There’s one game I hold closer to my heart than most Texans fans hold close to their hearts. It was Houston’s close, defensive triumph in the rain over the Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday Night Football in 2012. For years, the Texans had been lambasted for being a weak team. Soft like baby food. Brains that couldn’t handle adversity. Crumbles under pressure. Year in and year out, when the Texans blew games at the very end, this was the inescapable narrative that doomed this team.
Then the Houston Texans went to Chicago. In the muck, they absolutely crushed the Bears with hit after hit after hit after hit. Former Bear Danieal Manning’s pop was the greatest. He stuck a tight end running the seam and forced a fumble that led to Houston points.
Houston’s offense did the same on their end. They dominated the line of scrimmage. Arian Foster caught a swing pass and obliterated the Bears’ barricade, diving for the pylon, and making the key offensive play of the game. It was beautiful. The Texans won 13-6. The Texans were no longer the Texans after that game.
The Bears are also the team that gifted Deshaun Watson to Houston in a way. In the 2017 NFL Draft, they traded up to select Mitch Trubisky. They chose future potential over absolute madman Patrick Mahomes and the then-and-there best quarterback at the time, NCAA Champion Deshaun Watson. Because of Chicago taking Trubisky, Watson and Mahomes slid. Kansas City traded up for Mahomes. Houston traded up for Watson. Both franchises got the key piece in place to build their teams around for the next twelve years.
Here in 2020, the Texans and Bears are near the bottom of the league as they make the final turn home. Houston began the season 0-4 against a tough schedule. This was mostly the fault of Bill O’Brien, who absolutely screwed this entire franchise up in an unfathomable way. The Bears wasted a great defense once again at the hands of Mitch Trubisky, who Matt Nagy anxiously waited to bench for Nick Foles, who in turn proved once again his Super Bowl run with the Eagles was a one-time hot streak and that in reality, he’s a pure QB2, not someone who can consistently generate offense.
There should be better days ahead for both teams as early as next season as Houston searches for the leadership they need to finally build a team around Watson and as Chicago tries to find a new quarterback, either a veteran or through the 2021 NFL Draft. That’s for the future.
Today, as we wait for the first quarter thread to post at 11:45 a.m. CST, this is where you can share your pre-game thoughts, hopes, and fears as the Texans make their final preparations to face the Bears. Enjoy your Sunday morning.