2014 NFL Week 6 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2014 NFL Week 6 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 6 box scores and stats included

WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: October 9, 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: Panthers at Bengals

Two division leaders square off in Cincinnati this Sunday, as the Bengals welcome the Panthers into town. However, the moods of each club are in stark contrast.

Following consecutive no-shows against Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Carolina was on the verge of a three-game losing streak in Week 5. Yet behind a rally fronted by Cam Newton and Greg Olsen, as well as some timely Chicago turnovers, the Panthers overcame a 14-point deficit to secure the victory and get the train back on the tracks. On the opposite end of the emotional scale, the Bengals took a perfect record into Foxborough against a Patriots squad nearing implosion. Alas, the Who-Deys once again failed in the national spotlight, and were sent back to Ohio on the business end of a 43-17 blowout. This gamut of momentum makes the Battle of the Queen Cities our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Although the Bengals are licking their wounds, there is hope for a quick turnaround in Week 6. Cincinnati has won its past 11 regular-season games in the Jungle, and the defense should get a shot of life with the return of Vontaze Burfict. Moreover, as bad as the Bengals' aerial strike looked against the Patriots, the Panthers defense - most notably its weakened secondary - offers a bounce-back platform. Granted, the jury's still out if Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis have the temerity to perform under the bright lights, a question that will linger until...well, they succeed in such an environment. However, it's also a debate that's mostly fan-driven, and likely won't affect the team as much as the problem conveys.

For the Bengals to come out on top this weekend, the offense will need to reinsert itself in the ground attack. New coordinator Hue Jackson has made the running game his priority, and through the first quarter of the season, it's seemingly been a success. In that same tone, from an efficiency standpoint, the numbers don't reflect this sentiment, ranking 24th in yards per attempt and 19th in total output. One could argue this derives from a shift in adversarial focus, as opponents are locking down on the backfield tandem of Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill, daring Dalton to beat them through the sky. Even in this vein, the Cincinnati offensive line is the main culprit, struggling to get to the second level of the resistance. To support Jackson's plan of lessening the offensive burden off Dalton, the protection up front needs to fortify its position.

Carolina can commiserate with Cincinnati's rushing woes. Historically a juggernaut on the soil, injuries have taken their toll on the Panthers backfield. As a corollary, Carolina is averaging a conference-worst 74.8 rushing yards per outing. Given the inexperience and ineptness of the Panthers receiving corps, it's a weakness that's been amplified.

While the absences of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams haven't helped the cause, Newton's fragile state is at the heart for this performance, or lack thereof. From 2011 to 2013, Newton found the end zone 28 times via rushing attempts, a mark only bettered by Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson in that span. Coupled with over 2,000 rushing yards, Newton's scurrying prowess made him a tour de force under center. Unfortunately, a host of ailments has limited Newton this fall. The Carolina QB has only 42 rushing yards this year with zero trips to pay dirt. This is partially by intention: to keep their signal caller upright, the Panthers have featured less designed run calls for Newton. Alternatively, the upshot of this plan has rendered Newton as a game manager, a role the Auburn product is not quite comfortable in. If the Panthers harbor hopes of returning to the postseason, they will need Newton operating at full strength.

So which team takes the W in Week 6? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com football simulation engine, the Bengals emerge victorious 52.9 percent of the time by an average margin of 21-20. For the rest of this week's scores, check below:

Please Note: The Jaguars-Titans, Cowboys-Seahawks, Redskins-Cardinals, Panthers-Bengals, Bears-Falcons, Lions-Vikings, Ravens-Buccaneers and Chargers-Raiders games were re-simulated on 10/9 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 6 Predictions
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
Jacksonville Jaguars21.619Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans78.430Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys31.419Boxscore
@ Seattle Seahawks68.625Simulate Game
New York Giants35.419Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles64.624Simulate Game
Washington Redskins40.522Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals59.525Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers47.120Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bengals52.921Simulate Game
New England Patriots51.923Boxscore
@ Buffalo Bills48.121Simulate Game
Pittsburgh Steelers52.526Boxscore
@ Cleveland Browns47.525Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts55.323Boxscore
@ Houston Texans44.721Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers60.225Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins39.822Simulate Game
Detroit Lions68.024Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings32.018Simulate Game
Chicago Bears69.629Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons30.422Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens73.327Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers26.719Simulate Game
Denver Broncos78.429Boxscore
@ New York Jets21.619Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers80.429Boxscore
@ Oakland Raiders19.618Simulate Game
San Francisco 49ers82.530Boxscore
@ St. Louis Rams17.520Simulate 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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