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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.
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Game of the Week: Cowboys at Chiefs
Known as one of the tougher visiting venues in the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium was void of its usual hysteria last season, with the Chiefs notching a lone victory in eight tries at home. With the offseason acquisitions of coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith, Kansas City advocates have hope that 2013 is a different tale. The ambition surrounding these procurements, along with the excitement emitting from the Chiefs' Week 1 victory, will have Arrowhead reenergized this weekend as the Dallas Cowboys come into town. This invigorated scene serves as our WhatIfSports.com NFL Game of the Week.
All season openers need to be treated with a tad of skepticism, as one impressive or disappointing performance does not forebode maturity of either fashion. This is especially true in the case of the Chiefs, who defeated the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. (How bad were the Jags? Punter Bryan Anger set a franchise record with 11 punts last Sunday. That bad.)
However, for a team that won a meager two games in 2012, the Chiefs are in no position to pooh-pooh a victory of any variety. Kansas City could not have asked for a better display from its field general Smith, who found nine different receivers against the Jaguars for 173 yards and two scores. Moreover, the presence of a viable passing game opened up lanes for Jamaal Charles, who racked up 77 yards on a modest 16 carries.
Yet as sound as the Chiefs were on offense, this squad's fruition ultimately lies in the ability of its resistance. For a unit that surrendered 26.6 points per contest last year (25th in the league), Week 1's shutout was a sight for sore eyes. With a strong core of Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry, Kanas City is more than capable of transforming into an elite defense. Under new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton' plan on using an attack-based style, that aspiration is off to an auspicious start in 2013.
The Chiefs will need a similar output from their defense this weekend against a Cowboys offense that found pay dirt early and often in Week 1. Dallas lit up the scoreboard against the Giants last week, capitalizing on turnovers and field position to put up 36 points on its division foe.
Tony Romo wasn't on top of his game, tossing an interception and missing some open receivers, but still finished with 263 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Better yet, after injuries and offensive line problems led to a sophomore slump in 2012, running back DeMarco Murray delivered a bounce-back outing for the Cowboys, rushing 20 times for 88 yards and adding eight catches for 39 yards in the receiving game. If Murray can revive his 2011 success, the Cowboys offense could be a formidable match.
Speaking of challenges, DeMarcus Ware has regained his All-Pro mojo after dealing with a shoulder injury for most of 2012. Finally healthy, Ware returned to his beast-like ways last week, snagging an interception and giving the Giants' protection all they could handle. Few are as disruptive as Ware in the NFL, and with a clean bill of health, could single-handedly improve Dallas' 25.0 points per game allotment from 2012.
So who wins this Great Plains battle? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Cowboys come out on top 63 percent of the time by an average margin of 29-24. For the rest of this week's scores and predictions, check below:
Please note: The Chargers-Eagles, Jets-Patriots, Lions-Cardinals, Broncos-Giants, Panthers-Bills, Browns-Ravens, Titans-Texans and Redskins-Packers games were resimulated on 9/12 to account for injuries and roster updates.
NFL Week 2
|New York Jets||26.2||16||Boxscore|
|@ New England Patriots||73.8||24||Simulate Game|
|@ Baltimore Ravens||73.7||27||Simulate Game|
|@ Houston Texans||62.8||26||Simulate Game|
|San Francisco 49ers||40.9||20||Boxscore|
|@ Seattle Seahawks||59.1||23||Simulate Game|
|@ Chicago Bears||57.6||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Green Bay Packers||54.4||25||Simulate Game|
|San Diego Chargers||47.9||20||Boxscore|
|@ Philadelphia Eagles||52.1||21||Simulate Game|
|St. Louis Rams||47.7||25||Boxscore|
|@ Atlanta Falcons||52.3||27||Simulate Game|
|@ Cincinnati Bengals||51.5||23||Simulate Game|
|@ Oakland Raiders||50.1||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Indianapolis Colts||46.3||23||Simulate Game|
|@ Buffalo Bills||45.2||21||Simulate Game|
|@ Arizona Cardinals||44.9||22||Simulate Game|
|New Orleans Saints||58.2||30||Boxscore|
|@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||41.8||27||Simulate Game|
|@ Kansas City Chiefs||37.0||24||Simulate Game|
|@ New York Giants||25.3||20||Simulate Game|
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