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Windy City Gridiron predicts the Bears 2017 season and picks Bears-Falcons

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The WCG staff takes a look at the crystal ball for these Bears.

Chicago Bears v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

For some, it's difficult to get a read on how good or even how bad the 2017 Chicago Bears will be. There's a lot of sneaky quality talent on the roster (the defensive front seven and running back group) and some glaring flaws (the cornerbacks and receivers) to where the pendulum of success for this squad could swing either way.

Here at Windy City Gridiron, its that time of year where we're either drinking the Kool-Aid of optimism or tapping into the well of negativity with our predictions. This could be a rocky ride for these Bears or a note of future sustained success.

With that in mind, the staff decided to give a best and worst case scenario for Chicago in 2017 as well as our actual prediction. We thought it was best to offer every end of the spectrum for such a potentially confusing Bears team. Of course, to that end, we also predicted Chicago's first difficult test against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.

And away we go.

Robert Zeglinski

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 8-8

Worst case: 5-11

Week 1: Falcons 27 Bears 19

The Bears simply don't have enough offensively to keep pace with Atlanta. While I think Chicago's defense can be occasionally dominant this year, they'll be overwhelmed by the end of this game having to burden the load of an underperforming attack against one of the most complete teams in the league. The Falcons are the best team in the NFC, to me, and the Bears can't match up ... yet.

Lester Wiltfong Jr.

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 10-6

Worst case: 5-11

Week 1: Falcons 24 Bears 13

The Falcons just have too much on offense. While I think the Bears' defense is going to better this year, it may take them a few weeks to hit their stride. I think the Bears' offense will be efficient as they try to establish the run, but Atlanta has one of the fastest defenses in the NFL and that will be too much to overcome.

Ken Mitchell

Best guess: 8-8

Best case: 10-6

Worst case: 4-12

Week 1: Bears 28 Falcons 21

Bears win it with a last-minute Eddie Jackson pick 6.

Sam Householder

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 9-7

Worst case: 4-12

Week 1: Bears 24 Falcons 20

The Super Bowl hangover is real. While the Falcons are stacked I think they will start slow. Super Bowl losers in Week 1 are 1-5 on the road since 2007 and are 4-6 overall in Week 1. I think that John Fox has his team at their healthiest and ready to play.

Josh Sunderbruch

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 9-7

Worst case: 4-12

Week 1: Falcons 31 Bears 17

Jack Silverstein

Best guess: 6-10

Best case: 9-7

Worst case: 4-12

Week 1: Falcons 21, Bears 17

Bill Parcells famously enjoyed declaring that "you are what your record says you are." As Parcells explained in 2011, that mindset "eliminates the people rationalizing that things are different than the actuality. They say, 'We could have been this if it was only for this.' That's not what happened." For the most part, I agree with Bill, though not when it comes to the 2016 Bears. This, to me, was not a real 3-13 team, (just as, for example, the 2001 Bears were not a real 13-3 team, because no 13-3 Bears team gets swept by Green Bay).

Last year, we lost too many games due to injuries i.e. personnel in key situations who otherwise would not have played. I'm thinking of Brian Hoyer not closing the deal against Indianapolis and Jacksonville, Josh Bellamy with his late drops against the Titans and Lions, Cre'von LeBlanc getting burned by Jordy Nelson to lose the second Packers game, and so on. A healthy 2016 Bears team would not have made the playoffs, but we would have been closer to the 6-10 group of 2015.

Therefore, I think we give the Falcons a run for their money in Week 1 - losing late. I suspect the Falcons are looking at a Hindenburg season - you don't just get over blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl. And while they might sneak out a win against the Bears in Week 1, we'll look back on this game as more reflexive of the Bears' resilience than the Falcons' talent.

Andrew Link

Best guess: 8-8

Best case: 10-6

Worst case: 4-12

Week 1: Falcons 27 Bears 23

Jacob Infante

Best guess: 6-10

Best case: 8-8

Worst case: 3-13

Week 1: Falcons 27 Bears 13

From an offensive standpoint, the Bears just aren't ready to hang with a playoff team like the Falcons. While they might do well on the ground, their aerial assault lacks enough talent to invest faith into. Chicago is going to have a very tough time winning games without a solid quarterback and a true top wide receiver. Their defense will keep them in a lot of games, but that may not be the case this week. Atlanta's offense finished second in the league in total yards last season, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them come close to that ranking again this year, despite not having Kyle Shanahan as the offensive coordinator. The Bears' front seven should do a solid job of putting pressure on Matt Ryan, but their secondary may prove to be no match for the likes of Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel. Don't expect Chicago to start the season off on a high note this year.

Patti Curl

Best guess: 8-8

Best case: 10-6

Worst case: 0-16. (That would be painful.)

Week 1: Falcons 24 Bears 20

The Falcons' small and fast defense will be punished by Jordan Howard, but Vic Beasley's speed will overwhelm Bobby Massie and the Falcons' methodical offense will eventually break down an impressive Bears' defensive effort.

Jeff Berckes

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 9-7

Worst case: 4-12

Week 1: Falcons 34 Bears 17

The Bears will be better this year but they're not ready for a team this explosive. No one can cover Julio Jones and the contest is never particularly competitive.

E.J. Snyder

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 9-7

Worst case: 4-11-1

Kev H.

Best guess: 6-10

Best case: 10-6

Worst Case: 2-14

Steven Schweickert

Best guess: 7-9

Best case: 9-7

Worst case: 3-13

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WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante;Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.