Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears: Complete Game Grades and Player Analysis
Offense for both teams was nonexistent, and it seemed that neither team had the ability to even scarcely move the ball. A lone touchdown for the Texans, however, ended up being the deciding factor.
Make sure sure to check back in on this article throughout the night, as we will be providing game grades for each individual significant Texans' player.
Matt Schaub: C-
Matt Schaub did not look like himself at all this game. It was easily his worst performance of the season, and he struggled to consistently connect with his receivers. A huge part of that could have been that his security blanket, Owen Daniels, did not play, but that is no excuse for the leader of a potential Super Bowl contender.
Arian Foster: B
While Arian Foster did eclipse 100 yards, those yards came in spits and spatters. Foster would get held up behind the line of scrimmage countless times before breaking off a big run. He could not consistently move the ball for the Texans’ offense.
The offensive line struggled with the Bears’ front, and that is a major reason for Foster’s not-so-great performance. Foster, though, hauled in a beautiful catch that ended up becoming the game’s lone and deciding touchdown.
James Casey: C-
The Texans did not utilize Casey much as a lead-blocker this game, but when they did, he was hardly blowing up holes for Foster. Casey, also, failed to contribute at all in the passing game as a receiving threat.
Garrett Graham: C-
With Owen Daniels inactive, Garrett Graham finally received his opportunity to prove that he could make it in the NFL as a starting tight end. To put it frankly, he failed miserably. He was unable to be the dependable target that a tight end must be for his quarterback, and he only hauled in three receptions. He did, however, make a nice catch and run that set up a Shayne Graham field goal in the fourth quarter.
Andre Johnson: C-
Andre Johnson was the Texans’ leading wide receiver this game. While that does sound good, the fact that he only accounted for about 30 receiving yards clearly does not. Johnson started off the game well for the Texans in the first half, but when the offense stalled in the second half, Johnson’s production stopped with it.
Kevin Walter: C-
Like Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter failed to make a major impact in this game. He had one nice 20 yard reception, but aside from that, his name was barely called.
Keshawn Martin: F
The only other Texans’ receiver to see any playing time at all, Keshawn Martin did not impress. The rookie wide receiver has performed in spurts all season, and it was pretty obvious that this game was not one of his better ones.
Duane Brown: B+
Duane Brown was tasked with the nearly impossible job of holding future Hall-of-Famer Julius Pepper in check. Brown held his own against the perennial Pro Bowler, though he did struggle at certain points throughout the game.
Wade Smith: B-
Though the Texans’ struggled to consistently run the ball, they were much more effective running it to the left side, from my observations. Smith mans the left side of the line alongside Duane Brown, so he naturally receives some credit.
Chris Myers: C-
Henry Melton’s name was repeated several times throughout the night. Chris Myers’ opponent was continuously wrecking havoc in the Texans’ backfield, and he was managed to single-handedly shut down several running attempts. Myers is considered one of the best centers in the NFL, and he cannot allow himself to be manhandled like he was in this game.
Ben Jones: C+
The young rookie did little to distinguish himself for better or worse in this game. The Texans sometimes struggled running to the right side of the line, and they sometimes were successful. Therefore, Jones receives a very average grade.
Derek Newton: C-
Arian Foster had trouble getting around the edge on the right side of the field. The Bears’ linebackers would easily beat their blockers and clog up the cutback lanes, making it nearly impossible for Foster to find any room to run. Derek Newton is responsible for setting the edge as the starting right tackle, and he must perform better in the future.
Antonio Smith: C
While it’s tough to give a bad grade to a member of the Texans’ defensive unit this game, Antonio Smith quite frankly did little to contribute to the defense’s amazing play. He only registered one tackle, and he was unable to even slightly rush the passer.
Earl Mitchell: A-
With Shaun Cody inactive, Earl Mitchell received his opportunity to make a start at the nose tackle position, and he did not disappoint. The primary job of a nose tackle is to stop the run, and Chicago’s Pro Bowl running back, Matt Forte, was unable to get anything going on the ground. Mitchell made plays against the rushing attack multiple times throughout the night, and he proved that he is perhaps deserving of being named the starting’ nose tackle.
J.J. Watt: B
All night long, Watt was forced to deal with double teams. In fact, I don’t recall a single play where he was not being double teamed. The Bears’ game-plan likely was to shut down Watt, and while Watt was still able to be disruptive against the pass and the rush, the Bears held him to his worst game of the season.
Connor Barwin: A
Connor Barwin has been improving every week, and he was absolutely incredible against the Bears. He played a major role in shutting down Matt Forte in both the running game and the passing game, and he was also the Texans’ most consistent pass-rusher. A great game for Barwin.
Tim Dobbins: A
Tim Dobbins had his best game of the season in this prime-time matchup. Dobbins was absolutely incredible against the run, and he almost seemed like Brian Cushing out there. Dobbins appeared to be everywhere, both as a run stopper and in coverage. If Dobbins can continue this impressive performance throughout the rest of the season, then the Texans’ defensive unit will be very, very scary.
Bradie James: A
While Tim Dobbins clearly had the best game in the linebacking core, Bradie James wasn’t far behind. Like Dobbins, James played like a man possessed against the run, and his efforts were a major reason why Chicago struggled to run the ball.
Brooks Reed: C+
Aside from Antonio Smith, Brooks Reed likely had the worst performance out of all the Texans’ defenders. He failed to generate any pressure on either Jay Cutler or Josh Campbell, and was not very effective against the run.
Johnathan Joseph: A-
Johnathan Joseph’s primary task coming into this game was to hold Brandon Marshall in check. Joseph, however, did more than just that. Aside from one long completed bomb, he completely shut the star receiver down. Joseph had a great game, and it’s clear that the ill-effects of his injury are quickly fading away.
Kareem Jackson: A
Not enough positive words can be shed on Kareem Jackson’s dramatic improvement this season. Jackson, once the most criticized athlete in Houston, is now actually propelling the Texans to victory, not hindering them from achieving it. Jackson picked off Cutler once this game, increasing his total to four on the year, which happens to be the total that Johnathan Joseph amounted in all of last season.
Danieal Manning: A
In his first return to Chicago after the organization failed to resign him there, Danieal Manning clearly played like he had a chip on his shoulder. Manning forced two turnovers in the game, an interception and a fumble. He also very solid in coverage, and also contributed to the Texans’ run-stopping efforts.
Glover Quin: A-
Although Glover Quin did not make any flashy or exciting plays, he played a very important role in this game. All game long, Quin was tasked with assisting Johnathan Joseph with covering Brandon Marshall on the deep ball. Due to his effective coverage, the normally explosive Marshall was only able to make one big play.
Shayne Graham: A
Shayne Graham knocked down a 20-yard field goal and a 41-yard field goal in the extremely messy conditions in Chicago. Not bad.
Donnie Jones: C+
Whether it was the awful weather or if he was just having an off night, Donnie Jones did not look like himself. He struggled to effectively punt the ball throughout the game, and he booted several extremely short ones that set up the Bears’ offense with great field position.
Keshawn Martin: B
Martin really did not get a chance to do much as a returner in this game. While he did have an electrifying kick return in the second half, the play was neutralized by a holding penalty.
Gary Kubiak: C-
The offense, which is Gary Kubiak’s responsibility, simply could not execute against the Bears’ tough defense. While much of the blame should fall on the players, Kubiak must shoulder some of it as the play-caller.
The defense turned in one of their best performances of the season, and Wade Phillips deserves much of the credit. His scheme shut down the talented receiver Brandon Marshall, and his play-calling prevented the Bears from getting anything going on offense.
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