B/R Consensus: Bears (8-3)
Vegas: Bears (-1.5)
A few weeks ago, it would've been absurd to pick against the Texans. But the Bears' defense is the best in football, and their offense is starting to click. The Texans can beat anyone if they execute, but the Bears should be able to jump out in front pretty quickly and stay there.
The loss of Brian Cushing will be felt against the Chicago Bears. Solider Field is a tough place to play no matter the time of year, but in the cold of mid-November, with the Bears' defense playing as well as any in the NFL, Houston will run into a brick wall and suffer its second loss of the season.
The Texans and Bears have spent most of the year beating up on lesser teams, although Houston did beat the Broncos, and the Bears, well, the Bears haven't beat anybody of consequence. Yes, their defense has been lights-out, but the Texans are specifically built to take advantage of the way the Bears like to keep their safeties deep. Arian Foster will open up things for Matt Schaub and Owen Daniels in a big way.
Houston is a very good team, but I think the Bears are the best in football. They've hammered the AFC this year and have the corners to make things difficult for the Texans' passing game.
Another coin-flip game, but ultimately I think people are underrating the Bears. They finally have an offense going and the defense is the best in the league. While J.J. Watt is a playmaker and will give Gabe Carimi and J'Marcus Webb fits on the line, ultimately the Bears can overcome this by using Matt Forte and Michael Bush early and often.
Meanwhile, the Bears' defense will have to shut down Arian Foster, no small feat I'll admit. But it's a task I firmly believe this defense can accomplish. Put Peanut Tillman on Andre Johnson and the biggest issue will be Owen Daniels, whom I think they can contain. This is going to be a tough game, a fun game to watch and will truly tell us exactly how good these two teams are. The answer is probably ''very'' in both cases, but we'll see.