Tim Jennings picked a pair, again. But, what, no pick-6 for the Bears cornerback and his defensive teammates?
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"You could say that," said Jennings, whose career year continued Sunday night with his seventh and eighth interceptions and 3 pass breakups. It was the third time this season he picked off 2 passes in one game.
"But (Houston) beat us in the turnover ratio (2-to-1)," Jennings added after the Bears turned the football over four times (all in the first half) in a 13-6 loss to Houston at Soldier Field. "Anytime a team can beat you in the turnover ratio, they got a better chance to win. We got to capitalize on the turnovers we get, but we got to win the turnover battle."
Jennings was sullen, if not frustrated. So, too, was linebacker Lance Briggs, despite the defense playing well against the Texans' big-play offense, which was held to a season-low point total.
"We didn't do enough," Briggs said.
While Jennings' Pro Bowl-caliber season continued, so too did fellow cornerback Charles Tillman's. No, Tillman didn't force 4 fumbles as he did against Tennessee the previous week, but he made Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson a nonfactor on a rainy night that didn't seem to favor either team on Soldier Field's grass.
Johnson, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, finished with 4 receptions for just 35 yards.
Houston running back Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 29 carries, but averaged just 3.5 yards per attempt. Moreover, the Bears limited the shifty Foster to only 17 yards on 12 carries in the second half.
"He was exceptional," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said of his indefatigable running back. "I don't know what his final numbers ended up, but there were some battling yards. He kept battling."
"Very talented back," Briggs said of Foster, a two-time Pro-Bowler. "He understands their system very well. We knew they were going to stretch us, and he was going to cut back and find lanes to run in. It's their system."
"He's tough to contain, as you could see," Jennings said. "He (made) a couple of plays, nice runs. But we just got to do a better job on defense."
Jennings' 2 interceptions accounted for the Bears' only turnovers. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, who came into the game having thrown only 4 picks all season, was an unspectacular 14 of 26 for 95 yards and a 42.9 passer-efficiency rating.
But the Bears' offense, which played without quarterback Jay Cutler the entire second half due to a concussion, was even weaker.
"Not enough big plays," said Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who had his second strong game in a row with an unofficial team-high 8 tackles, including 2 for loss. "We played solid most of the time. We got better in the second half. They made more big plays than we did."