When the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans meet in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL regular season, the Bears will have the chance to do something they have never done before: beat the Texans.
The Texans are the only NFL franchise the Bears have yet to beat since their inception in 1920. The Bears have a win over every other active NFL franchise.
The two teams have met three previous times with the most recent coming in 2012.
That game was played at a soggy Soldier Field on Sunday Night Football and was a matchup of 7-1 teams at the time. The Texans controlled the game, backed by their defense, and won 13-6.
The first meeting between the two clubs came in 2004, when the Texas beat the Bears 24-5 at Soldier Field. It was one of the coldest games played at Soldier Field with a temperature of 12 degrees at kickoff and a wind chill of -8.
Houston beat Chicago in week 17 of the 2008 season, which knocked the Bears out of the playoffs.
The Texans have essentially dominated the series between the two teams, outscoring the Bears 68-35 in three games. A win on Sunday will check off one last box for the Monsters of the Midway.
Other stats of note
-The Bears are seeking their 55th Week 1 win in franchise history. Their current mark of 54 wins is the most in NFL history. The Bears come in with a 54-37-5 record for opening games of the NFL season. The Green Bay Packers are second with 53 Week 1 wins.
-On Sunday, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will play in his first regular season game under the franchise tag. In 2015, Jeffery played in just nine games but was one of quarterback Jay Cutler’s favorite targets. In those nine contests, Jeffery was targeted 10.44 times per game, eighth most in the NFL.
-In his two previous stints as an NFL head coach, John Fox’s teams have never had a losing record in his second season with the organization. In Fox’s second season with the Panthers (2003) they finished 11-5 and went on to the Super Bowl. In 2012, the Broncos went 13-3 but lost in the AFC Divisional round.
-Deonte Thompson will enter the season as the Bears primary kick returner. In 2015, he had 14 kick returns for 409 yards and an average of 29.2 yards per return. That ranked second in the NFL in 2015 among returners with at least 10 attempts.
-Guard Josh Sitton started 123 of 125 games in the last seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers. The last Bears offensive lineman to start at least 100 games with the team is Olin Kreutz, who started in 134 straight games between 2002-2010.
-The Bears' largest margin of victory in Week 1 is 38 points and came against the Green Bay Packers in 1948. The matchup was held at City Stadium on September 26 in Green Bay and was seen by 25,456 fans. The Bears finished the 1948 season 10-2 but finished second in the NFL West division to the Chicago Cardinals (11-1), who went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Championship.
-The largest margin of defeat for the Bears in week one is 42 points, which happened on September 7, 2003 against the 49ers. San Francisco dominated that game from the start, eventually winning 49-7.
-Sunday’s contest against the Houston Texans will mark the eighth straight year Jay Cutler has started the opening game for the Bears. The mark is a franchise record that dates back to 1920. The Bears are 4-3 with Cutler as the starter in Week 1.
-Safety Adrian Amos started in all 16 games for the Bears in 2015 and recorded a team-high 108 tackles. He became the first Bears defensive rookie to lead the team in tackles since linebacker Brian Urlacher in 2000.