I'll get this thing kicked off... Over at Windy City Gridiron we have our 2013 season prediction article dropping tomorrow, where each of our writers predict every division winner, as well as the playoff tourney, and the Super Bowl champs.
Every one of us editors have the Chicago Bears in the playoffs, is that just our homerism coming out, or are we all being as unbiased as possible?
I don't think it's crazy that we have the Bears in the playoffs; the one singular concern I have is who's bumped or left out to make room for the Bears. It's pretty likely the 2nd place team of the West gets one, the East might get one (I have an NFC East team with the other WC spot currently, but I'm still debating over that one...), and the South has three decently-tough teams behind the Falcons but no real standout. It's arguable in a few ways.
That part's dependent on the Packers retaining the top North spot, of course.
Hi, I'm Dane, and I would have preferred Rex Grossman as a backup to Jay Cutler over Josh McCown.
As for predicting the North, I've never been known as a homer. To be honest, a 13-win season and return to the Super Bowl wouldn't surprise me. That defense is going to be sick, and Trestman will surprise some folks with his offense.
This year, for serious, the offense truly relies on Jay Cutler being consistently efficient.
It is a little bit of homerism, but part of that is because we as a group analyze this team a lot more than the casual national writer.
An outside source looks at the defense, sees the loss of Urlacher, and says, "oh, they will get worse." Not necessarily the case.
Or the offense, we see a line that is vastly improved. They see a line with question marks.
It feels broken record-like, but if the offense can hold up, the playoffs is the next logical step from where this team was one year ago.
Skip Bayless has the Bears winning the division -- does that make you more or less confident?
I wouldn't say it has an impact on my thought process - I find him largely not credible, but that doesn't mean that he can never be right. The Bears can win the division, but it takes either things going right on their end, or things going wrong on the Packers' end - they (the Bears) aren't the favorites and probably shouldn't be.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.
Believe it or not, I've seen predictions running the gamut in the last couple weeks. Some are predicting a last place finish, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, and I even caught a few people having Marc Trestman taking the Bears to the Super Bowl.