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Week 1: Texans vs. Bears – Who ya got?

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The road to the postseason will not be easy for the Houston Texans or the Chicago Bears. They’ll both have their hands full making headway in their divisions against opponents who have no intentions of letting them get by easily. The biggest advantage the Bears have is that they have their captain, Jay Cutler, behind center. They’ve also remained pretty steady, without too many changes. With Cutler’s veteran experience and a pretty solid line – both offensively and defensively – the Bears look good to win the NFC North, absent any major setbacks. It would be harder to say if Teddy Bridgewater was not out for the Minnesota Vikings, but with his absence, the Bears look to be in a good position.

A new quarterback for Houston

The Texans are once again starting a new quarterback, which seems to be a regular occurrence for them. This season, however, the Houston brass have put their money where their mouths are and have gone with Brock Osweiler, the stable and successful backup to the Super Bowl-winning quarterback from last season. His heavy-loaded, $72 million contract shows the Texans are serious about making this one work, and Osweiler’s performance in camp and in the preseason show he’s serious about giving the Texans their money’s worth. The closest they have come in recent history is Matt Schaub. The Texans don’t intend on repeating failures of football seasons past.

Let’s give some more background to the seriousness of the Osweiler decision for the Texans. He was consistent as a relief for Peyton Manning and was able to give the Sheriff relief in several games when he showed the need for backup on the field. The quarterback position has been a thorn in the Texans’ side for a while – from David Carr to Matt Schaub — and they have jumped from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Brian Hoyer with no success or stability.

The Broncos, however, were in a different situation. Fresh off of a Super Bowl victory, the Sherriff was hanging up his hat and riding off into the sunset. Peyton Manning, one-half of the Manning NFL legacy and a guaranteed bust in Canton, announced his retirement, which put Brock Osweiler in a solid position to follow him under center in Elway Country. When Osweiler hit the open market, however, the quarterback demand from this past postseason caused the Texans to offer far more to him than the Broncos were willing to part with. Along with their active interest in Colin Kaepernick (which ultimately fell through), the Broncos decided Trevor Siemian was a better choice, and Osweiler was off to Houston.

Better than ever

With a new man under center, the Texans face some uncertainty. With an opponent as good as the Bears, they hope the gamble they made on Osweiler will pay dividends. Right now, the Bears are dealing with some injury issues, especially in their secondary. With their top three cornerbacks injured, even if they manage to play on Sunday, it’s doubtful they’ll be at 100 percent.

This is what the Texans need on Sunday – Osweiler to connect with DeAndre Hopkins. As one of the league’s top receivers, if Osweiler can connect with him, the Texans are in marvelous shape. Even after losing Arian Foster, Lamar Miller, recently acquired from the Miami Dolphins, is a strong replacement and should put the Texans in a great position.

Even returning from injury, JJ Watt is sure to give Jay Cutler a run for his money. Watt underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back in July. Watt is slated to return this game, and I’m sure he and the millions who follow him are waiting with baited breath. With the strength of the Texans’ defensive line, Jay Cutler and the Bears’ receivers are going to have one huge challenge on their hands. Although both teams have some uncertainties, the Texans look well positioned to win this game against the Chicago Bears. Few disagree with this – the smart money is on the Texans at home. Even with the Texans predicted to win, this should be an interesting game to watch.

So let’s get ready for some football. All roads lead to NRG Stadium to watch the Texans and the Bears battle it out for who will end up 1-0. We know you were watching — let us know how you felt the game went!

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