The Chicago Bears are once again contenders for the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft — only this time their fate rests in the hands of the Carolina Panthers.
The good news is the Panthers occupy the basement of the NFL with one win, and there’s a chance they could go winless in the final five games (facing the likes of the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Carolina Chicago isn’t the only team in contention for the top selection in the draft, as the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals have also struggled. But the odds are becoming better heading into this final month.
Interestingly enough, it’s been the Pittsburgh Steelers who have factored into things — and actually helped the Bears. First, the Cardinals defeated Pittsburgh last week. Now, the Patriots got an unexpected win over the Steelers on Thursday Night Football.
The Panthers (1-11) now have two less wins than both New England (3-10) and Arizona (3-10). But Carolina is still one game behind, which means a Saints win on Sunday would go a long way in firming up that two-game lead.
According to ESPN’s Seth Walder, the Bears now have an 86% chance to land the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Meanwhile, the Patriots have a 7% chance and the Cardinals have a 4% chance.
At worst, Chicago has a 94% chance to land a top-two selection in the draft, per Walder.