The 2016 season has been a disaster for the Chicago Bears, and that’s putting it nicely. With a loss in Week 17, the Bears will finish the year 3-13.
If that happens, it will be the first time since 1969 the Bears will have lost 13 games in a single season. In 1969 the Bears finished 1-13, posting the worst record in franchise history.
Chicago has finished with 12 losses in a season three other times since 1978, when the league moved to a 16-game schedule.
The Bears are also in the midst of a three-season streak in which they have lost double-digit contests. That has happened just twice in franchise history.
For the Bears, there is some good news for Week 17, as they already beat the Minnesota Vikings once this season. The Vikings are reeling after a 5-0 start to the year, having lost eight of their last 10 games.
However, a loss does more than make history for the Bears on Sunday. It also ensures they will get the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, which would be a nice consolation prize from a lost season.
Week 17 Stats of Note
-The Bears are still looking for their first road win of the 2016 campaign. They enter Sunday's contest at 0-7 on the road, joining the Cleveland Browns as the only two teams without a road win this year.
-No Bears team in franchise history has gone 0-8 on the road in a single season.
-Chicago is averaging 6.9 yards per carry on first down this season. That’s third in the NFL through 16 games, trailing just the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers.
-Running back Jordan Howard needs 61 yards to break the franchise record for rookie rushing yards in a season. Former Bears stalwart Matt Forte set the current mark of 1,238 back in 2008.
-Howard is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season, which is tied for second in the NFL. The leader, Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy, is averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
-Howard led the NFL in forced missed tackles in Week 16 according to Pro Football Focus. The running back made defenders miss seven times in the loss to the Redskins.
-The Bears have forced just 10 turnovers on the season, with seven interceptions and three fumbles. That’s the fewest takeaways in the NFL. The three fumble recoveries are also last in the league. If the Bears finish the season with just 10 forced turnovers, it will be the fewest in franchise history in a 16-game season.
-Minnesota is playing in their new home, U.S. Bank Stadium, as it opened for the first time this season. Chicago will play their first game at the stadium in Week 17. The Bears were just 12-20 in the Vikings previous home, the Metrodome, since it opened in 1982. They are 1-2 at TCF Bank Stadium, which served as a replacement stadium in 2014 and 2015.
-Chicago’s offensive line has done a nice job of protecting the quarterback this season. They’ve give up just 28 sacks and have a sack percentage of 4.60, which is seventh best in the NFL through 15 games.
-Entering Week 17, the Bears have a total of 305 first downs on 908 plays for a first-down percentage of 33.6, which ranks 7th in the NFL.
-The Bears have had 28 offensive drives end in touchdowns, while 91 drives have ended in a punt or a turnover, for a stall-rate of 31 percent, which is one of the worst in the league.