Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (-1, 38.5)
A potential Super Bowl preview will take center stage Sunday night when the Houston Texans take the best record in the AFC into Soldier Field to face the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears. Houston rebounded nicely from its lone loss against Green Bay, pounding Baltimore before its bye week and coming back from the week off to beat Buffalo last week. The Texans rank second in the league in scoring offense (29.6) and fourth in scoring defense (17.1).
Houston's balance on both sides of the ball does not create a mismatch for the Bears, though. Chicago ranks third in scoring offense (29.5) and second in scoring defense (15.0). The Bears have rolled to six consecutive wins - their lone loss also came against the Packers - on the strength of a dominant ball-hawking defense. Chicago has forced 28 turnovers and is plus-16 in that department. The Texans have won both previous meetings - 31-24 at home in 2008 and 24-5 in Chicago in 2004.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE: Bears -1, O/U 39.5.
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-50s with a100 percent chance of showers. Winds will be strong out of the south at 21 mph.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (7-1): Houston's only loss came when it committed three turnovers - half of its season total - so the Texans will need to take care of the ball against the opportunistic Chicago defense. Quarterback Matt Schaub is likely to have to put the ball in the air quite a bit, though, because the Bears rank sixth in the league against the run. Schaub is 11-1 with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in his past 12 games.
ABOUT THE BEARS (7-1): Chicago has gone as its quarterback and defense go, which so far has been stellar. Jay Cutler has faced his ups and downs, but he has developed a strong rapport with receiver Brandon Marshall, who leads the NFC with 797 receiving yards on 59 catches. The defense has helped the offense too, not only by forcing so many turnovers but also by turning them into touchdowns. Chicago has taken seven interceptions back for touchdowns.
* Texans are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 4-1 in Bears’ last five games overall.
* Under is 4-1 in Texans’ last five road games.
* Bears are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine November games.
1. Schaub needs 146 passing yards to reach 20,000 in his career.
2. Including playoff games, Cutler's teams are 26-0 when he has a rating of 100 or higher.
3. Houston RB Arian Foster has scored at least one touchdown in 10 consecutive games and has topped 10 rushing scores for the third consecutive season.