Bears' Garza: We have to step up and we will

2012-11-10T19:00:00Z 2012-11-11T22:01:05Z Bears' Garza: We have to step up and we willAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
November 10, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | For the entire week, local media was fixated on tonight's Bears-Texans matchup at Soldier Field.

Print, radio and TV attacked it like a delicious buffet.

Every topic had been discussed, every angle dissected, every strength and weakness of both 7-1 teams had been over-analyzed.

And still, Bears' fans couldn't get enough.

Jay Cutler was fortunate. The Bears' quarterback meets with media for 15 minutes on Wednesday, then lays low until post-game.

"Their front seven is very good. Their secondary is good. They're very-well coached. Sound defense. Don't let up big plays. Tough against the run. Real good on third downs," Cutler said.

The Bears have thrived off a defense that leads the NFL in takeaways (28) and has seven return touchdowns. Houston doesn't believe in charity, however, with its league-low six turnovers and none in the last two games.

"It's remarkable, week after week, to see them play at such a high level," Cutler said of his defense.

Houston can say the same for its 3-4 defense led by J.J. Watt, whose 10 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback hits and 10 pass deflections are all team highs.

"We have to be aware at all times of where he's at. They like to move him around," Cutler said.

"He's a big guy. He can move and has a lot of passion for the game, which is good," Bears center Roberto Garza added.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall also expects a tough night trying to shed the coverage of Houston's all-Pro Johnathan Joseph.

"He's one of the top three corners in the league," Marshall said. "He's playing the position better than most guys right now.

"I have my work cut out for me."

Houston has Arian Foster leading its No. 8 rushing offense (138 yards per game). The ball-control Texans also lead the league in time of possession (35 minutes, 12 seconds).

The Bears are allowing only 88 yards rushing per game, sixth best in the league, and hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher until Tennessee's Chris Johnson last week.

Following the Texans game, the Bears travel to San Francisco for a Nov. 19 test that could define the season, though Garza isn't buying it.

"It's only two games out of a lot," he said. "Obviously, we have some big challenges coming up. We have to step up and we will step up for that.

"If we want to set ourselves apart, these are the games to do it in."

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