If so, they’re overpaid.
The Texans’ first score, a 20-yard field goal, was practically gifted them on the Bears’ opening drive. That began hopefully at the Chicago 43, then came to a screeching halt when tight end Kellen Davis caught a short pass and then committed a fumble that Dobbins returned to the Bears 28.
Houston had to earn the game’s only touchdown, marching 66 yards in the second quarter with running back Arian Foster grinding out tough yards on three of the six plays before laying out to catch a 2-yard TD pass.
“We couldn’t stop the run,” Smith said. “You just can’t let them run the ball the way they did in that first half. Second half, I thought we played better. … We tackled better in the second half, which gave us an opportunity.”
The second half could have spilled over into Tuesday and the Bears might be trying to score a touchdown still. More than a quarter of their 27 TDs thus far this season came via the defense _ seven interceptions returned for touchdowns _ and an eighth was provided by the special teams. In nine games, the defense has yielded 11 opposing TDs.
Foster finished the game with 29 carries for 102 yards rushing, but only 17 of those came after halftime.
“Given the conditions, they knew we were going to try and run the football,” Texans quarterback Matt Schaub said. “He was still able to churn out yards and get the tough ones. He just played big.”
Schaub said the rain made the footing difficult “and left a little bit of a glaze of mud on the ball, which kind of made it tough to grip. It kept you from wanting to take a chance (throwing) down the field.”
But that’s exactly what the Bears set out to do when they reversed course four years ago and bundled, among other things, Orton and two first-round picks in a deal to pry Cutler away from Denver. Then they doubled down this past offseason to acquire receiver Brandon Marshall, Cutler’s one-time teammate with the Broncos, and provide the deep threat the Bears rarely had.
“There was no heads hanged down when Jay was down. There was no complaining,” Marshall said. “We understand we have a starting quarterback in the backup so we’re fortunate to have him. There will be no drop off in our offense.”
Of course, he sees good things ahead. But that’s just because he hasn’t been in town very long.
Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and follow him at Twitter.com/JimLitke.
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