LAKE FOREST, Ill. — With the addition of a number of new players, there is a hope that the Bears might be able to turn things around quickly in 2023.

After winning an NFL-low three games last fall, there’s nowhere to go but up for Matt Eberflus’ team as they look ahead to the season opener against the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Expectations fluctuate for the group that has added a number of players this offseason but still has plenty of questions ahead of the start of their 17-game schedule.

So what would the Bears’ have to do to have the biggest turnaround in franchise history? You have to go back 22 years to find that answer.

(AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera, File)

In 2001, the Bears enjoyed one of their more successful and wild regular seasons in franchise history, surprising many to go 13-3 and win the NFC Central division for the first time since 1990.

They won eight games by seven points or less and had five comeback victories, including back-to-back wins in late October and November that ended the same way at Soldier Field. Against the 49ers on October 28, Mike Brown returned an interception in overtime for the win then did so on November 4 against the Browns.

That group had a franchise-record eight-game improvement in one season after they went just 5-11 in 2000. Dick Jauron’s team was knocked off in the NFC Divisional Round by the Eagles in what would be the last game at old Soldier Field.

(AP Photo/David Banks)

The second-biggest single-season turnaround for the Bears came just five years ago, when the team went from 5-11 to 12-4 to win their first division title since 2010.

With a lot of the credit going to their No. 1 ranked defense, the team improved their record by seven games in Matt Nagy’s first year as head coach. Just like in 2001, the Bears’ season was ended by the Eagles in their first game of the playoffs, this time in the Wild Card round in the infamous “Double Doink” game.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The third-biggest turnaround came in the second season of the Lovie Smith era when the Bears took a major jump from the coach’s first campaign.

After going 5-11 in 2004, the Bears won the NFC North with an 11-5 record thanks in big part to a defense that was first in points and second in yardage allowed that season.

While the team lost to the Panthers in the NFC Divisional Round, the foundation was in place for the Bears’ NFC Championship the next season.