Bears Texans NFL Pick

364
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Chicago Bears

vs.

Houston Texans

Week 1

NFL Free Pick

9/11/16
 

The Houston Texans will host the Chicago Bears in week 1 NFL action with the Texans currently a -4 point home favorite at 5 dimes sportsbook. The total is 44.

The Houston Texans are banking on Brock Osweiler being a fraNChise quarterback. The former Arizona State Sun Devil was in contract negotiations for some time oNCe the 2015-16 season ended. Osweiler started 7 Games for the Denver Broncos last year while Peyton Manning dealt with injuries before returning for Denver’s Super Bowl run. Osweiler played pretty well, completing 61.8% of his passes for 1,967 yards, with 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The Texans rewarded him with a lucrative contract worth $72 million over 4 years.

The good news for Osweiler is that while he attempts to develop into a premier quarterback in the NFL, he has one of the Game’s young stars to throw the ball to in DeAndre Hopkins. Last year, Hopkins finished third in the entire league in receptions (111) and yards (1,521). Hopkins is a rangy athlete that attacks the ball in the air. The hope for Texans’ fans is that Hopkins will be even more productive with a new quarterback. Houston believes that Osweiler is a significant upgrade at quarterback over the combination of quarterbacks it used last year in Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden.

Defensively, the Texans GAve up the third fewest yards in the NFL last season. At linebacker, Brian Cushing finally was able to stay healthy enough to play all 16 Games for Houston last season. This proved rewarding as he led the Texans with 110 tackles. J.J. Watt was his normal self in 2015 as he recorded 17.5 sacks. Both players return in 2016 to be the centerpieces oNCe again.

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The Bears are hoping that Jay Cutler improves off a decent but unspectacular year in 2015. Cutler threw for 3,659 yards last season, along with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, his fewest since throwing 7 in 2011 when he only played in 10 Games. If the turnover-prone quarterback can limit his turnovers there will be opportunity for something of a big season.

Optimism for Cutler largely resides at wide receiver where the Bears return Alshon Jeffery. In 2013 and 2014 Jeffery eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. In 2015 he was limited to only playing 9 Games, but he was still very productive. While playing just over half a season, Jeffery caught 54 passes for 807 yards and 4 touchdowns. Another piece to the puzzle that’s needed if Cutler is to have success is the preseNCe of Kevin White. The rookie out of West Virginia missed all of his first season with a broken shin. Now the expectation for the first-round draft pick is to come in and serve as another leading candidate on offense. He’s been quiet in the preseason, but if White produces, watch for the Jeffery-White duo to be named as one of the most dangerous duos in the NFL at receiver.

The Bears were just average, defensively, in 2015 and after 8 seasons in Chicago, Matt Forte is now with the New York Jets. There was no standout preseNCe defensively for Chicago in 2015, and if they are going to contend for the playoffs after a disappointing 6-10, last-place finish, they will need improvement on that side of the ball.

Pick: You get the feeling this one rides on the shoulder of Brock Osweiler. He has a defense that should be able to limit Chicago. He was decent but not great in Denver last season. He has a tremendous weapon in Hopkins that has flOurished with less at quarterback in his time in Houston. Houston -4

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