With their victory over the Tennessee Titans this weekend, the Houston Texans are making things interesting for the Bears regarding their position in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Houston knocked off Malik Willis and the scuffling Titans on the road on Saturday to give them their second win of the season. The Texans now sit at 2-12-1 with two games to play, only a half-game ahead of the Bears in the reverse standings after the Bears lost their eighth straight game to the Bills on Christmas Eve.
This has me feeling like Lloyd Christmas in ‘Dumb and Dumber’ … “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
If the Texans were to win one of their two remaining games against the Jaguars and Colts, they would finish the season 3-13-1. If the Bears lose their remaining games against the Lions and Vikings, they will finish the season 3-14 and own the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The fact that we’re even having this conversation today brings the Bears head-to-head matchup with the Texans in Week 3. A 23-20 win for the Bears on a field goal by Cairo Santos, that win over Houston could come back to haunt the Bears. Had Houston won that game, they would have a 3-11-1 record today, and the Bears would be 2-13 and in control of the top pick in the draft this spring.
Still, the Texans have been playing frisky in recent weeks, giving the Cowboys and Chiefs a run for their money in the previous two weeks and getting a win over Tennessee this week. So, there’s hope for the Bears and that regard.
Houston has Jacksonville in Week 17 at home, and while the Jaguars are playing for a playoff spot and might be a tough task for the Bears, being in Houston might be enough for the Texans to squeak another one out. If not, we’ll have to hope that Nick Foles and the Colts — with absolutely nothing to play for — can lay an egg against the Texans in Week 18.
There’s also another concern for the Bears, who will play the Vikings in Week 18 at Soldier Field. The Vikings clinched the NFC North on Saturday, and depending on how things go this weekend; they might not have a shot at the No. 1 seed and, therefore, likely wouldn’t play their stars against the Bears in that game.
In the end, the Bears have to lose out and hope that the Texans win a game in the final two weeks if they want to finish the season with the No. 1 pick. While not impossible, it’s also no better chance than a coinflip.