Week 10 brings about two great matchups in the NFC North. With the Green Bay Packers on a bye, the Chicago Bears host the Houston Texans while the Detroit Lions travel to Minnesota to finish out their season series against the Vikings. Let’s look at some of the storylines surrounding the games.
Houston Texans (7-1) at Chicago Bears (7-1)
This is the marquis matchup for the NFL’s week 10 slate and is the Sunday Night game. Each team comes in having lost just one game and playing well. Chicago has won six straight and Houston has bounced back from their first loss of the season and won their last two in a row. Each team’s last loss came at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.
Defense is the name of this game. Houston ranks 3rd overall in yardage allowed (286/game) while Chicago ranks 6th (318/game).
The Bears are leading the league in takeaway’s with 28 and takeaway ratio at +16. They’re turning those takeaway’s into points and have seven interception returns for scores this season by five different players. Their defense has become nearly as potent, in terms of scoring, as their offense.
Chicago is tied with New England for fumbles caused with 11. Just last week, Chicago forced five fumbles, two by CB Charles Tillman. Tillman has been hot after the ball this season and has seven caused fumbles and has two of Chicago’s interception returns for touchdowns. Some say he’s an early candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Houston has 24 sacks on the season, led by defensive end J.J. Watt who also leads the league with 10.5. Like Chicago,Houston is making a good living on the defensive side of the ball. They have nine interceptions and are just one behind Cleveland for the AFC lead in that category. The Texans are giving up just over 82 yards/game and will look to stonewall Chicago’s ground game that is currently averaging 128.5 yards.
The key in this game will be the defense that can hold the line of scrimmage and stop the run. Both of these teams mirror each other in many ways and this game is a possible preview of Super Bowl XLVII, at least at this point. The winner takes another step towards solidifying themselves as a top contender in their conference and in the league overall.