Chicago Bears' defensive star Charles Tillman made waves when he said he would not miss the birth of his child for Sunday’s home matchup against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field.
Tillman, who is a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, received some criticism, but ultimately his wife was not expected to go into labor before the game, and the Chicago defense can continue to crush opponents.
The Bears, sporting a 7-1 record, mangled the Tennessee Titans for a 51-20 victory last week. Chicago’s defense scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, with Brian Urlacher returning an interception 46-yards, and Corey Wooton bringing a blocked punt back five yards for a touchdown.
The Bears were up 28-2 in the first quarter, and quarterback Jay Cutler found receiver Brandon Marshall for three touchdowns en route to 229 yards passing.
Marshall would finish with nine catches for 122 yards, and running back Matt Forte compiled 103 rushing yards on just 12 carries.
Chicago may have found their midseason groove, but Houston is one team that could break their stride.
The Texans defense has been just as dominate, ranking fourth against the pass and second against the rush this season. Led by J.J. Watt, Houston is also fourth in points allowed per game with 17.1.
Watt leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks this year, and is second in tackles for Houston with 39.
The offense is also clicking with Arian Foster on pace for another 1,000-yard season. Foster gained 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries last week, as Houston stomped in the second half over the Buffalo Bills 21-9.
Quarterback Matt Schaub went 19-for-27 for 268 yars for his sixth 200-yard passing game of the season, and receiver Andre Johnson had his second 100-yard game this year.
Betting Odds: Chicago is favored by 1 point
Over/Under: 40 points
Prediction: This is the game of the day and a possible Super Bowl matchup. Watt is the best in the league at swatting down passes from the line of scrimmage and could frustrate Cutler all day. The game should come down to Foster and Forte, with Chicago walking way with their biggest win of the year.
Predicted Score: Chicago 24, Houston 17