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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.
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Game of the Week: Seahawks at Cardinals
That the Seattle Seahawks are on the precipice of grabbing the No. 1 seed in the NFC is no surprise. Not since the early-Aught Patriots has a Super Bowl champion entered a season as overwhelming favorites to defend the title, and rightfully so. With a young defensive corps, strong running attack and sound quarterback play, the Hawks flaunt the prototype nucleus for NFL success.
The standing of the Arizona Cardinals is a different tale. The team finished with a surprising 10-6 mark in 2013; alas, it was a record few believed the Cards could replicate. Even after a hot start, criticism abounded, especially when quarterback Carson Palmer was lost for the season in early November.
Yet here we are in Week 16, and with a victory this Sunday, Arizona can clinch home-field advantage. With Seattle nipping at its tails, this NFC West showdown serves as the WhatIfSports.comGame of the Week.
Though Arizona has already reserved a playoff invite, the club remains behind the eight ball, as backup Drew Stanton is sidelined for a month with a knee injury. Ryan Lindley now takes over the starting reins in the desert. While Lindley was serviceable in relief duties against a stout Rams defense, he'll have his work cut out this weekend. Seattle is holding opposing arms to a league-low 184 yards per contest, and its resistance against the rush (88 yards per game, fifth-best in the NFL) is just as formidable. As the Cards' backfield is also in ruins, one has to wonder if Bruce Arians' magic is running out.
Luckily for the Cards, they still have a few tricks up their sleeve. Russell Wilson is just 3-2 versus Arizona in his career, and Seattle's road woes during Wilson's tenure have been noted at length (21-2 at home, 13-10 away from the Emerald City). There's also the matter of the Cardinals' D, which has been one of the best units in the league all year. Allowing a scant 17.4 points per game and ranking second in turnover differential, the Arizona defense gives adversaries little room for error.
Wilson has just six picks on the year, albeit with nine fumbles (although zero were lost). Conversely, he's not been one to generate offense through the air, either. Most are circling Lindley against the Seattle D as the matchup that decides this affair, yet Wilson won't have a walk through the park by any means. If the Cards are able to shutdown Marshawn Lynch, Seattle could be in a world of trouble.
So who comes out on top in this battle of NFC juggernauts? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Seahawks emerge victorious 65 percent of the time by an average margin of 23-18. For the rest of this week's projections, check below:
Please Note: The Falcons-Saints, Giants-Rams, Titans-Jaguars, Chargers-49ers, Browns-Panthers, Colts-Cowboys, Lions-Bears and Eagles-Redskins games were re-simulated on 12/18 to account for injuries and roster updates.
NFL Week 16 Predictions
|Matchup||Win %||Avg. Score|
|New York Giants||40.3||21||Boxscore|
|@ St. Louis Rams||59.7||24||Simulate Game|
|Kansas City Chiefs||43.6||22||Boxscore|
|@ Pittsburgh Steelers||56.4||24||Simulate Game|
|@ New Orleans Saints||55.3||27||Simulate Game|
|@ Miami Dolphins||55.1||20||Simulate Game|
|@ Jacksonville Jaguars||51.8||25||Simulate Game|
|@ Carolina Panthers||50.1||24||Simulate Game|
|San Diego Chargers||54.5||24||Boxscore|
|@ San Francisco 49ers||45.5||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Houston Texans||44.5||20||Simulate Game|
|@ Dallas Cowboys||42.9||24||Simulate Game|
|@ Cincinnati Bengals||38.5||23||Simulate Game|
|@ Arizona Cardinals||35.0||18||Simulate Game|
|@ Washington Redskins||29.5||20||Simulate Game|
|New England Patriots||77.4||28||Boxscore|
|@ New York Jets||22.6||17||Simulate Game|
|@ Chicago Bears||20.9||17||Simulate Game|
|@ Oakland Raiders||20.6||14||Simulate Game|
|Green Bay Packers||87.8||32||Boxscore|
|@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12.2||17||Simulate Game|
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