2014 NFL Week 5 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2014 NFL Week 5 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 5 box scores and stats included

UPDATE: October 2, 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.

Gridiron Dynasty - College Football Game

Game of the Week: Cardinals at Broncos

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos enter Week 5 in unexpected circumstances. Following the losses of playmakers like Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett, few expected the Cardinals to remain relevant in the highly-competitive NFC West. This sentiment was especially true following Carson Palmer suffering nerve damage in his shoulder and neck. Yet, after notching impressive wins against the Chargers, Giants and 49ers, the Cardinals are just one of two remaining undefeated teams and surprisingly sit atop their division.

The Broncos are also in foreign territory, albeit not a favored one. With San Diego's win yesterday during Denver's bye, the Orange Crush are now in second in the AFC West. Granted, the season is still in its infancy, yet with a strong showing out of the gate, the Chargers are proving themselves as a playoff contender. Needing a victory to keep pace, the Broncos welcome the Cards to Mile High for the WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Denver is 2-1, and there's certainly no shame in losing to the Seahawks in overtime. However, not all is right with the Broncos. The vaunted offense, one that shattered the record books in 2013, ranks 23rd in total output heading into October. Most of these struggles arise from the rushing attack, which is averaging a meager 3.2 yards per carry (29th in the league) and is putting up just 75 yards per contest. Worse, the resistance, one that retooled with acquisitions of DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward, has fallen well short of expectations, surrendering 390 yards of offense per game (27th in the NFL). For a team that was the conference favorite, the Broncos have shown they are far from a well-rounded squad.

Not that it's all gloom in the Rockies. The passing assault should get a boost with Wes Welker slowly working himself back in the lineup following a concussion/suspension. Moreover, Julius Thomas has elevated his receiving prowess, transforming into one of the most dangerous red-zone targets in the league with five touchdowns through three games. If second-year back Montee Ball can carve out room to roam, the Broncos will regain their nightmarish reputation.

Looking to put the kibosh on the Broncos' blitzkrieg is a stout Cardinals defense. Aside from All-Pro performer Patrick Peterson, this Arizona unit lacks household names. Yet opposing offensives are discovering quickly that this is a group not to be trifled with, conceding a conference-low 15 points per contest. This dominance starts in the trenches, with the front seven holding rushers to only 2.9 yards per carry. Given that the Cards have taken on respectable field generals in Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Colin Kaepernick, its production not to overlook.

Speaking of the quarterback position, Arizona is dealing with its own sense of ambiguity under center. Mentioned above, Palmer has been nursing a shoulder issue the past three weeks, leading to journeyman Drew Stanton logging two starts. Though Stanton has turned in commendable appearances, his career numbers don't paint a pretty picture for continued success. For the Cardinals to be a legitimate threat in the NFC, the team desperately needs Palmer back in the saddle.

So who emerges from Denver victorious? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com football simulation engine, the Broncos come out on top 51.1 percent of the time by an average margin of 25-24. For the rest of this week's projections, check below:

Please Note: The Vikings-Packers, Bills-Lions, Jets-Chargers, Chiefs-49ers, Browns-Titans, Bears-Panthers, Bengals-Patriots, Seahawks-Redskins and Steelers-Jaguars games were re-simulated on 10/2 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 5 Predictions
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
St. Louis Rams21.420Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles78.631Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers24.923Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints75.132Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings31.220Boxscore
@ Green Bay Packers68.826Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills35.820Boxscore
@ Detroit Lions64.225Simulate Game
New York Jets37.123Boxscore
@ San Diego Chargers62.926Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs40.720Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers59.324Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens45.922Boxscore
@ Indianapolis Colts54.123Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns47.122Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans52.924Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals48.924Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos51.125Simulate Game
Houston Texans49.324Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys50.725Simulate Game
Chicago Bears49.622Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers50.423Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons52.925Boxscore
@ New York Giants47.124Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals68.125Boxscore
@ New England Patriots31.919Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks80.126Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins19.916Simulate Game
Pittsburgh Steelers81.533Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars18.521Simulate 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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