With two games remaining, the Chicago Bears still have a shot at No. 1.
The Houston Texans’ 19-14 win over the Tennessee Titans on Christmas Eve allowed the Bears to pick up a full game in the race for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
The Bears are now 3-12 and have lost eight straight games to take sole possession of the second spot in next April’s draft. The Texans, meanwhile, just won their second game of the season and are 2-12-1.
Suddenly the Bears’ 23-20 win over Houston in Week 3 looms even larger in the race for the top spot.
But GM Ryan Poles should still like the spot where the Bears are currently sitting.
The team will finish the season with a road trip to Detroit on New Year’s Day where the 7-8 Lions are still in contention for a playoff spot. A game against the 12-3 Vikings at Soldier Field will finish the year.
The Texans will end their season by hosting Jacksonville in Week 17 and traveling to Indianapolis in Week 18. Both previous results against their AFC South rivals were favorable to the Bears: The Texans beat the Jaguars 13-6 in Week 5 and tied the Colts in Week 1.
The Bears will pick No. 1 overall for the first time since 1947 if they lose both of their remaining games and the Texans win just one.
As it stands, the Bears cannot draft any lower than seventh. Two teams are currently behind the Bears by just one game — the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos, who are sending their pick to the Seattle Seahawks as part of the Russell Wilson trade.
Projected NFL draft order
1. Houston Texans
2. Chicago Bears
3. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)
4. Arizona Cardinals
5. Indianapolis Colts
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)
8. Carolina Panthers
9. Las Vegas Raiders
10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints)
11. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)
12. Seattle Seahawks
13. Tennesee Titans
14. New England Patriots
15. New York Jets
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
17. Green Bay Packers
18. Detroit Lions