Lovie Smith is on his way back to Chicago. In his first season as Houston Texans coach, Smith’s trip into town this weekend to face the Bears will be all business, even if it comes on a stage at Soldier Field that produced an abundance of great memories over his nine seasons. The Bears are 3-point favorites Sunday. But it’s far from a gimme win as two bottom-tier teams work to find themselves on the final weekend of September. In the lead-up to the game, here are a handful of eye-catching facts and figures.
The Bears’ all-time record versus the Texans, including a blowout 36-7 victory in the last meeting in December 2020 at Soldier Field. Running back David Montgomery had an 80-yard touchdown run on the Bears’ first play from scrimmage as the offense rolled up 410 total yards and cruised.
Montgomery’s per-carry average Sunday in the Bears’ 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He amassed 122 yards on 15 rushes, the third highest total of his career. In his eight 100-yard rushing games, Montgomery has averaged more than 8 yards per rush three times, including two years ago when he gashed the Texans for 113 yards on 11 carries for a 10.3-yard average.
Bears rushing yards on their penultimate possession of Sunday’s loss, a 13-play drive that ended with Justin Fields’ run for no gain on fourth-and-goal with 8 minutes, 7 seconds remaining. The Bears ran the ball 11 times on that drive. Mix in a false start penalty and a 10-yard sack by Preston Smith, and the Bears’ march from their 10 yard line to the Packers 1 included more than 100 yards on the ground. Somehow, they still wound up scoreless. Go figure.
Lovie Smith’s winning percentage over his nine seasons as Bears coach. Smith had five winning seasons and took the Bears to the playoffs three times, including the 2006 run to Super Bowl XLI.
Smith’s winning percentage in his three head coaching stops since the Bears fired him. He’s 0-1-1 in his first season with the Texans. He went 17-39 over five seasons at the University of Illinois (2016-20). And he was 8-24 during a two-season stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-15). Smith’s only postseason game as a head coach since the Bears’ 2010 NFC championship game loss was the 2019 Redbox Bowl, a 35-20 Illini loss to Cal.
Takeaways by Smith’s Bears defenses during his nine seasons in Chicago, an average of 2.2 per game. The Bears led the NFL in that category in 2006 and 2012, amassing 44 takeaways in each of those seasons. They finished in the top 10 in takeaways five other times as well.
Bears passing yards through two games, last in the NFL. By a country mile. The Bears could double their passing yardage total and still trail the 31st-ranked New York Giants (318). The Bears also are last in the league in completions (15) and pass attempts (28). The San Francisco 49ers are second to last in those categories with 28 completions and 52 pass attempts.
Dolphins passing yards in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 42-38 comeback victory against the Baltimore Ravens. Tua Tagavailoa completed 13 of 17 passes in the quarter and threw four touchdown passes, compiling more passing yardage in one quarter than the Bears have had in two games.
Receiving yards from Darnell Mooney this season, which ranks 264th in the NFL. Mooney, who had 1,055 receiving yards in 2021, has two catches this month. He made a 8-yard catch in Week 1 against the 49ers and was stopped for a loss of 4 on his only reception against the Packers on Sunday.
Combined tackles made by Roquan Smith against the Packers, matching Nick Morrow for the team lead. But only three of Smith’s stops came within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage, an indicator of how leaky the defense was on a night in which it allowed 414 total yards and 203 on the ground.
First-round picks on the Texans roster. That includes rookie defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. and rookie offensive lineman Kenyon Green, who were selected third and 15th overall in April. It also includes defensive end Jerry Hughes, who was selected at No. 31 by the Indianapolis Colts in 2010. Hughes, 34, is in his 13th season and in Week 1 became the third player in team history to record at least one sack, an interception and a forced fumble in the same game.
First-round picks on the Bears’ active roster: quarterback Justin Fields, linebacker Roquan Smith, defensive end Robert Quinn and offensive tackle Riley Reiff. (Receiver N’Keal Harry remains on injured reserve and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood was put on the non-football injury list two weeks ago.)