2014 NFL Week 16 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2014 NFL Week 16 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 16 box scores and stats included

UPDATE: December 18, 2014

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.

To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating some games on Thursdays throughout the 2014 NFL season.

Check out our 2014 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week.

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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
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
New York Giants40.321Boxscore
@ St. Louis Rams59.724Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs43.622Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers56.424Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons44.725Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints55.327Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings44.919Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins55.120Simulate Game
Tennessee Titans48.224Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars51.825Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns49.923Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers50.124Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers54.524Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers45.522Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens55.522Boxscore
@ Houston Texans44.520Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts57.127Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys42.924Simulate Game
Denver Broncos61.526Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bengals38.523Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks65.023Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals35.018Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles70.527Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins29.520Simulate Game
New England Patriots77.428Boxscore
@ New York Jets22.617Simulate Game
Detroit Lions79.128Boxscore
@ Chicago Bears20.917Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills79.426Boxscore
@ Oakland Raiders20.614Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers87.832Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers12.217Simulate Game

Joel Beall is the Assistant Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jbeall@whatifsports.com.

Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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