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Bears secure No. 1 overall draft pick thanks to Texans’ win

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nathan Peterman (14) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears moved past the Houston Texans in the draft order on the final day of the regular season to lock up the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Bears lost 29-13 Sunday to the visiting Minnesota Vikings and finished the season 3-14.

The Texans then rallied to beat the Indianapolis Colts 32-31 for their third win of the season, wrapping the season with a 3-13-1 record — a half-game better than Chicago. The Texans will select No. 2.

Houston quarterback Davis Mills hit Jordan Akins for a 28-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion with 50 seconds left to provide the winning margin, with coach Lovie Smith opting to go for the win rather than a potential game-tying extra point.

The Bears have selected No. 1 overall only twice in their lengthy franchise history. They drafted halfback Tom Harmon first in 1941 and halfback Bob Fenimore first in 1947.

Prior to the late swap in position, mock drafts typically had the Texans selecting Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 pick. The Chicago Bears appear set at the position after second-year QB Justin Fields finished the season with 2,242 passing yards and 17 touchdowns plus 1,143 rushing yards (7.1 per carry) and eight scores on the ground.

The Bears might seek to address their defense with the top pick, with Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson expected to be a popular option in the early part of April’s draft.

Fields was held out of Sunday’s loss to Minnesota due to a hip injury the team doesn’t consider serious in the long term. Nathan Peterman started and Tim Boyle also saw time at quarterback for Chicago.

–Field Level Media