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(Photo Credit: CBS Houston)

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(AP) — An extremely opportunistic defense has helped the Chicago Bears take advantage of a favorable first-half schedule and build plenty of confidence for what is expected to be a more grueling second half.

A balanced offense and strong defense are two major reasons why the Houston Texans have the best record in the AFC.

Two of the NFL’s top teams meet Sunday night at Soldier Field when the Texans try to prevent the Bears from winning seven straight games for the first time in six years.

This contest is expected to be a good test for both 7-1 teams that hope to make it to New Orleans come February. Each team’s only loss came to the surging Green Bay Packers, and the Bears are 4-0 at home while Houston is 3-0 on the road.

“Each game as you continue to win, the stakes go up a little bit higher,” Bears coach Lovie Smith. “We realize that and we’re going to embrace it. We’re going to embrace this national stage that we have this Sunday night.”

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