The Chicago Bears defense lives off of turnovers.
But the vaunted defense will be heavily tested Sunday against an extremely disciplined Houston Texans offense.
The Texans have just six turnovers all season, good for fewest in the league. Houston has only fumbled the ball once this season, impressive considering how committed the Texans are to running the football.
The biggest concern for the Bears will be containing Houston running back Arian Foster, who is fifth in the NFL in rushing yards and leads the league in rushing touchdowns. Foster also leads the NFL in rushing attempts, and Houston will likely put the ball in his hands often on Sunday.
The Bears have been solid against the run all season. They are sixth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed but haven’t faced a back like Foster.
The two best backs the Bears have faced were Maurice Jones-Drew in Week 5 and Chris Johnson last week. Jones-Drew was held to 56 yards on 12 carries, but Johnson rattled off 141 rushing yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run.
Luckily for the Bears, fumble specialist Charles Tillman won’t miss Sunday’s game due to the birth of his fourth child. The Bears cornerback with 36 career forced fumbles tweeted “Baby is coming Monday don’t worry I’ll be there Sunday.”
No one would blame Tillman if he decided to skip Sunday’s matchup in the event that his wife went into labor, but Bears fans will be glad to know the NFC defensive player of October will be at Soldier Field Sunday night.
The other luxury of Tillman being on the field is that the Bears won’t need to double cover Andre Johnson. Tillman has proved all season he is capable of playing single coverage on any receiver in the league, and his presence will allow for more defensive attention to be paid to Houston’s running game.
Sunday’s game against Houston will be the first real test for the Bears since they faced the Packers in Week 2. Houston is scoring the second-most points in the NFL, including a 43-13 rout of Baltimore in Week 7.
The Texans aren’t afraid to throw the ball either, although Pro Bowl receiver Johnson is having a down season in terms of getting in the end zone. Matt Schaub hasn’t had to throw much thanks to Foster, but he has connected on 63 percent of his passes, good for 11th in the NFL. He also has the seventh-highest QB rating in the league.
Sunday will be a true litmus test for two of the best teams in the NFL. The defense with the most turnovers will host the offense with the fewest. Something’s got to give.