TV: CBS, Don Criqui, Steve Tasker; DirecTV, 707 SERIES: First ever meeting.
2004 RANKINGS: Texans: offense 16th (20th rush, 18th pass); defense 30th (18th rush, 29th pass). Bears: offense 32nd (24th rush, 31st pass); defense 17th (24th rush, 12th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME
With QB Chad Hutchinson having been sacked five times in each of his two starts, the Bears have to be committed to the run early. They had just 14 rushes last Sunday, when they fell behind early and had to turn to the passing game. So it's critical for Chicago to stay close so it can lean on RB Thomas Jones. That doesn't figure to be a problem against a struggling Texans offense that is averaging just 15.2 points in its past six games. However, RB Domanick Davis has 472 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in the last five games, and will attack a Bears defense expected to be without MLB Brian Urlacher. Houston needs to run the ball effectively because it doesn't want to be forced into attacking the Bears' strong secondary, especially considering the Texans have struggled in pass protection recently.
This is the first meeting between the teams. Texans: Are 1-10 all-time in December. ... Only AFC team without a victory over an NFC team this season. Bears: Are 0-4 and allow and average of 27.0 points in games Urlacher doesn't start and 5-4 and allow 16.6 points in games he does start.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Bears are 0-4 in games that MLB Brian Urlacher didn't start this season, and they're 5-4 when he does start. With Urlacher in the lineup, the Bears have allowed an average of 16.6 points per game, 268 total yards and 127 rushing yards. When he's not in the starting lineup, the Bears give up an average of 27.0 points, 393 total yards and 145 rushing yards.
1-10 -- Texans' all-time record in December, worst in the NFL since 2002.
34.3 -- Percentage of the Texans' receiving yardage contributed by Andre Johnson. Johnson has 1,052 of 2,822 yards.