Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/9/12
This week’s Sunday Night Football game will feature two 7-1 teams, the Houston Texans and the Chicago Bears. Both have played extremely well through the first half of the season, excelling and even dominating in many facets of the game. Attempting to select just one key matchup this week is difficult because there are so many evenly matched battles across the field. Both teams have dynamic defenses that force tons of turnovers and are both at the tops of points scored and points allowed. One could argue that this week’s key matchup might not be the overall key to winning (perhaps TO battle is more important), but the most exciting matchup will Texans CB Johnathan Joseph tasked to stopping Bears WR Brandon Marshall. A year ago, the Bears were on pace for a wild card playoff berth before both QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte went down for the season with injuries. The Bears flamed out and ultimately missed the playoffs. The Bears have had a dominant defense for years, but their knock as always been struggles on offense. That’s why this past offseason, the Bears made a trade for Marshall, a dominant wide receiver who has been a bit of a handful off the field during his career. Reuniting Marshall with his former QB Cutler when the two played together in Denver has proved to be genius and has already paid huge dividends. The Bears offense ranks third in points per game while Marshall currently ranks in the top five among NFL wide receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns. Marshall is proving to be a difference maker for the Bears offense and has helped this team roll to their 7-1 record. Tasked to shut down (or marginally disrupt) Marshall for the Texans will be Joseph. As the team’s top cornerback, Joseph has had an up and down season to date. He’s been spectacular at times, while very mediocre at other times. Most notably, Joseph hasn’t played well against the better passing teams the Texans have faced, namely the Packers and Broncos.  The toughest part of this matchup for Joseph will be the size differential between he and Marshall. Joseph stands at about 5’11” while Marshall is a whopping 6’4” and 230 pounds. Furthermore, Marshall is excellent in positioning his big body to take full advantage of the size differential while still possessing above average speed.  Shutting down Marshall is essential to marginalizing the Bears offense. In the Bears’ seven wins, Marshall is averaging eight catches for 110 yards and one TD per game. In the Bears’ lone loss to the Packers, Marshall was held to 2 catches for just 24 yards and failed to find the endzone.  Cutler and Forte can have big games, but the key needs to be stopping Marshall. Joseph will be following Marshall all over the field, but expect Joseph to have plenty of safety help over the top. This, coupled with protecting the ball from an opportunistic Bears defense, will be the key to another Texans victory, this time on the road to improve to 8-1. Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101. var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker