the Texans as Matt Schaub struggled with the conditions and only threw for 95 yards. This was one of those games where you ride your $40 million running back and the Texans did just that.
The Bears’ defense had been hyped up going into the game because of their ability to force turnovers, and while they forced 2, the Texans forced 4 and won the turnover battle 4-2. Each team threw two interceptions, but the Texans didn’t fumble but forced 2 fumbles.
19 & 10
Devin Hester’s average kickoff and punt return yardage. The Texans have struggled covering kicks this season but they did a great job in limiting one of the game’s all-time great returners. They didn’t let Hester beat them and made the Bears’ offense work for their points.
The Texans were unable to sack either of the Bears’ quarterbacks. The Bears passed 33 times but the Texans were unable to take advantage of the Bears’ lackluster offensive line. Obviously, the Texans still forced turnovers and the weather conditions played a part, but the goose egg in the sack column is still surprising.
Jay Cutler ran the ball three times for 37 yards in his first half of play. Two of these scrambles went for first downs, one on third and long and the other set up a third and short. This is a pretty big rushing day for a quarterback, especially in only one half of play.
The number of interceptions Matt Schaub threw on Sunday. He had only thrown four in the previous eight games. This was by far his worst game of the season, but he did throw a clutch pass to Arian Foster for the game’s only touchdown. Schaub did not look comfortable playing in the bad weather conditions, but if the Texans keep playing well, he shouldn’t have to worry about the weather in the playoffs.
The Texans only converted 3 of 14 third downs (21%). Luckily, the Bears were even worse at 2 of 15 (15%). This inability to sustain drives is the reason for such low scoring outputs from both teams.