Good morning, Chicago!
Here’s hoping you had a great Thanksgiving and a better Sunday than the Bears.
Talk about your crummy days. Over the span of a few hours, our beloved ping-ponged between Trevor Siemian and Nathan Peterman as starting quarterback, saw Darnell Mooney and Eddie Jackson lost to injury and were torched by backup QB Mike White and Garrett Wilson in a 31-10 loss to the Jets.
It seemed enough to drain the rest of the season of drama and yet the real story might just be starting as the Bears come home for three straight games in December.
Can the Bears lose enough to draft No. 1 overall in next April’s NFL Draft?
After losing five straight and eight of its last nine, the team has put the question on the table. The 3-9 Bears currently own the second pick in the draft and only trail the 1-9-1 Texans for the top overall spot.
Two things are at play here over the final five games of the season.
First, the Bears probably can’t lose another game. There are currently three other teams with only three wins and nine others with four wins. A win or two could send the Bears down a slide they’d rather not experience.
The good news is that finishing the season on a 10-game losing streak is within the range of possibility given that Mooney is likely done for the season and the defense is hurt and can’t stop anyone anyway. The Bears end the season with games against the Packers, Eagles, Bills, Lions and Vikings with only the Detroit game coming on the road.
How many of those games stand out as wins to you?
The second part is Houston winning at least two more games. The Texans’ remaining schedule is Browns, at Cowboys, Chiefs, at Titans, Jaguars and at Colts.
It’s hard to pick out more than one win in there and the Texans should feel pretty fortunate Roquan Smith came up with that game-changing interception in the Bears’ win between the two teams back in September.
Do the Bears really need the No. 1 spot, you might be asking?
After all, the Texans will almost certainly be looking for a quarterback and the Bears will have the choice of whichever non-QB they want at No. 2.
Yet there are many teams behind the Bears — Lions, Panthers and Steelers among them — who might also be looking for a quarterback. The Bears could also trade down from another spot in the top five, but what kind of bounty could a guaranteed selection of Bryce Young at No. 1 bring? Finding out might lessen the sting of the way this season is currently playing out.
Interestingly, the Bears have only drafted first overall on two occasions. The last time came 75 years ago in 1947 when the team drafted running back Bob Fenimore out of Oklahoma A&M. Fenimore played only 10 games for the Bears before retiring and getting into the insurance business.
It was a different time back then. And it’s safe to say that 2023’s pick would have a much longer impact should the Bears find their way into the top spot.
CHGO Trivia Question
The Bears have held the second pick in the draft three times. They selected a quarterback each time. Can you name all three?
The Week Ahead
• The Bulls erased the good vibes gained from wins over the Celtics and Bucks with a loss to the Thunder on Black Friday, leading Will Gottlieb to label them as “so confusing.” Tough week ahead starting tonight in Utah and continuing at Phoenix on Wednesday and Golden State on Friday.
• Not wanting to feel left out, the Blackhawks were also blown out by the Jets (Winnipeg chapter) 7-2 on Sunday. They’ve lost seven straight with Edmonton coming to town on Wednesday.
• The White Sox finally got active on Sunday, adding Mike Clevinger to their starting rotation. The right-hander struggled with a drop in velocity after Tommy John surgery in 2021, but will only make $8 million in guaranteed money. Herb and Sean had more in Sunday’s emergency pod.
• The Cubs still haven’t signed anyone, but Ryan Herrera thinks a stopgap solution in center field might make sense if they want to get down to business soon.
Mitchell Trubisky (2017), Bob Williams (1951), Sid Luckman (1939)