Are the Bears as good as their record says? Are the Texans as good as their record says? On Sunday night, in prime time, the world will have more answers.
Chicago hosts Houston this Sunday night in what will be the best game of Week 10. Here are some predictions for this matchup.
Jay Cutler or Houston Texans' Secondary Will Be Exposed
If Chicago didn't have a 7-1 record, we would be talking about quarterback Jay Cutler in a different light. He has only recorded 12 touchdowns to eight interceptions. He leads a passing attack that is averaging only 196.8 yards per game, 29th in the NFL.
Cutler is extremely fortunate that the Bears' defense has played so well this year.
Houston's defense has played Miami, Jacksonville, New York Jets and Tennessee this season—teams with horrendous quarterback play and/or young starters who may never pan out.
Also, the Texans have played Buffalo and Baltimore—two teams with average quarterback play and above-average quarterback play in the Ravens' Joe Flacco.
In the two games Houston played this year against quality quarterbacks, they were gashed. Peyton Manning passed for 330 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Against Aaron Rodgers, the Texans' defense gave up 338 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.
Was that just two terribly bad games? Or is it their Achilles heel? I think it's the latter, but is Jay Cutler good enough to take advantage of it? We will find out.
Bears Force 3 Turnovers
Chicago has been a menace to NFL teams this season in the turnover department. They have forced 28 turnovers already and we still have roughly half of the season to play.
Guys like Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Brian Urlacher will look to take the ball away at any moment. Chicago's first man to get to the ball carrier will generally attempt to strip the ball away to force a turnover, hence the amount they have this season.
It's an interesting strategy that has paid dividends for the Bears. And on a team that struggles to move the ball at times, it's a strategy that gives the offense a short field to maneuver with.
Bears Defeat Texans 28-21
Houston's secondary is a big question mark. Despite Cutler's struggles this season, he still has the talent to take full advantage of the weakness.
Chicago, playing at home, deserves to be favored in this contest. They will use a quality defensive effort combined with three turnovers to edge the Texans by a touchdown.