We've reached a midpoint in the 2013 NFL campaign. How will the rest of the season play out? Our analysts provide their predictions, covering the major individual awards, playoff teams for each conference and picks for Championship Sunday/Super Bowl XLVIII.
SUPER BOWL XLVIII
Gil Brandt: Seahawks over Bengals. The pregame hype will be about the battle between two rising young stars at quarterback: the mobile threat of Russell Wilson vs. the pocket-passer ways of Andy Dalton. However, I think Seattle's dominant back four of Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor will be the difference.
Albert Breer: 49ers over Bengals. Oh ... Maybe this is why my gut feeling in the NFC title game is what it is: I'm just stubborn and sticking to my preseason pick. No reason to back away from it now. A rematch of a classic Super Bowl (XXIII), this time in the cold, with San Francisco taking another nail-biter.
Bucky Brooks: Seahawks over Broncos. The Legion of Boom is the only secondary capable of slowing down the Broncos' dynamic receiving corps. Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond maul Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker on the perimeter, while a fleet-footed set of rushers get after Peyton Manning in the pocket.
Jeff Darlington: Broncos over Seahawks. We all rightfully have our concerns, based specifically on his career's history, about what will happen when Peyton Manning reaches the playoffs. I just believe he's playing legendary football right now with a worthy supporting cast. It began as Peyton's season ... and it will end the same.
Elliot Harrison: Broncos over Seahawks. While Seattle matches up well defensively with the Broncos, the Seahawks' offense has been hit-or-miss. Russell Wilson needs help, and even with a great defense on his side, Seattle still would need to score 30 points to win. Doubtful -- unless Percy Harvin makes a huge impact. Should be a great game either way.
Ian Rapoport: 49ers over Broncos. Once again, sticking with my preseason pick because I've seen nothing to change my mind. This year, the Niners make that final play on the goal line to secure this version's legacy.
Michael Silver: Seahawks over Bengals. I'm cutting and pasting what I wrote before the season, because it still looks pretty, pretty good: Seattle's secondary shuts down the Cincy passing attack and destroys Andy Dalton, but the MVP trophy goes to Russell Wilson after a decisive 'Hawks triumph.