The Houston Texans (4-8) travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears (5-7). These two teams have been on opposite trajectories throughout the 2020 season. Houston started the season 1-6. But since their bye, they have put together a solid 3-2 stretch. For Chicago, it has been a steep decline after starting the year 5-1. They have followed it up with a six-game losing streak.
Chicago has had their worst six weeks of football since Matt Nagy took over as head coach back in 2018. A less than stable offense has been the main culprit as the quarterback situation has only gotten worse. Neither Nick Foles nor Mitchell Trubisky appears to be the franchise’s future. Trubisky has been back at the helm since the Week 11 bye but has thrown for just a 65 percent completion percentage, 509 passing yards, four touchdowns, and two costly interceptions in the Bears’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. Trubisky also was at the helm for the late-game collapse against the Detroit Lions last week. Allen Robinson has still managed to total 904 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Running back David Montgomery has finally been turned loose these past two weeks, racking up 179 rushing yards and averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
The Houston Texans’ run defense will have to step it up this week once again to slow down the best part of the Bears offense right now in Montgomery. A J.J. Watt led defense has been uncharacteristically bad against the run this season, sitting 31st in the NFL in both rushing yards allowed and yards per carry. However, the past few weeks have looked more promising, holding their last three opponents to under 110 total yards, a drastic improvement from earlier in the year. The pass rush has also been an improvement since the bye week as 12 of their 28 total sacks have come in just their past five games, led by Watt with five and Whitney Mercilus with four. However, the passing defense still ranks 31st in the NFL, and the Texans are dead last in the NFL when forcing turnovers.
In the opposite matchup, the staggering Bears defense, after allowing 75 points these past two weeks, will get to face a Texans offense led by Deshaun Watson. The Texans also crushed the Lions two weeks ago, whom the Bears lost to, winning 41-25. Watson has quietly had a great season throwing for just over 3,500 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. However, the second-ranked passing offense will have to take on a Bears defense that had allowed a fair amount of yardage but not many points before these past two weeks. Unfortunately, Watson will be without his primary target for the rest of the season as Will Fuller serves a suspension. However, the Bears pass rush will have to step it up this week if they want any chance at slowing down Watson, who can do it all.
Date: December 13th, 2020
Start time: 12:00 P.M. CST
Location: Chicago, IL
Stadium: Soldier Field
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: HOU -2 (-110) | CHI +2 (-110)
Moneyline: HOU -130 | CHI +100
Over/Under: O 46 (-110)｜U 46 (-110)
With a point spread this small, you may as well be asking who wins this game. Right now, Houston has the edge in the books and on the field. The Bears have failed time and time again this season to finish games or even be competitive against similar opponents. Plus, the Bears have been unable to cover the spread in all but one game during their six-game losing streak. Chicago is currently on a 0-4 streak against the spread.
The point total for this game is tricky. While the Texans’ defense has been hit or miss this season, the Bears’ offense has been incredibly hit or miss. However, the Bears put up 30 points last week against a mediocre Lions defense. They will put up a respectable number again this week. Take the over, knowing that Houston will also likely have their way somewhat against a hurting Bears defense.
Chicago will need everything to go their way today to beat the Texans. The defense of old will need to return and stifle the Texans’ offense while Trubisky and the Bears’ offense find some way to put up points. However, neither of these things happen. At least to the extent they need to.
The Bears struggle to get after Watson, and he makes them pay, throwing a trio of touchdowns and putting up over 300 passing yards. With new available targets, Brandin Cooks emerges as the no. 1 wide receiver. Things struggle to get going early for the Bears offense, and Chicago doesn’t score a point until the second half, but it is too little too late.
Final Score: Houston 27, Chicago 20