Sunday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans will be seen by some people as a preview of the upcoming Super Bowl.
Others will just see the game as a matchup between a couple of 7-1 teams.
I choose to view this game as a matchup between the two teams with the best STOP Factor defenses in the league.
The Bears top this week’s STOP Factor rankings with a 76.0 mark, while the Texans are close behind at 75.3. These numbers indicate that the Bears and Texans are the only two defenses in the league that have prevented their opponents from scoring on 75 percent or more of their possessions.
With that in kind, consider this: If both teams’ offenses get between eight and 12 possessions in Sunday’s contest, the Bears and Texans’ defenses will (based on this season’s stats) allow only two or three scores. Will those scores be touchdowns or field goals? The defenses may not be able to keep their opponents off the scoreboard, but will they limit it to three points or six? That will be a key to the outcome of the game.
One other quick stat: The Bears’ defense has allowed their opponents to score only 99 points in 96 possessions, an average of 1.03 points per possession. The Texans’ defense has allowed their opponents to score 108 points in 93 possessions, an average of 1.16 points per possession.