A grueling offseason is nearly over, and Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season is only days away.
Before the Chiefs and Patriots kick things off Thursday, the CBSSports.com NFL panel is ready to weigh in with exactly how they picture the standings looking at the end of the season, as well as which teams will meet in Super Bowl LII -- and who will come out on top.
A few notes:
- The AFC West turned out to be a tough division to forecast, as three different teams were pegged as division champions. What's most shocking is the team that no one picked: the Oakland Raiders, who have been one of the most popular Super Bowl bets in Vegas this offseason. Despite not being anyone's pick to come out on top of the AFC West, five of our seven experts gave them a wild-card berth.
- While four division winners were unanimous and one other (Seahawks) nearly so, the two divisions aside from the AFC West that saw plenty of disagreement were the NFC East and NFC South. The Giants and Cowboys received the same number of first-place nods in the NFC East, while the Falcons earned four first-place votes in their division, two more than the Buccaneers.
- Five of our seven experts are picking the heavily favored Patriots to return to the Super Bowl, but only three have them coming out on top for what would be the third time in four seasons. The other four are all taking different teams to win it all, including two teams from the NFC West.