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NFL Chicago Bears

2013 NFL Schedule: Chicago Bears’ Game-by-Game Predictions

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2013 NFL Schedule: Chicago Bears

bears
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

There are many interesting games that reside on the Chicago Bears' 2013 schedule released on Thursday night. Players and fans alike are looking forward to the exciting year that could potentially end in a playoff appearance for the Bears.

One matchup that will likely have playoff implications actually comes at the end of the season. While I think the division will be won by the Green Bay Packers, it's not far off to say that the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings are harmless, because they are not. However, the Bears have a chance to play for a division title in the final game of the year.

The bye week comes at a pretty favorable time in week eight as the Bears will have faced six solid playoff contenders from last season in the first seven weeks.

The second half of the season doesn't get any easier as the Bears face five more strong playoff contenders from 2012, including the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens.

The NFC North is not going to be easy next season as it may be one of the toughest divisions to win now that each team has added pieces that could easily make them playoff-worthy.

Detroit has added running back Reggie Bush to make an already-potent offense even more scary. Minnesota picked up former Packer all-pro wide receiver, Greg Jennings. Finally, the Packers are, well, they have Aaron Rodgers so they are bound to be solid.

Chicago has a lot of work to do if they want to make it back to the playoffs and win their first Super Bowl since 1985. With Marc Trestman being in his first year as head coach, many obstacles lie ahead for the former CFL coach.

Here are my game-by-game predictions for the 2013 Chicago Bears.

Connor Muldowney is a College Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Week 1: Cincinnati Bengals

bengals
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago will face a tough test in week one against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have one of the best young teams in the NFL and could be posed for yet another playoff run under Andy Dalton and star receiver A.J. Green. The Bears will be too much in this one, however, as a home opener can humble any away team at Soldier Field.

Bengals 21, Bears 34

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Week 2: Minnesota Vikings

vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota finally has a starting quarterback that many fans trust in. This may be the first time since they trotted Brett Favre out there week after week a few seasons ago. However, Christian Ponder is young and the Bears' defense is full of veterans. Adrian Peterson will keep the Vikings' offense afloat, but the Bears will prove to be just too much in week two.

Vikings 17, Bears 24

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Week 3: at Pittsburgh Steelers

steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the first true test of the 2013 season as Chicago will take to the road to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers barely missed the playoffs last season because of a season-ending injury to Big Ben. Jay Cutler will have a tough day and so will Matt Forte as they will be facing last year's top defense in the league.

Bears 13, Steelers 24

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Week 4: at Detroit Lions

lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Facing a quarterback with over 10,000 yards in the past two seasons is never easy, especially playing him on the road. Matt Stafford is one of the league's bright young stars and the Lions' offense is just as explosive as he is. They added electrifying running back Reggie Bush this offseason and are sure to put together a better season than the one they had in 2012. They will get the better of the Bears in a high-scoring affair.

Bears 31, Lions 41

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Week 5: New Orleans Saints

saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints disappointed many people last season. They have arguably the best quarterback in the league in Drew Brees, but put together a 7-9 season due to a lack of solid play on the defensive side of the ball. Their pass defense ranked 31st and they run defense ranked 32nd in the league. If that doesn't improve, then they will have yet another underachieving season. However, their offense will be far too much for the Bears, taking them down for their first loss at Soldier Field in 2013.

Saints 34, Bears 24

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Week 6: New York Giants

giants
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The former Super Bowl champs — the New York Giants — are poised for yet another deep run in the playoffs in 2013. However, they are a far cry from the talent they had in their championship squads from years ago as they lost star running back Ahmad Bradshaw. With losing a running back who gained over 1,000 yards a year ago, comes the struggle of finding an offensive identity. The Giants will struggle to gain anything on the ground while Eli Manning can't do it all.

Giants 23, Bears 30

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Week 7: at Washington Redskins

redskins
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

There's no doubt that the Washington Redskins were one of the most fun teams to watch last season. Robert Griffin III led the way as the Redskins made the playoffs and looked good doing it. With RG3 coming off of an injury and a few pieces gone, the Redskins will be looking to make a comeback with Griffin III at the helm. They will be well adjusted the the offense by week seven and that's unfortunate for the Bears.

Bears 14, Redskins 21

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Week 8: BYE

bye
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago's bye week comes at the right time because of the onslaught of tough teams on the 2013 schedule. They played three teams that made the playoffs in 2012 and another four teams that are fully capable of making the postseason. A nice off week for Cutler and Brandon Marshall will do this team a world of good at this point in the season. In fact, they play four games against teams who made the playoffs in the second half of the season.

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Week 9: at Green Bay Packers

packers
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best rivalries in the NFL has to be that between the Packers and the Bears. This one will be no different as the Packers are coming off a division title season and the Bears are looking to make a strong run under their new head coach. The Packers have one of the best quarterbacks in the world, Aaron Rodgers, and that is enough to make the Bears defense vulnerable on the road.

Bears 17, Packers 31

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Week 10: Detroit Lions

lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In the second meeting of the season between these two teams, the Lions will be in contention for a division title, but the Bears will try to put those hopes to rest. Cutler and Marshall will have a big day in a revenge game for the Bears.

Lions 21, Bears 27

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Week 11: Baltimore Ravens

ravens
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are the reigning Super Bowl champs, but that will soon be forgotten once the 2013 season begins. The Ravens also lost a lot of key pieces from their title team from a year ago like Anquan Boldin and Ray Lewis. This is enough to ensure this team is more beatable in 2013 than they were last year. Great news for the Bears.

Ravens 20, Bears 28

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Week 12: at St. Louis Rams

rams
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams are led by young talent now that Steven Jackson is no longer with the team. Sam Bradford is an up-and-coming quarterback and could end up being one of the surprises of the 2013 season. The Rams ranked in the middle of the league in almost every major offensive and defensive category from 2012. They are trying to be anything but average, but it won't be against the Bears.

Bears 30, Rams 20

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Week 13: at Minnesota Vikings

vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota is never an easy place to play, especially against a team that would like to make their second straight playoff appearance. Adrian Peterson sure can run the ball, but the Bears defense will have gelled much by then and will be just enough to come out on top in one of the most exciting games of the 2013 season.

Bears 21, Vikings 20

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Week 14: Dallas Cowboys

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will have the same quarterback behind center for years to come after extending Tony Romo's contract for the foreseeable future. They had one of the best passing offenses in the league last season, but Romo can sometimes crumble under pressure and that is what will happen in this game at Soldier Field.

Cowboys 24, Bears 30

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Week 15: at Cleveland Browns

browns
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns were the last place team in the AFC North, but they will show signs of improvement this season. However, the inconsistent play of Brandon Weeden at quarterback and the poor run game led to a 5-11 record. The Browns will be no contest for the Bears as they will take care of business on the road easily.

Bears 34, Browns 10

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Week 16: at Philadelphia Eagles

eagles
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles were easily the league's biggest disappointment in 2012. They were set up to be one of the best teams in the NFL, but underachieving became their style of play. Michael Vick had a terrible season and LeSean McCoy finished the season injured and unable to perform to expectations. They will be better in 2013 and the Bears will find that out in week 16.

Bears 23, Eagles 35

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Week 17: Green Bay Packers

packers
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears will face the Packers in the final regular season game. The people who made the schedule sure know how to script such a great final game that could end up being for the division title. Unfortunately, the Packers' experience will be too much for the Bears to handle and they will come out on top of the game, and the division.

Packers 28, Bears 24

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Analysis and Final Prediction

bears
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In my game-by-game predictions, the Bears ended up finishing 9-7. One less win than they had last season. I think they will finish in second place in the NFC North and lose the final game of the season against the Packers that would give them a division title.

The Bears have the talent to make a deep run and that's exactly what their fans expect that they will do. However, winning a lot of games under a first-year head coach is never an easy thing and the Bears will find that out.

Overall, a successful season for a team with a new head coach and, with a successful 2013 NFL Draft, they could be a serious title contender.