The Bears will face the Houston Texans and, for the first time, QB Deshaun Watson in Week 14 at Soldier Field. The last time these two teams met, the Bears lost 23-14 in Houston on September 11, 2016 in a game started by Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler. To date, the Texans are the only active franchise the Bears have never beaten.
Player to Watch
Watson will present an interesting “road not taken” matchup after the Bears passed on him in the 2017 Draft, as he’s thrown for nearly 10,000 yards and 71 TD thus far in his promising career. He added some fuel to the fire recently by claiming the Bears never talked to him in the lead-up to that draft, and will certainly come to Chicago properly motivated to show up the team that passed on him three years ago.
Additions & Subtractions
Head coach and GM Bill O’Brien authored one of the more perplexing offseasons in the league. Gone is superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a stunning trade with Arizona, and in his place Houston brought in injury-prone running back David Johnson, plus receivers Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb. Intriguing 2020 second-round draft pick Ross Blacklock could make an instant impact on the defensive line alongside JJ Watt, potentially giving the Texans a potent combo for opposing offenses to handle.
Will the Hopkins trade come back to bite the Texans? It remains to be seen whether O’Brien read the tea leaves correctly in dealing their star receiver when he still had three years remaining on his contract, but Houston will look to build upon two-straight division titles anchored by Watson and a defense which ranked fifth in the league in yards allowed per game last season.