The Chicago Bears (1-1) will face the Houston Texans (0-1-1) at home for week three. Chicago is coming off a demoralizing loss to Green Bay and growing concerns from fans and media about their ability to throw the ball.
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith leads a winless Texans team into Soldier Field with a horrible run defense and a passing defense willing to concede yards to offenses. Despite Houston’s issues on defense, teams are only averaging 18 points per game.
Here are three things the Bears’ offense needs to do to succeed against Houston in Week 3 and prevent a Lovie Smith revenge game.
Lean on RBs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert
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The Texans defense has played well in the first two weeks of the season, allowing just 18 points per game. But their success has been built on the back of their secondary. The Texans are terrible against the run, leading the league with 27 missed tackles.
Lovie Smith’s defense only allowed one touchdown to Matt Ryan and the Colts in week one and held Russell Wilson to a 45% completion rate. However, the Colts rushed for 177 yards and one touchdown, the Broncos rushed for 149 yards in week two, and both teams averaged more than 4.5 yards per carry.
After Sunday night’s performance against Green Bay, David Montgomery, and Khalil Herbert should look to have big games against the Texans defense. Given the Bears’ struggles passing the ball, a heavy dose of Montgomery and Herbert should be the key to a win.
Bears passing offense vs. Texans secondary
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Week three is the best week for the Bears passing offense to get going as they face one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL. The Texans have allowed the seventh most passing yards through the season’s first two weeks.
The Texans don’t give up many touchdowns through the air, but in addition to yards, they have allowed the 12th most completions this year. So for a team in Chicago that only has 153 yards passing on 28 attempts so far, the game script should allow for Justin Fields and the Bears receivers to accumulate yards and receptions.
Sunday’s game against Houston appears to be the best week for fans waiting on the Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet breakout game.
Bears OL vs. Texans Pass Rush
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At age 34, Jerry Hughes has turned back the clock in the first two weeks of the season. The former Bills pass rusher has two sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble vs. the Colts in week one. Hughes’ success has opened things up for Rasheem Green.
After Hughes’ stellar game against the Colts, Green followed up with 1.5 sacks and five tackles in week two against the Broncos. The Bears’ offensive line has played well, but Fields has been sacked five times in two games.
The Texans’ pass rush isn’t as intimidating as San Francisco and Green Bay, so the Bears need to keep Fields upright. If this is going to be the week that the passing offense gets right, it’s dependent on Fields not getting sacked often.