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Expert predictions: What will the Bears record be in 2015?

Bears guard Kyle Long. (AP)

The Chicago Sun-Times’ experts offer their predictions for Bears’ 2015 season:

RICK MORRISSEY

Season prediction: 6-10

A sketchy offensive line, an injured wide-receiver corps, a questionable defensive backfield and Shea McClellin in the starting lineup – and I’m picking the Bears to go 6-10? I think I’ll go with the insanity defense here. I saw a bad team go 5-11 last season, and all I can think is that it can’t be any worse this season. This could be my subconscious trying to protect me from the carnage I’m about to witness.

But John Fox’s buttoned-down approach to just about everything means that Jay Cutler won’t be allowed to take as many risks as he has in the past. That should mean fewer interceptions, more Matt Forte involvement and the Bears’ defense standing on the sidelines more often. That’s my 6-10 story, and I’m sticking with it.

RICK TELANDER

Season prediction: 7-9

There’s an old saying: “Dance with the one who brung you.’’ I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I think it could be interpreted, regarding the Bears: “This is your team. Sorry.’’

What can you say about a team on which the best player might be Kyle Long, an offensive lineman? That’s like having your best bottle of wine being elite Boone’s Farm Fuzzy Navel.

But, even bad wine can surprise you every now and then. And it can positively affect the side dishes. So if Jay Cutler can keep us from blowing our tops and this mysterious defense can play like it did in pre-season second halfs, well, .500 is a possibility. But 7-9 is reality.

ADAM L. JAHNS

Season prediction: 7-9

The first half of the Bears’ schedule is loaded with landmines, but the second half turns in their favor. Having the dysfunctional 49ers and Redskins and Lovie Smith’s lowly Buccaneers in final five weeks sets up for a favorable finish. The Bears should be playing the way coach John Fox likes by then, too.

The NFC North could be one of the NFL’s best divisions, but I just don’t see the Bears going 0-6 against the Packers, Lions and Vikings this season. The Lions and Vikings still have much to prove.

The Bears have never gone winless in the NFC North, which was formed in 2002. They should be good enough for at least one win, maybe two against their divisional rivals this year.

PATRICK FINLEY

Season prediction: 6-10

Squint, and the Bears might have the legit offensive weapons and defensive creativity to top six wins. Look at their schedule, though, and try to find them. They’ll beat the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins at home, and maybe the Buccaneers on the road.

As of today, you could argue that every other game— including their six divisional games — will have the Bears as the underdog. Any hope for momentum is quashed by their first three games; they’ll be lucky to win one against the Packers, Cardinals and at the Seahawks.

Short of wins and losses, success will be defined by the team’s ability to find young players who can play on its next great defense — at least two years from now — and to figure out whether to keep Jay Cutler around.

MARK POTASH

Season prediction: 7-9

The Bears will be better this year if they just don’t embarrass us — that’s how low the bar has been set after last season’s implosion. With preseason injuries and a tough early schedule followed by a manageable second-half schedule, the 2015 season is set up for John Fox & Co. to “understate and overproduce.”

I see a 2-6 start followed by a 5-3 finish. No sane Bears fan is expecting a miracle. This season is all about finding who you can win with — with Jay Cutler, Jared Allen and Shea McClellin at the top of the list — making the right decisions without hesitation, developing a playmaker or two and making sure the Bears are pointed in the right direction on Jan. 4. Anything else is a bonus.