Despite blowing things late against the Colts last week, the Houston Texans (4-8) can at least be happy they aren’t winless. They’ve struggled most of the season but face an ice-cold Chicago Bears (5-7) team in Week 14 that blew a big lead in the fourth quarter to the Lions a week ago. Neither of these teams is where they expected to be through 13 weeks, but they can still build momentum towards next season over the final four games.
The spread for Sunday’s game has the Texans serving as a one-point favorite.
Houston Seeks Fifth Win
Deshaun Watson couldn’t handle a bad snap from the goal line, and the team fumbled the ball last week, losing 26-20 to Indianapolis. The loss had a significant impact on the AFC playoff picture. Both the Ravens and Raiders needed a Colts loss to move inside the top seven, but no such luck for those teams.
In Watson, the Texans have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but the team around him has failed. Trading Hopkins is not THE move that sunk the team’s ship this year, but it was undoubtedly one of them. Losing Will Fuller to a PED suspension didn’t help matters either.
Though Bill O’Brien is now gone, the moves he made indicate he wasn’t earning anybody’s trust. To rebuild without draft picks is a bit tough, especially in a division where the Colts and Tennessee Titans are trending upward. This is going to be the single most important offseason in Texans history.
Houston will win if they can sling the ball against a stingy Bears defense. Watson ranks second in the league in passing yards with 3,542 and is in the Top 10 in touchdowns, but Chicago’s defense allows 238 passing yards per game.
Bears Seem Toothless
What a horrible year Chicago is having. After starting the season 5-1, the Bears have lost six straight, and jobs are on the line throughout the organization.
Chicago’s latest implosion saw the team blow a double-digit fourth-quarter lead against the Detroit Lions. Despite winning the time of possession battle and having an even turnover margin, a late Mitchell Trubisky fumble set the Lions up with a short field. Adrian Peterson scored the go-ahead touchdown to seal the 34-30 win.
The Bears’ run game has been downright awful. David Montgomery has looked good at times, but the offensive line hasn’t opened up running lanes. Chicago has the second-worst rushing attack in the league, averaging 86.9 yards per game.
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has become a gadget player but still doesn’t provide enough of a threat. Without much of a downfield threat behind elite receiver Allen Robinson, things will get worse in Chicago before they get better.
Bears Lose Seventh in a Row
Houston’s one-point edge on the betting line feels like easy money here, but nothing is guaranteed. Chicago’s best hope is that cold weather takes Watson off his game. David Johnson is expected to rejoin the Texans’ backfield at full health and help spread the Bears defense thin. Take Houston in an ugly one.
FREE PLAY: Houston Texans (-1).
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