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NFL.com Predicts the Chicago Bears Season

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According to many NFL experts, the Chicago Bears are a team to be reckoned with in 2012. While most still have the Green Bay Packers winning the NFC North, many are predicting the Bears to have a winning season, and a spot in the playoffs. It's interesting to see the Bears receive some national love, which isn't something that has happened many times the last few years.

The Bears are currently scheduled to be on evening television five different times, one Thursday nighter, one Sunday nighter, and three appearances on Monday Night Football. The Bears have big expectations on them this year, and the recent preview and prediction post from NFL.com continues that trend. After the jump a closer look at their analysis.

The four experts that weighed in on the Bears all have them finishing in 2nd place in the NFC North, with a win total of between 9-11 games. Each expert mentions the new receivers, i.e. Brandon Marshall, as the key to the season. And Marshall is the Spotlight player they focus on.

For years, Bears fans have waited for a difference-maker at the receiver position, and new general manager Phil Emery answered the call by trading for Marshall. Having connected hundreds of times while both were in Denver, Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler will add a much-needed dimension to an offense already including weapons Matt Forte and Devin Hester.

And so far, so good for Marshall during training camp and the three preseason games so far. He's been as good as we all expected, and it should get better as the years goes on.

That also believe that week 2 vs. Packers, week 10 vs. the Texans, and week 17 vs. the Lions will be three pivotal games for their season. I think if the Bears knock off the Packers in week 2, the Chicago bandwagon will fill up real fast, and rightfully so.

I do find it odd that there's nary a mention of the offensive line. I wonder if the Bears o-line troubles are dissected a little more since we're closer to the team than the national guys?

What does everybody think about their predictions? Does 2nd place sound about right to you?