Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Texans.
First team to score
Texans. It may just be a field goal, but I expect an offense as good as the Texans to get into a rhythm early and tack on the first points. The Bears jumped out to a big first quarter lead last week, but it was largely defensive-driven.
First Bears player to score
Robbie Gould. The Texans feature one of the top defenses in football and so I wouldn’t expect the Bears to put a quick touchdown on the board. Gould should get first crack at the scoreboard.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Field Goals. The Texans are allowing just 17.1 points per game, fourth-fewest in the NFL. The Bears have been struggling to move the ball offensively.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
5. The only time Marshall was really shut down by an opposing defense this year was against the Packers in Week 2 when he finished with just 2 receptions. The Texans have vowed to double-cover Marshall, but I would still expect him to get his touches.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler
Interceptions. Houston’s tied for 8th with 9 interceptions and have a stout defense. It could be one of those rough, non-Monday night prime time appearances for Cutler.
Jay Cutler sacks
5. The Texans are third in the NFL with 25 sacks and they feature the league’s sack leader in defensive end J.J. Watt. The Bears will have to do some serious game planning to slow down this pass rush.
More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub. Cutler ranks just 21st in the NFL in passing yards per game. The Bears have generally operated on short fields. Unless the Bears manage to break a few long passes, I think Schaub racks up more yards.
More rushing yards – Bears or Texans
Texans. This game features two of the best running backs in the league between the Bears’ Matt Forte and the Texans’ Arian Foster. Foster and the Texans have run the ball more effectively this season than the Bears have and have remained dedicated to it.
Total rushing yards for Bears
90. The Texans are allowing just 81.9 yards per game on the ground, second-best in the NFL. Unless the Bears build a lead and stay committed to the run, I wouldn’t expect much production from the ground game.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
28 run-to-36 pass. The Bears are averaging about 50% rushing (29.75 rush attempts) and 50% passing (30.25 pass attempts) over the first half of the season. I would expect more pass plays than runs because I feel they’ll be playing from behind at some point.
Team to win the turnover battle
Bears. This might be wishful thinking because, simply put, if the Bears don’t win the turnover ratio, I don’t see them winning a game against a team as good as the Texans. But they also lead the NFL in turnover differential. The Texans take good care of the ball, so I don’t expect there to be too many turnovers, period.
Total points scored
35. This game will feature a battle between two of the best defenses in the league. It should be a low-scoring affair.