The Texans improved to 8-1 with their 13-6 win over the Bears.
But the best thing they did was prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they could be mudders.
Even though their defense has taken the fore from a offense that put up good fantasy numbers in years past, it was hard to describe the Texans as a hard team.
But then they went into Soldier Field and out-Bearsed the Bears.
They threw for 95 yards. And won.
From creating four turnovers to running with authority, the Texans played the way we have come to expect the top NFC teams to play this year.
That’s going to serve them well come playoff time, as it’s a little hard to declare too many of their AFC opponents as tough or physical, at least to the degree the Texans showed.
Here are five more things we learned on Sunday Night Football:
1. One of the smartest signings new Bears GM Phil Emery made was bringing in backup quarterback Jason Campbell.
He’s a smart and steady player, and even though he didn’t lead a comeback, there’s at least a floor you know he’s not crashing through.
The Bears watched Caleb Hanie take them from 7-3 to 7-7 in four starts last season, and having a player the caliber of Campbell could prevent such a skid again.
Of course, he’s the only other quarterback on the roster, with Matt Blanchard on the practice squad. That could change, but having Campbell is a good investment.
2. Coaches can be stubborn.
It’s raining, it’s cold, it’s Chicago.
And they keep trying to throw.
Teams that invested so heavily in running backs Matt Forte and Arian Foster took too long to decide to use them.
To their credit, the Texans figured it out first, which explains some things.
3. Even before he was concussed, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was off.
He finished the first half 7-of-14 for 40 yards, with two interceptions. The conditions had a lot to do with that, and Brandon Marshall didn’t help by dropping one in the end zone.
But part of what makes Cutler good is that he’ll play stubborn at times, and not hesitate to throw into a tight spot.
It’s a good trait, except when it isn’t.
4. The stud play of the night might have been Robbie Gould’s second quarter field goal.
In a driving rain, Gould hit a knuckling 51-yarder.
Solider Field is a bad place to kick anyway, with a chewed up turf along with the wind, but Gould hit a big-time shot. It’s very difficult to get a solid plant foot there, and while Gould’s kick wasn’t beautiful, it did work.
5. The Texans are a good football team.
But they might be better off if no one noticed.
You could easily argue their three worst games of the year were all in prime time, including getting their doors blown off by the Packers earlier on SNF and a too-narrow win over the Jets on Monday Night Football.