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updated: 9/4/2013 11:47 PM

Our NFL experts offer their predictions

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Daily Herald report

We asked our NFL experts to share their predictions on the season, their comments on whether the Bears will make the playoffs, and their pick to win Super Bowl XLVIII in New York.

Bob LeGere

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rlegere@dailyherald.com

Bears: 10-6

Offense takes a big step forward; defense takes a small step back; record stays the same, but this time they make the playoffs.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

BEARS

Minnesota

Detroit

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

New Orleans

Carolina

Tampa Bay

NFC EAST

Dallas

Washington

New York Giants

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

St. Louis

Arizona

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

New York Jets

AFC WEST

Denver

Kansas City

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Bears, Seattle

NFC title: San Francisco over Atlanta

AFC wild cards: Baltimore, Indianapolis

AFC title: Denver over Houston

Super Bowl: San Francisco over Denver

Colin Kaepernick, the NFL's most athletic QB, leads the league's most well-balanced team over Peyton Manning. Broncos D doesn't stack up.

Mike Imrem

mimrem@dailyherald.com

Bears: 10-6

Jay Cutler will be better but still make myriad mistakes. The defense and rest of the offense will cover up for his shortcomings.

NFC NORTH

BEARS

Green Bay

Detroit

Minnesota

NFC SOUTH

Carolina

Atlanta

New Orleans

Tampa Bay

NFC EAST

Dallas

N.Y. Giants

Washington

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

Seattle

San Francisco

St. Louis

Arizona

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Baltimore

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

AFC WEST

Kansas City

Denver

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Atlanta, San Francisco

NFC title: Seattle over San Francisco

AFC wild cards: Denver, Miami

AFC title: Denver over Houston

Super Bowl: Seattle over Denver

As a short man who is shrinking, I'm partial to short quarterbacks that don't shrink. The Seahawks' Russell Wilson fills that role perfectly.

Barry Rozner

brozner@dailyherald.com

Bears: 8-8

Bears are in rebuild mode and this season will show it as they miss the postseason, but better days are ahead under Emery and Trestman.

NFC NORTH

Detroit

Green Bay

BEARS

Minnesota

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

Carolina

New Orleans

Tampa Bay

NFC EAST

N.Y Giants

Washington

Philadelphia

Dallas

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

St. Louis

Arizona

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Baltimore

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

AFC WEST

Denver

Kansas City

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Green Bay and Seattle

NFC title: Seattle over San Francisco

AFC wild cards: Indianapolis and Kansas City

AFC title: Denver over New England

Super Bowl: Denver over Seattle

Peyton Manning won't be denied as he completes his NFL comeback and ties brother Eli with two Super Bowl victories.

Hub Arkush

harkush@shawmedia.com Bears: 9-7

There are too many questions for Bears to make playoffs. Even where we're confident they'll be better, how will they be good enough?

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

BEARS

Minnesota

Detroit

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

Carolina

New Orleans

Tampa Bay

NFC EAST

Washington

N.Y. Giants

Dallas

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

St. Louis

Arizona

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati

Baltimore

Cleveland

Pittsburgh

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

AFC WEST

Denver

Kansas City

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Seattle, Carolina

NFC title: San Francisco over Green Bay

AFC wild cards: Baltimore, Kansas City

AFC title: New England over Houston

Super Bowl: San Francisco over New England

The Patriots are much better on defense and Tom Brady is, well, Tom Brady. But the 49ers are the most complete team and they'll knock off the Pats.

Joe Aguilar

jaguilar@dailyherald.com

Bears: 10-6

They won 10 games with Mike Tice calling plays last year and have upgraded at OC, TE, LT and RG. They lost J-Webb. The D will be good enough.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

BEARS

Minnesota

Detroit

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

New Orleans

Tampa Bay

Carolina

NFC EAST

N.Y Giants

Washington

Dallas

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

Arizona

St. Louis

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

AFC WEST

Denver

Kansas City

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Bears, Seattle

NFC title: San Francisco over Atlanta

AFC wild cards: Indianapolis and Baltimore

AFC title: Denver over Indianapolis

Super Bowl: San Francisco over Denver

I'm still stunned San Francisco didn't win Super Bowl XLVII. Younger Harbaugh wins this one, and Colin Kaepernick runs off with MVP honor.

John Dietz

jdietz@dailyherald.com

Bears: 9-7

Trestman's thin squad could go 11-5 if everyone stays healthy, but a 5-11 mark is possible with 2-3 key injuries. I'll take middle ground.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

BEARS

Detroit

Minnesota

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

New Orleans

Carolina

Tampa Bay

NFC EAST

Dallas

New York

Washington

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

St. Louis

Arizona

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Buffalo

Miami

New York

AFC WEST

Denver

Kansas City

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: New Orleans, Seattle

NFC title: San Francisco over Atlanta

AFC wild cards: Indianapolis, Baltimore

AFC title: Denver over Houston

Super Bowl: Denver over San Francisco

No way Peyton Manning lets this season get away. Think Michael Jordan after losing to Magic in 1995. Broncos have stellar run game and top D.

Mike Spellman

mspellman@dailyherald.com

Bears: 10-6

I'm bullish on the Bears. Finally they have a real offense to go with their battle-tested D. If they get off to a good start, it's wild-card time.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

BEARS

Detroit

Minnesota

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans

Atlanta

Tampa Bay

Carolina

NFC EAST

N.Y Giants

Washington

Dallas

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

Arizona

St. Louis

AFC NORTH

Baltimore

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

AFC WEST

Denver

San Diego

Kansas City

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Bears, Seattle

NFC title: Seattle over New Orleans

AFC wild cards: Cincinnati, Indianapolis

AFC title: Houston over New England

Super Bowl: Houston over Seattle

Not quite the marquee match up that most NFL fans would hope for, but hey, it's New York in February! Enjoy!

Michael Wilkening

wilkening.michael@gmail.com

Bears: 9-7

A schedule loaded with tricky games could be too much to overcome. NFC looks exceptionally deep and too competitive for Bears.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

BEARS

Minnesota

Detroit

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

New Orleans

Tampa Bay

Carolina

NFC EAST

Philadelphia

N.Y. Giants

Washington

Dallas

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

Arizona

St. Louis

AFC NORTH

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

Cincinnati

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Indianapolis

Houston

Jacksonville

Tennessee

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

Buffalo

N.Y. Jets

AFC WEST

Denver

Kansas City

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: Seattle, New Orleans.

NFC title: San Francisco over Green Bay.

AFC wild cards: Houston, Pittsburgh.

AFC title: Baltimore over Denver.

Super Bowl: San Francisco over Baltimore.

Why not a rematch? The 49ers have more upside, and the Ravens will again be strong. This time, though, San Francisco powers to the title.

Mike North

mike@northtonorth.com

Bears: 10-6

Bears get the wild card. The defense will be shaky, but the offense a lot better this season. Matt Forte may have MVP-type season.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay

Bears

Detroit

Minnesota

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta

New Orleans

Carolina

Tampa Bay

NFC EAST

N.Y. Giants

Dallas

Washington

Philadelphia

NFC WEST

San Francisco

Seattle

St. Louis

Arizona

AFC NORTH

Baltimore

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Cleveland

AFC SOUTH

Houston

Indianapolis

Tennessee

Jacksonville

AFC EAST

New England

Miami

N.Y. Jets

Buffalo

AFC WEST

Kansas City

Denver

San Diego

Oakland

NFC wild cards: New Orleans, Bears

NFC title: Atlanta over San Francisco

AFC wild cards: Denver, Indianapolis

AFC title: Houston over Denver

Super Bowl: Atlanta over Houston

Atlanta wins its first Super Bowl as Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub throw for over 800 yards combined. Turnovers will decide the game.

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