The Houston Texans, however, maintained their NFL-worst record with a 31-3 loss to Jacksonville. Lovie Smith’s crew is 2-13-1 this year and will clinch the No. 1 pick with a loss to Indianapolis in Week 18.
But the Bears can leapfrog the Texans with a loss to the Minnesota Vikings and a Houston win over the Colts next Sunday.
Losing to the Lions on Sunday guaranteed the Bears would select no lower than fourth in next April’s draft.
With strength of schedule determining draft position, two other teams to monitor as the Bears head into the final game of the regular season are the Broncos and Cardinals.
Denver (4-12) lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona (4-12) lost to the Atlanta Falcons, 20-19. The Broncos will host the Chargers in Week 18, while the Cardinals will go on the road to face the 49ers.
The Bears currently have the highest strength of schedule among the three teams at .568 so an unexpected win over the Vikings combined with Denver and Arizona losses would cause a late fall to No. 4.
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