Sunday's win was the Bears' fourth in five attempts, which was plenty to be hopeful about the franchise's future, but Week 17 gave even more cause to believe.
After losing to the Jaguars, the Panthers will have the poorest record in the league, giving the Bears the first selection in 2024.
In return for last year's top pick, the Bears received Carolina's selection, wide receiver DJ Moore (nine receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown Sunday), and other considerations.
That choice offers several options for the Bears this summer, but head coach Matt Eberflus indicated at his postgame news conference that the squad will focus on their last game before worrying about the draft.
"I don't care right now," Eberflus stated. "I don't think we're picking tomorrow, you know what I mean?"
The last weekend of 2023 also reported that Eberflus will return in 2024, which is likely considering the team's second half performance. Eberflus said they'll "have all those conversations at the end" of the season but don't have any guarantees.
"I know there's always going to be noise out there, good or bad, and if you listen to either one of them, guess what, you ain't doing your job," said Eberflus. "And for me, doing my job is focusing on the men in that locker room and the coaches and the development of the Chicago Bears, and that's what I'm going to do.
The Bears have improved this year, and next season will likely start with talk of a postseason comeback.