NFL Big Guns Face Off

Image courtesy of Levey - Getty Images
Arian Foster's running game will be vital for the Texans on Monday (AEDT). Image courtesy of Levey/Getty Images
At this stage of the season, you won’t find too many better match-ups than a pair of 7-1 teams going at it. That’s what is in store for NFL fans on Monday (AEDT) when Chicago takes on Houston .

The Bears have, hands down, the best defence in the NFL. Five of their seven wins this season have been by 16 points or more , and much of that comes down to their ability to shut down opposition offences. Amazingly, Chicago’s ‘D’ has already scored eight touchdowns this season, which is not far off the total number of times certain teams have found the end zone in the first nine weeks.

Whether they’re contenders or pretenders will be decided by the end of their clash with the Texans, though. The Bears’ opponents this season are a combined 27-39, and they’ve faced just two half-decent teams. One of those was the Colts, who they beat in Andrew Luck’s Week 1 debut, while they lost to the Packers 23-10 the following week.

There was a lot of negativity surrounding Jay Cutler in the early part of the season, but the Bears have posted some big scores this season. Whether he can excel against a quality outfit like the Texans is the big question, especially if defensive end J.J. Watt improves on his 10.5 sacks this season. Wideout Brandon Marshall is coming off three touchdowns in the mauling of the Titans last weekend, while Matt Forte provides plenty of quality out of the backfield. The Bears scored 28 points in the first quarter against Tennessee, so if they get out to a quick start again, it could be curtains for the Texans.

Don’t underestimate Houston, though. They have a smart quarterback in Matt Schaub , who is less likely to fall victim to Chicago’s takeaway-oriented defence than other teams have been so far this season. The Bears will have their hands full trying to stop the Texans’ running game led by Arian Foster , while Andre Johnson is a target who is capable of making big plays. 

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