Originally posted 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

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

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

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

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