Houston Texans Monday Hangover: Grading The Win Over The Chicago Bears

Jonathan Daniel

It was ugly and sloppy, but it was still an impressive road win.

It was an ugly game that non-Texans fans probably got bored watching, but it was an impressive win in my opinion. I've said before that one of the marks of a great team is finding a way to win when you don't have your 'A' game. This is the type of game that previous Texans teams would have folded in early on and never even competed. Not only did the Texans compete, but they outplayed the Bears in a style of game that the Bears have become famous for winning. They were on the road, in conditions they aren't used to playing in as a dome team playing in rain and 30 mph winds, and were missing several starters; there were a lot of built in excuses had they lost. Not only is the overall level of talent on this years team much better, but so is their mentality which bodes very well for the playoffs.

Offense: B-

Going only by the numbers would suggest a much lower grade, maybe even an 'F', but I think you have to grade them on a curve for this game considering the weather conditions. They tried to pass, and there looked to be big plays available off of play action, but the weather conditions simply would not allow the passing game to be effective. With the wind, rain, cold, and the Bears defense on the field, even the best passing games in the history of the NFL wouldn't have had a big game on Sunday. Some of the failures in the passing game were due to Schaub looking past the underneath route in favor of the deeper route but I believe both interceptions were caused by the weather. On the first pick, Keshawn Martin fell down when making his cut, giving the defensive back an easy interception when the ball sailed by where Martin would have been. On the second pick, it would have been a tough fit but I think Andre Johnson was open, but the ball seemed to sail on Schaub, probably due a slick football and a poor grip and went over Johnson's head. If the game on Sunday had been played in good conditions, no doubt in my mind the Texans would have hit some big plays with the passing game.

Like I said could happen in my preview, the Bears played the run well for most of the game by crowding the box, covering up blockers on the line, and setting the edge, but the Texans made a few adjustments and on the touchdown drive in particular hit a couple of big plays. Arian Foster's yards per carry average didn't look great, but that was an impressive game from him. When a tiny gap was available, he exploited it; nothing he can do when they have the edge sealed off and get penetration behind the line. This game was already going to be physical, but the weather necessitated it being even more physical and the Texans beat the Bears at their own game on their own field.

Defense: A+

In better conditions, the Bears would have scored more than six points, but still a great performance from the Texans. The fans who love to be miserable and find things to complain about even after a victory will point out that Jay Cutler missed the second half, but he didn't exactly play well during the first half before he was pulled due to a concussion (Tim Dobbins needs to get his check book ready). The Texans took the ball away four times in the first half, including two interceptions of Cutler, who completed only 50% of his passes for 40 yards with a terrible QB rating of 16.7. In the run game, which I was worried about, Matt Forte was held to only 39 yards on 16 rushes. The Bears ended up with 115 team rushing yards, but that number is a little misleading because 42 of those yards came off of quarterback scrambles; take those yards off and they gave up only 73 rushing yards.

The Texans allowed the Bears to convert on only 2-13 third down attempts, held them under 250 yards of offense, and forced four turnovers; just total domination.

Overall: A

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