With game-time temperatures predicted to fall close to single digits, the Bears are hoping they have an advantage of playing at Soldier Field today. The forecast is calling for temperatures around 17 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow.
"We're hoping it will be (freezing). We like to use our homefield advantage," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "It will be colder than what the guys down there (in Houston) are used to. We need every advantage we can get."
The bad news is, the Bears have lost three of their last four. The good news is, the Texans are used to playing in a stadium with a retractable roof. Since joining the NFL in 2002, Houston is 1-10 in games on or after Dec., 1, the worst mark in the league.
"But they have to play in it, too," Texans tight end tight end Billy Miller said earlier this week. "I don't believe there is any way to get used to weather. When it's cold, it's cold. It's cold for everybody."
On the field, the Bears will try to rebound from last week's 22-3 loss to Jacksonville, a game in which Chad Hutchinson -- the team's fourth starting quarterback this season -- was sacked five times, including once for a safety, fumbled and threw an interception. The Bears' offensive line has been riddled with injuries all season and has given up 53 sacks -- two short of the team record (55 in 1969).
The Bears will look to get Thomas Jones going against the Texans. Last week he was held to 26 yards rushing against the Jaguars. Chicago's offense, which is ranked last in the NFL, is 28th in time of possession and last in red zone scoring efficiency (39.4 percent).
"It's not only the quarterback," Hutchinson said, referring to injuries and the offensive woes. "We're banged up on the offensive line and we've had a lot of key injuries. You don't get into a rhythm as an offense when you have so many changes taking place."
Houston's offense is led by quarterback David Carr, who has started 40 of 45 all-time games, and is on pace for career highs in completions, passing yards and TD passes.
Running back Domanick Davis is coming off a career-high 201 yards from scrimmage in last week's 23-14 loss to the Colts. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is the second-leading receiver in the AFC with a career-high 1,052 yards on 71 receptions.