'Madden 11' is all about the Packers

I like a digital simulation of an NFL season as much as the next guy, so after taking a look at AccuScore's work this offseason, we surely can't ignore what our friends over at EA Sports have to say about the NFC North.

Like much of our own preseason discussion, EA's "Madden 11" is all about the Green Bay Packers. Its simulated 2010 season -- provided exclusively to ESPN -- not only ended with the Packers having a 12-4 record, but also assigned MVP and offensive player of the year honors to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will throw for 4,639 yards and 39 touchdowns if this is a "Madden 11" kind of season.

Interestingly, the simulation also addresses one of our central themes for the NFC North season: Pass defense. It projects Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen as the NFL's sack king with 17, while Chicago Bears castoff Alex Brown (14.5) finishes with more sacks in New Orleans than does his replacement, new Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (13).

It's all fun and games until you remember that EA's "NHL 10" predicted a Chicago Blackhawks victory in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Meanwhile, EA's "2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa" predicted a win for ... Spain.