2014 NFL Week 17 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2014 NFL Week 17 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 17 box scores and stats included

WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: December 26, 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 Friday, December 26th.

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: Lions at Packers

The Lions and Packers have both punched their tickets into the postseason. However, the Black-and-Blue division title remains on the line, as well as a shot at the NFC's No. 1 seed. Throw in the Packers' quest for revenge from a Week 3 loss and this weekend's battle in Lambeau serves as our WhatIfSports.com NFL Game of the Week.

Since dropping the aforementioned Week 3 contest, the Packers have won 10 of their last 12 outings, with most of the victories coming in a decisive manner. Unfortunately, that's not been the case as of late. In the last three weeks, the Cheeseheads have been less than impressive, falling to the Bills and struggling with lowly clubs in the Falcons and Buccaneers. In short, a performance that fails to instill conviction heading into January.

Yet Green Bay will enter the postseason as a formidable foe thanks to the play of Aaron Rodgers. Already in his 10th year in the league, Rodgers' 2014 (4,155 yards, 36 touchdowns, five picks) is second only to his MVP-winning campaign in 2011. With the best one-two receiving combo in the league in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb at his disposal, coupled with contributions from running back Eddie Lacy, Rodgers has led the Packers to a conference-best 30.4 points per game. The defense and coaching may leave much to be desired, but Rodgers' presence is enough to make Green Bay a title contender.

By reputation, the Lions seemingly front their own daunting offensive strike. Alas, Detroit is more bark than bite, evidenced in its 23rd rank in points per game (20.1). Part of this blame lies with the signal caller, Matthew Stafford. Though he's tossed for over 4,000 yards and just 12 interceptions, the former No. 1 pick has failed to find the end zone at a consistent rate. Following three scores in Week 1, Stafford has hit pay dirt only 18 times in the ensuing 14 games. Quite the far cry from 2011's 41 touchdowns, or even last year's 31 scores.

Luckily for Motown, the Lions' defense has been a nightmare for opponents. Spurred by a tough front seven and opportunistic secondary, Detroit ranks second in both total defense and points allowed. It's such a resistance that has allowed Stafford and company plenty of room for error.

Unfortunately, the merit of Detroit remains in doubt. Aside from Week 3's win over the Packers, the Lions have beaten just ONE club that enters Week 17 with a winning record: the 8-7 Dolphins. Worse, in its two shots at legitimate competition, Detroit fell flat on its face to Arizona and New England. A win grabs a first-round playoff bye for Detroit, but perhaps more importantly, it also grants a level of confidence.

So who comes out on top in the NFC North showdown? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Packers emerge with the W 55.4 percent of the time by an average margin of 24-21. For the rest of this week's scores, check below:

Please Note: The Raiders-Broncos, Rams-Seahawks, Jets-Dolphins, Bills-Patriots, Bears-Vikings, Cardinals-49ers, Browns-Ravens, Chargers-Chiefs, Panthers-Falcons, Bengals-Steelers, Eagles-Giants, Cowboys-Redkins, Saints-Buccaneers and Colts-Titans games were re-simulated on 12/26 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 17 Predictions
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
Oakland Raiders14.416Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos85.630Simulate Game
Jacksonville Jaguars24.917Boxscore
@ Houston Texans75.126Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams26.217Boxscore
@ Seattle Seahawks73.825Simulate Game
New York Jets34.119Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins65.924Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills36.519Boxscore
@ New England Patriots63.524Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns39.821Boxscore
@ Baltimore Ravens60.224Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers44.523Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons55.524Simulate Game
Detroit Lions44.621Boxscore
@ Green Bay Packers55.424Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals46.120Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers53.921Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals47.124Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers52.925Simulate Game
Chicago Bears48.723Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings51.324Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles62.626Boxscore
@ New York Giants37.422Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers63.026Boxscore
@ Kansas City Chiefs37.021Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys71.529Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins28.521Simulate Game
New Orleans Saints75.231Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers24.822Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts81.331Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans18.720Simulate 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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