With the Chicago Bears (3-10) on their bye for week 14, I wanted to check in on the games from all the teams currently sitting at four or fewer wins because these are the teams closest to a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Those teams are Houston (1-10-1), Denver (3-9), the Rams (3-9), Carolina (4-8), New Orleans (4-8), Jacksonville (4-8), and Arizona (4-8).
Here is the next game on the schedule for each of these teams.
December 5, New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
December 8, Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams
December 11, Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys
December 11, Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
December 11, Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
December 11, Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
December 12, New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals
The Colts also have just four wins (4-8-1), but they also have a tie on their record that pushes them above all the other four-win teams.
The Bears will come out of their bye as a heavy underdog hosting the Eagles and then the Bills, they’ll be on the road next and another likely underdog against the Lions, then close it out at home against the Vikings on week 17. There’s a decent chance the Bears drop all their remaining games, so how the other teams around them in the draft projections fare will impact where they pick.
Chicago would benefit from some upsets next week and the remainder of the season to ensure they get as high a draft pick as possible because a healthy Justin Fields gives them a shot to pull off an upset.
Here are the current odds for the player that will be the number one draft pick in 2023, according to our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook.
- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State: +175
- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama: +175
- Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama: +425
- Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: +1200
The Bears will not be in the market for a quarterback, but either of those two defensive linemen would look really good in Navy and Orange.
The Texans are a near lock for the number one overall pick, and they’ll most likely be going with a QB, so the Bears would need to be second or third to have a realistic shot at Anderson or Carter.