Above is the official prime time game thread picture: Cowbear.
Three final thoughts as the Texans come to town:
- The Bears can conceivably have this game wrecked by their inability to contain J.J. Watt and the Texans pass rush. Tonight is the kind of night where Mike Tice has to hunker down and give Matt Forte 30-35 touches. Force the run game. Use screens to keep the linebackers honest. Quick tosses outside to Hester and Marshall on first down to keep out of thirds and long. Be clever tonight, Mike.
- One or two plays can dramatically alter the outcome tonight and that means special teams must be special. Dave Toub’s group has been coming along in recent weeks but if the Bears are to win the field position battle Adam Podlesh must be better than he’s been all year. (He’s been among the bottom third statistical punters this year.)
- Health status of Owen Daniels is a huge factor. If he doesn’t play the Bears have a significant advantage. If he plays and is limited the Bears have a significant advantage. If he’s ready to go the Bears have a matchup nightmare on their hands.