2011 NFL Week 2 Picks and Predictions from WhatIfSports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

2011 NFL Week 2 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 2 box scores and stats included

By Joel Beall - WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: September 15th, 2011

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 2011 NFL season.

Check out our 2011 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week.

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<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=65542ef5-18f3-4d0c-b8e3-d3307de4f79d" target="_new" title="">WhatifSports.com: Week 2 NFL picks</a>

Game of the Week: Bears at Saints

Two NFC teams with Super Bowl aspirations square off in the Superdome as the Chicago Bears battle the New Orleans Saints in the WhatIfSports Game of the Week.

The Monsters of the Midway are coming off a rewarding 30-12 romp of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. Ignited by the play of Matt Forte (who posted 68 yards rushing, 90 yards receiving and a touchdown), Brian Urlacher (10 tackles, an interception and a fumble return for touchdown) and Jay Cutler (22-for-32, 312 yards, two touchdowns and a 107.8 QB rating), the Bears made it known that their 2010 season was no fluke. The box score may indicate Chicago surrendered an ample amount of yards through the air (Matt Ryan finished with 319 yards on the afternoon), but the Bears prohibited the Dirty Birds from unleashing their explosive offense, yielding short runs and passes in favor of disallowing a long, momentum-turning play. Aside from a Cutler pick-six, Chicago couldn't have asked for a more favorable outcome.

The same cannot be said for the Saints, who came up short in dramatic fashion in an instant classic last Thursday in Lambeau Field, falling to the Packers 42-34. Offensively, the Saints had their way with one of the more intimidating defensive units in the league (save for Mark Ingram's stuff at the goal line as time expired) as Drew Brees tossed for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for New Orleans, they will be without lead receiver Marques Colston for the next month with a broken collarbone. Add this to the already iffy status of Lance Moore and suddenly the dynamic aerial attack of Sean Payton is surrounded in doubt.

Maybe of more importance for the Saints are questions pertaining to their porous defense. While the Green Bay offense is nothing to scoff at, New Orleans has to seal some gaping holes in the secondary to prevent another fireworks display on the scoreboard. Not helping matters is the continued absence of lineman Will Smith. Without the Pro Bowler's pass rush, Cutler won't be hurried into questionable decisions, possibly correlating into a field day for the Chicago signal caller.

For the Saints, establishing the run game will be paramount. The combo of Ingram and Pierre Thomas was relatively effective against the Packers, but the two will need to be more assertive in short-yardage situations for the Saints to come out on top. Darren Sproles had a solid debut in the passing game for New Orleans, snagging seven receptions for 75 yards, instantly erasing the memory and headache of Reggie Bush. Meanwhile, Chicago will rely heavily on the shoulders of Forte, as the Bears back doubles as the main rusher and receiver for the team. If New Orleans can suppress Forte, it will be a long day for the Chicago faithful.

So who wins this matchup of NFC superpowers? According to WhatIfSports' award-winning simulation engine, the Bears come out on top 51.4 percent of the time by an average score of 20 to 19. For the rest of this week's predictions, check below:

Please note: The Seahawks/Steelers, Bengals/Broncos, Rams/Giants, Chargers/Patriots, Eagles/Falcons, Texans/Dolphins, Raiders/Bills and Cowboys/49ers games were resimulated on 9/15 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 2
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Jacksonville Jaguars10.111Boxscore
@ New York Jets89.926Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks15.615Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers84.428Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals32.918Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos67.124Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals41.622Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins58.426Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams42.519Boxscore
@ New York Giants57.522Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers43.822Boxscore
@ New England Patriots56.224Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles48.121Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons51.922Simulate Game
Chicago Bears51.420Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints48.619Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns52.921Boxscore
@ Indianapolis Colts47.120Simulate Game
Houston Texans53.022Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins47.020Simulate Game
Oakland Raiders59.918Boxscore
@ Buffalo Bills40.115Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers62.125Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings37.921Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys62.725Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers37.321Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs63.824Boxscore
@ Detroit Lions36.220Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens65.823Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans34.217Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers77.025Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers23.015Simulate Game

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

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