The Bears earned the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft after a 29-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the season finale.
Chicago, which held the No. 2 pick entering Week 18, jumped Houston in the draft order after the Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts 32-31.
The Bears needed to lose and have the Texans win to secure the top spot in the draft.
A wild fourth-quarter finish that culminated with a 28-yard touchdown catch by Texans tight end Jordan Akins on a fourth-and-20 pass by Davis Mills followed by a successful 2-point conversion from Mills to Akins gave the Texans their third victory of the season and an overall record of 3-13-1.
The win dropped Houston to No. 2 in the draft order. Texans coach Lovie Smith, who coached the Bears from 2004 to 2012, addressed the consequences of the victory postgame and said that the Texans followed through on their game plan for Week 18, which was to win the game, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports.
"This is an option that I had," Smith said. "So, you're saying, 'Hey guys, play in this last game, all that you've been working for your life, you play to win, forget that. Lose the game on purpose.' Like, that will be a hard one to get by.
They won't expect me to say that. I didn't. What we work on each week, our game plan has been to win the game. It's kind of simple as that. That's what we follow through on the day."
The Bears finished 3-14, their second three-win season since 2016, and ended on a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak. Quarterback Justin Fields did not play in the season finale due to a hip injury suffered last week at Detroit.
Fields finished his second season 64 yards shy of the single-season quarterback rushing record. Chicago owned the league's top rushing offense and was last in passing in 2023.