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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.
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Game of the Week: Packers at Bears
Any conversation regarding the NFL's best rivalries starts with the tug-of-war between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. This Midwestern matchup has been contested 188 times, a league record, with a ridiculously close 93-89-6 series mark in favor of the Bears.
However, the Packers hold the upper hand as of late, winning seven of the past eight matchups, including an instant classic last winter, highlighted by a last-minute touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb in the season finale. The win vaulted the Cheeseheads to a division title while keeping the Monsters of the Midway out of the postseason. With revenge on their mind, the Bears welcome the Packers to the Windy City, serving as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.
The Packers are viewed as one of the league's most explosive offenses. Through three weeks, it's a disposition rooted in the past rather than the present, as the club ranks 28th in total offense and averages just 18 points per outing (third-worst in the conference). Although Rodgers hasn't posted his historical eye-popping numbers, he hasn't been bad, either, finding the end zone five times versus one pick.
The process of elimination would seemingly put the spotlight on the running game, an assumption proved correct by the box scores. Eddie Lacy and the backfield have produced little of note on the ground, averaging a feeble 3.6 yards per carry. Worse, the group has more turnovers than touchdowns.
In their defense, the Packers faced a brutal slate of defenses in the opening weeks. Moreover, the defense, while far from stout, has maintained a semblance of dependability. The schedule eases up for Rodgers and company, meaning the forecast remains bright for the Lambeau faithful.
The sky is also sunny for Marc Trestman's Bears. After a heartbreaking overtime loss in the season opener, Chicago has bounced back in stellar fashion, notching road Ws in San Francisco and New York. The offense has been sound, averaging 25 points per game. More importantly, Jay Cutler seems to be on the precipice of a mid-career rejuvenation. Against a trio of tough resistances, Cutler has racked up eight scores versus two interceptions, quite the feat given No. 1 target Brandon Marshall is nowhere near full health. Once Matt Forte finds his footing (3.2 yards per carry), the Bears may boast the conference's most well-rounded attack.
Alas, all is not well in Soldier Field. Perennially flaunting a nightmarish defense, Chicago's D was anything but last year, conceding a league-high 161.4 rushing yards per game. The early returns from 2014 (144.7 yards per contest) illustrate this problem has not been alleviated. Also in disheartening news, the Bears lost All-Pro corner Charles Tillman to a season-ending triceps injury. The secondary has been energized by rookie Kyle Fuller, who leads the NFL with three interceptions, and the front seven is slightly better than last fall's turnstile performance. Nevertheless, for the Bears to be a title contender, the defense will need to raise its collective fight.
So who wins this Black-and-Blue battle? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com football simulation engine, the Packers come out on top 54.9 percent of the time by an average score of 25-24. For the rest of this week's scores, check below:
NFL Week 4 Predictions
|Matchup||Win %||Avg. Score|
|@ San Diego Chargers||86.4||34||Simulate Game|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||24.9||20||Boxscore|
|@ Pittsburgh Steelers||75.1||30||Simulate Game|
|@ Baltimore Ravens||65.0||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Indianapolis Colts||60.9||24||Simulate Game|
|New York Giants||46.3||23||Boxscore|
|@ Washington Redskins||53.7||24||Simulate Game|
|@ Houston Texans||50.8||22||Simulate Game|
|Green Bay Packers||54.9||25||Boxscore|
|@ Chicago Bears||45.1||24||Simulate Game|
|@ New York Jets||44.0||20||Simulate Game|
|New Orleans Saints||56.5||27||Boxscore|
|@ Dallas Cowboys||43.5||24||Simulate Game|
|@ San Francisco 49ers||40.1||21||Simulate Game|
|New England Patriots||72.8||25||Boxscore|
|@ Kansas City Chiefs||27.2||18||Simulate Game|
|@ Oakland Raiders||25.8||18||Simulate Game|
|@ Minnesota Vikings||24.9||20||Simulate Game|
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