2014 NFL Week 8 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2014 NFL Week 8 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 8 box scores and stats included

UPDATE: October 23, 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: Eagles at Cardinals

The Eagles' 5-1 record is admirable but far from unexpected. Following a switch under center, Philadelphia won eight of its final 10 games in 2013. With a full offseason of digestion into Chip Kelly's up-tempo attack, it stood to reason the Eagles would be a formidable opponent this campaign.

The same could not be said for the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Eagles, Bruce Arians' club finished last fall with a 10-6 record. Alas, the team lost defensive playmakers Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett before the season, and when Carson Palmer suffered a pinched-nerve ailment in Week 1, the 2014 forecast looked bleak.

Yet, on the backs of a stout front seven and balanced offense, it's the Cardinals who sit atop the competitive NFC West as the season reaches its midway point. This desert rendezvous between playoff aspirants serves as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Despite its strong start, not all is well in the City of Brotherly Love. While Nick Foles flaunts an exemplary 13-3 mark in the last two seasons, the Philly field general's ball security, or lack thereof (seven interceptions, three fumbles), is becoming increasingly confounding. As the former Arizona Wildcat threw just two picks in all of 2013, these turnovers have hung like a dark cloud over the Eagles' early-season success.

Luckily for Philadelphia, the team has been bolstered by an unlikely source: its defense. The Eagles' resistance, a maligned unit that surrendered a league-high 290 yards per game last year, has made a quantum leap this fall. Though it's still allowing its fair share of yardage, the Philly defense has been an opportunistic group this fall, scoring a league-best five touchdowns. Along with three blocked kicks and two scores on special teams, the Eagles are a threat to score at all times.

Looking to extinguish Philadelphia's scoreboard fireworks will be an Arizona defense that's done a commendable job in such endeavors thus far. Entering Week 8, the Cards are one of just five teams in the NFL holding opponents under 20 points per contest. The big men up front, led by veteran linebacker Larry Foote, have spurred this attack, yielding a league-low 72.5 rushing yards per game. Facing the Eagles' fast-paced offense could present its problems, but look for Arizona to hold its ground.

As good as the defensive has been, all eyes in Phoenix are focused on Palmer. In his abbreviated time in 2014, Palmer has a lone interception against six aerial scores. That's markedly better than last season's 22 passes to the wrong team. The Heisman winner is no longer the Pro Bowl player he was in his Cincinnati tenure, but he's far from washed-up and more than capable of guiding a proficient attack. For the Cardinals to continue their hot start, Palmer's efficiency is imperative.

So who wins this battle of NFC contenders? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com football simulation engine, the Cardinals come out on top 50.9 percent of the time by an average margin of 22-21. For the rest of this week's scores, check below:

Please Note: The Raiders-Browns, Eagles-Cardinals, Texans-Titans, Bills-Jets, Seahawks-Panthers and Ravens-Bengals games were re-simulated on 10/23 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 8 Predictions
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
Oakland Raiders23.519Boxscore
@ Cleveland Browns76.529Simulate Game
Washington Redskins26.121Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys73.929Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams31.820Boxscore
@ Kansas City Chiefs68.227Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers34.222Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos65.828Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles49.121Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals50.922Simulate Game
Chicago Bears49.024Boxscore
@ New England Patriots51.025Simulate Game
Houston Texans60.526Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans39.522Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills61.124Boxscore
@ New York Jets38.920Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings62.425Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers37.621Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks62.625Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers37.421Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins65.624Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars34.418Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts66.225Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers33.821Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens66.723Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bengals33.317Simulate Game
Detroit Lions72.428Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons27.620Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers73.430Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints26.622Simulate 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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