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Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine will provide you with predictions, box scores and statistics for every NFL game that week. The NFL simulation engine generates detailed information including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win %), average score and comprehensive box score link. If you want to share your new found NFL knowledge with friends and family, make sure to check out our NFL Widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or click on the social networking share bar located at the top and bottom of the article.
The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically based player ranking. Roster modifications have been made for injuries and suspensions and those players are not part of their team's game simulation.
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Game of the Week: Patriots at Colts
It's been a prosperous start to the Andrew Luck Era in Indianapolis. Since taking the reins as starting quarterback, Luck has led to the Horseshoes to 28 victories in their last 41 games. Of greater note, the Colts have reached the postseason in both campaigns under Luck's direction, and are in the driver's seat of the AFC South with seven weeks to go.
Alas, it's not been all sunshine and rainbows for Luck. Like a certain Colts quarterback before him, the Stanford product has struggled mightily against the New England Patriots. In Luck's defense, at two previous engagements, it's a small sample size. Yet as Ian Fleming once wrote, â€œOnce is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.â€ Luck hopes to end this pattern, as the Colts welcome the Pats to the Hoosier State, serving as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.
It's not just that Luck is 0-for-2 against the Pats in his career. It's how. In 42 professional games not against New England (including postseason), Luck has found the end zone 85 times, with 37 interceptions in that span. In his two soirees against Bill Belichick, those figures drop to four and seven, with a lost fumble thrown in for good measure. The Patriots make a lot of adversarial arms look bad, and sometimes it's easy to forget that Luck is only 25 years old. Nevertheless, for the Colts to have a fighting shot on Sunday, the Indianapolis signal caller will need to alleviate such carelessness with the pigskin.
There's also the matter of rising to the challenge for Indianapolis. The Colts have beaten up on the likes of the Jaguars, Titans, Texans and Giants. Unfortunately, wins that seemed impressive at the time over Cincinnati and Baltimore have lost some of their luster. Worse, Indianapolis has come up short against other top-tier teams like Denver, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Unlike the last campaign where the club notched Ws against the Seahawks, Niners and Broncos, there's no resume-building victory for this year's Colts. Sunday bequeaths such an opportunity, one the team desperately needs to be taken seriously in the AFC.
On the opposite end of the spectrum reside the Patriots. Much has been made about Tom Brady's revival since his no-show at Arrowhead in Week 4. While Brady's contributions certainly have been a catalyst in the team's five-game winning streak, New England has not been powered by a solo act. In the past five weeks, the defense, a unit perennially overshadowed by its offensive counterpart, has caused 10 turnovers while surrendering just 21.6 points per contest. And though Brady deserves credit for leading the attack, Rob Gronkowski is the true spur for the Patriots offense. After a slow return from injury, the tight end has rejuvenated to his former self, averaging 103.2 yards per outing during the team's winning streak.
Concededly, this Pats roster is far from infallible, as the vulnerable Gronk holds a major card in their fruition. Moreover, New England has a brutal second-half second, with dates against the Colts, Lions, Packers, Dolphins and Bills. Nevertheless, with their evisceration of the Denver Broncos, the Pats hold the upper edge in gaining home-field advantage in the postseason. As long as Brady is under center, this will be a roster with championship aspirations.
So who wins this battle of AFC combatants? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Patriots come out on top 56.9 percent of the time by an average margin of 24-21. For the rest of this week's projections, check below:
Please Note: The Texans-Browns, Bills-Dolphins, Bengals-Saints, Lions-Cardinals, Steelers-Titans and Broncos-Rams games were re-simulated on 11/13 to account for injuries and roster updates.
NFL Week 11 Predictions
|Matchup||Win %||Avg. Score|
|@ San Diego Chargers||82.3||30||Simulate Game|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||30.2||19||Boxscore|
|@ Washington Redskins||69.8||27||Simulate Game|
|@ Cleveland Browns||58.6||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Miami Dolphins||54.5||20||Simulate Game|
|@ Green Bay Packers||53.8||24||Simulate Game|
|@ New Orleans Saints||53.2||25||Simulate Game|
|@ Carolina Panthers||48.8||23||Simulate Game|
|@ Arizona Cardinals||48.8||20||Simulate Game|
|@ Chicago Bears||45.8||23||Simulate Game|
|San Francisco 49ers||55.4||24||Boxscore|
|@ New York Giants||44.6||22||Simulate Game|
|New England Patriots||56.9||24||Boxscore|
|@ Indianapolis Colts||43.1||21||Simulate Game|
|@ Kansas City Chiefs||42.0||21||Simulate Game|
|@ Tennessee Titans||22.9||20||Simulate Game|
|@ St. Louis Rams||17.9||19||Simulate Game|
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