Caleb Williams faces historical challenge in his first start for Chicago Bears

No. 1 overall quarterbacks are 0-15 in their first NFL starts. Can Caleb Williams break that streak?
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

With tension surrounding the Chicago Bears' first game against Tennessee brewing already, that game became even more important for Caleb Williams.

Caleb Williams faces another historic hurdle amidst first NFL start with Chicago Bears, slated for Week 1 against the Titans

Throughout NFL history, rookie quarterbacks haven't been able to come away with a win in their first start. Well, at least since the 2002 NFL Draft class.

It's true. Dating back to Carson Palmer in the 2003 NFL Draft class, no quarterback drafted with the No. 1 pick has secured a victory in their first start. The closest a No. 1 overall quarterback got was when Kyler Murray tied the Lion in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season.

All of the quarterbacks drafted No. 1 since 2003 were phenomenal prospects, but there's a major difference between those quarterbacks and Caleb Williams. None of those quarterbacks entered the type of weapon-filled offense Williams has to begin in career.

None of those quarterbacks had a wide receiver trio like D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and Rome Odunze to start their career, which makes winning a bigger challenge, obviously.

Usually, when a team has the No. 1 pick, it's because their team doesn't have a great supporting cast, thus causing them to lose more games than anyone else in the league. Had their roster been filled with more studs, they'd probably not be selecting first. However, since the No. 1 pick Chicago used to draft Williams wasn't their original pick, it gives Caleb Williams a bit of an advantage.

Instead of being drafted to a team with massive holes to fill, Williams joined a team that's on the rise, outside a couple of positions.

Even when the Bears traded up to draft Justin Fields with the 11th pick, that team had more holes to fill than the team that selected Williams with the first pick.

Given the circumstances, Caleb Williams has a prime opportunity to break the streak, becoming the first quarterback drafted No. 1 to win their first NFL start. The last quarterback to do that was David Carr, the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft.

More than 20 years have passed since a No. 1 overall quarterback won their first NFL start, but Caleb Williams looks to break that streak in Week 1 of the 2024-25 NFL season.