Lovie Smith may get his wish. The Bears coach said he hoped the weather made playing at Soldier Field Sunday night sloppy with a high-powered dome team in the Houston Texans coming to town.
According to the National Weather Service, bad weather is en route.
“We hope so,” Smith said. “It’s November, and I’m sure Houston is expecting to play in bad weather. I’ve been watching the forecast a little bit closer than I normally do, and I hear there’s a lot of rain and wind supposed to come in.
“Just make sure that you guys [the media] report that, OK?”
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for Chicago from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with gusts possibly reaching 45 mph. The strong winds precede a cold front that’s moving into the Chicago area.
The National Weather Service also says there is a chance for thunderstorms across Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Overnight rain showers are expected to turn into snow showers and sleet because of the cold front.
The Texans were asked a lot about the unfavorable conditions awaiting them at Soldier Field this past week in Houston.
“It’s supposed to be maybe a little rainy and cold, but that’s what you expect when you go there,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “I think our guys get excited for a little cool weather. It’s still 80 out there [in Houston] and here it is, middle of November.
“But no, you’ve got to handle that. You’ve got to protect the ball. You’ve got to handle that. You’ve got two teams with great defenses and two offenses that are a lot of ways built a lot alike. We know it’s going to be a physical contest. That’s the thing we got to prepare for.”
Kubiak said he believes quarterback Matt Schaub handles the elements well.
“I thought we went to Green Bay, he handled it very good a few years ago in that cold, cold weather,” Kubiak said. “The times we got some big rain in Jacksonville this year, he handled the ball very good. That’s part of being a pro. Whatever you get, you’ve got to deal with it.”
Schaub has accumulated some impressive numbers playing outside of the Texans’ Reliant Stadium. He has only thrown three interceptions in 236 attempts on the road since last season. Since 2009, Schaub has averaged 293.5 passing yards and has a 101.2 passer rating in road games.
So is he worried about the weather?
“It’s just something you have to work through,” Schaub said. “There were times, I remember back in college, we used to do a wet-ball drill day. Throw the ball in a bucket of water and then go play. You’ve just got to learn to adjust to it. It is what it is. It’s that way for both teams. You’ve just got to go play.
“The worst thing, though, is the wind. That’s the thing that affects, as far as the quarterback standpoint, more than the rain.”
Texans safety Danieal Manning, who played for the Bears from 2006 to 2010, was asked if there is any advice he could give his teammates about playing in Chicago at this time of year.
“It’s an outdoor game. It’s definitely going to be cold,” Manning said. “That team has been there and they’re having their core guys around for a long time and pretty much the same coaching staff. The mentality is they’re going to be a physical team. They’re going to play well on defense and the special teams is going to step up.”