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Bears land No. 1 pick in loss against Minnesota Vikings

The Chicago Bears landed the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after losing 29-13 to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, January 8, at Soldier Field.

The Bears landed the No. 1 pick after Lovie Smith and the Houston Texans defeated the Indianapolis Colts 32-31 following the Bears game.

During the press conference, coach Matt Eberflus was asked about his confidence level of the Bears draft assets, the No. 1 pick, the salary cap space the team has this offseason, and his confidence level in General Manager Ryan Poles to give him a competitive roster with which he can win.

“High confidence, no question. No question,” said Eberflus. 

“The first thing of a personnel manager is the ability to pick players, and he can do that. The place where he came from, he has shown that this year already, and we look at the guys the same way. We like long, lean, fast, physical players. That’s certainly—we both have been a part of that in our past, and we’re excited about getting that going.”

Although Eberflus and the Bears landed the No. 1 pick with the help of Houston, the team lost their final regular season game of the 2022-23 season.

According to the Chicago Bears, the team’s 118 rushing yards on Sunday set a new single-season franchise rushing record with a season total of 3,014 rushing yards, passing the 1984 Bears’ mark of 2,974.

2023 NFL Draft order

They became just the fifth team in NFL history to eclipse the 3,000 rushing yard mark over the course of a season. The record was broken after Chicago’s first touchdown of the afternoon, which came on a 42-yard end around rush by rookie wide receiver Velus Jones, Jr., with 3:42 left in the second quarter.

The score by Jones, Jr., marked the second touchdown of his rookie campaign.

In addition to Jones, Jr., Bears quarterback Nathan Peterman completed a touchdown pass to tight end Cole Kmet with 4:16 left in the 3rd quarter, finishing off a 10-play, 75-yard drive. That was the fourth touchdown pass of Peterman’s career and his first as a member of the Bears. Kmet now has nine career touchdown receptions and seven this season. Those seven touchdowns are tied with New Orleans’ Juwan Johnson for third in the NFL among all tight ends as of the conclusion of Sunday’s early slate of games. He finished the game with four receptions for 57 yards in addition to the TD.

Final Score: Bears 13, Vikings 29

With the loss, the Bears ended the season on a 10-game losing streak, the team’s worst losing streak in franchise history.

(Information courtesy of the Chicago Bears)

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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