The Houston Texans (0-1-1) get set to take on the Chicago Bears (1-1) Sunday at Solider Field with sights on picking up their first win of the season.
The Texans and Bears will clash for their sixth all-time meeting. Houston had won the previous four matchups dating back to 2004 but lost 36-7 in 2020.
The Texans are coming off a 16-9 loss the Denver Broncos in Week 2, while the Bears suffered a 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Sunday should be an interesting matchup of two teams still looking to rise up the ranks of the league after some disappointing seasons the past few years. Let's take a look at three players the Texans should be keeping tabs on.
QB Justin Fields
It's often obvious to include the opposing quarterback on the list of players to watch, but despite Fields' youth and inexperience, his continued growth and natural playmaking ability could present a tough test for Houston.
At least through two games, the Bears are the farthest thing from a down-the-field explosive passing offense. Through the first two weeks of action Fields is dead last at No. 32 in passing yards (191) among all qualified starting quarterbacks.
Still, his athletic ability as a dual-threat signal-caller presents a threat at any given moment. The statistical production in that regard hasn't been eye-popping just yet two games into his second year, but Fields has shown flashes of breaking it open. Last season against the San Francisco 49ers, he had 10 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown.
RB David Montgomery
Montgomery got off to a slow start in Week 1 due to rainy conditions, but exploded last week against a stout Packers defense. He racked up 15 carries for 122 yards in the 27-10 loss.
At 5-11, 224, Montgomery plays bigger than his size and is a powerful runner with underrated quickness in short spaces. Injuries held him back a bit last season, but he was well on his way to a second 1,000-yard season and a career year, as he totaled 225 carries for 849 yards and seven touchdowns. A four-game absence certainly limited him from reaching his peak.
The Texans did a decent job of maintaining the dynamic Broncos rushing duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III in Week 2, but will once again have a real test against Montgomery.
In the last meeting between these two teams in 2020, Montgomery had 11 for 113 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 42 yards. His touchdown came on an 80-yard carry in the first quarter.
LB Roquan Smith
Smith is one of Chicago's top defensive players and will be lurking at his linebacker spot to close any open gap that running backs Rex Burkhead or Dameon Pierce could exploit or for any risky throw from Texans quarterback Davis Mills.
Smith has totaled at least 100 tackles in each season since entering the league in 2018. He has 14.5 career sacks, but the most impressive part of his game might be his pass-coverage ability.
He's had an interception in each season of his career and has 18 total passes defended. Smith's career interception total now stands at five picks, as he'll be looking to add another off Mills this time.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7
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