The Brock Osweiler era begins in Houston on Sunday afternoon. The spot comes with lots of pressure, after opting to bypass the Denver Broncos and go to a new city. It looked like Osweiler was being groomed to take over for Peyton Manning when he retired, but after that came to fruition, Osweiler skipped town and signed the more lucrative contract in Houston. Is Osweiler going to regret that decision? Will he live up to the lofty expectations in Houston? Most people are going to tell you that he is going to be a bust, a move that the Texans should have never made.
Texans are a team dying for a franchise quarterback. This is going all the way back to when they drafted David Carr. Carr was supposed to be the face of the expansion franchise, but he ultimately was a dud. The best quarterback the Texans have had to show on the field since then has been Matt Schaub. That isn’t a good thing.
The Texans have relied on their defense to propel them. A defensive end, J.J. Watt has become the face of the franchise, and a lot of ways, the face of the NFL. The wisest decision the Texans have ever made has been drafting Watt, who played his college football at Wisconsin with the Badgers. Now, only to wash away the ghosts of David Carr. That job is Brock Osweiler’s. Peyton Manning was considering going to the Texans, before he selected the Broncos. You wonder what could have been in Houston if he selected the Texans.
The Chicago Bears take their dysfunctional show on the road to Texas for Week 1 of the NFL schedule. The Bears are a team that have slowly, year after year, becoming more and more depleted from a talent perspective. It feels like ever since Brian Urlacher retired, the Bears have steadily experienced a downwards trend. With the talent pool dwindling down in Chicago, Jay Cutler somehow still stands tall as the starting quarterback.
If Cutler struggles this season, it might signal the end for him. Matt Forte is out of Chicago, as well as Brandon Marshall who played with the Jets a year ago. Forte joined Marshall with the Jets this offseason. That leaves Alshon Jeffrey for Jay Cutler to work with. Jeffrey has been slowed down by injuries in his career, so they are a Jeffrey injury away from being one of the worst offenses in the league. Not all of it will be Cutler’s fault, but he will have to take the brunt of the blame. They haven’t had an offensive line for a couple of years, and rebuilt a new unit in the offseason to try and keep Cutler on his feet. Time will tell how that works out.
Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Texans -5.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bears vs. Texans Pick:
While Jay Cutler hasn’t looked like a franchise quarterback in recent years with the Bears. Most of the blame is not with him. The Bears had one of the worst offenses lines in 2015 which ultimately resulted in Cutler getting knocked around pretty good. Forte was the epitome of a safety valve. Not only was Forte an excellent runner, but he was a terrific receiver out the backfield as well. That safety valve for Cutler isn’t going to be there anymore.
He was a guy who could take a 2-yard reception and turn it into a 15-yard gain for a first down. The Texans, notably J.J. Watt, are eagerly awaiting this Chicago Bears’ offensive line. Jeffrey is looking to cash in next season, so he is dearly hoping that the line can help the offense out more this year.
This is going to be a work-in-progress offensive line for the Bears. I imagine we’re going to see multiple line combinations, with players shifting around throughout the season. They are hoping everything sticks together in Week 1 against the Texans, but they do not get an easy defensive line to test it out against. Preseason is one thing, now this is the regular season where guys are playing for real. The Texans were ranked 3rd defensively in the NFL in 2015. Conversely, the Bears will try and improve on their 23rd ranked offense.
I’m going to bet on Jay Cutler having that dumbfounded look quite often on the sidelines this season. You know that face I’m talking about, right? I don’t foresee them having much of an improved offense in 2016. In fact, they may go backwards before things get much better. The Texans should get to Cutler and harass him all game long. They should nullify the only real threat the Bears have, Alshon Jeffrey. This will lead to a long day for the Bears’ offense. Although, how much faith do we have in Osweiler right out of the gates? I think the Texans are going to be fairly conservative with him in Week 1. Short, easy completions to get his confidence up, without the possibility of having a multiple interception game in his first ever start as the main attraction under center. Osweiler has only filled in as a backup for Manning until this point. The Texans should get the win here, but it’s going to be a dog fight with several appearances by both teams punters. I like the UNDER.
PICK: UNDER 44 POINTS (-115)