The Chicago Bears enter this season with particularly high hopes for a franchise that hasn't won the Super Bowl since 1985, but the evidence keeps piling up that 2012 could indeed be a special season for Lovie Smith's crew.
The latest may not exactly be "real" per se, but it's better than nothing: the Bears absolutely dominated in a full 2012 season simulated through "Madden NFL 13," which comes out on Tuesday.
As ESPN Playbook reports, Chicago puts the smackdown on the simulated league with a 12-4 record en route to the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
If these results are any indication, the Bears should be one of the league's best teams this season, although I suppose a video game isn't the best indicator of future results.
Players on the team seem to be as optimistic as the computer-simulated season, though, so I'd prefer to enter the season blindly assuming that the Bears are a force that cannot be stopped.
Jay Cutler proves to be among the league's most prolific quarterbacks in the simulated season, throwing for 36 touchdowns and 4,215 yards, albeit with 18 interceptions.
The folks at "Madden" apparently don't believe that Cutler will figure out that whole bad decision thing this year. Even so, Bears fans probably salivate at the idea of their QB putting up those numbers.
Meanwhile, Matt Forte is among the league's top running backs with 1,250 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, while Brandon Marshall is simulated to catch 80 passes for 1,185 yards and eight touchdowns.