2011 NFL Week 7 Picks and Predictions from WhatIfSports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

2011 NFL Week 7 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 7 box scores and stats included

By Joel Beall and Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: October 20th, 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.

Gridiron Dynasty - College Football Game
<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=b672e210-bf06-47c2-ba40-ac9cf50a6dbc" target="_new" title="">WhatifSports: Week 7 NFL pick</a>

Game of the Week: Falcons at Lions

Ford Field finds itself center stage once again in the gridiron world after Week 6's scuffle between Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh. However, this affair hopes to keep its' wrestles during regulation as the upstart 5-1 Lions take on last season's regular-season conference champion Atlanta Falcons in the WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Detroit, notorious for their early-season comebacks from seemingly insurmountable deficits, got a dose of their own medicine last week as San Francisco scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to knock the Lions from the pack of unbeatens. Still, few pigskin pundits would have imagined Detroit to be 5-1 at this juncture of the season. Built on the explosive arm of Matthew Stafford (1,729 yards, 98.2 QB rating, 15 touchdowns) and deep-threat deftness of Calvin Johnson (36 receptions, 564 yards, nine touchdowns), the Lions are averaging 29.7 points per game, second-best in the NFC. While the rushing game has mostly been held in check (90.8 yards per game, 13th in the conference), Jahvid Best has had his moments (like going for 163 yards on the ground against the Bears in Week 5) and has 390 rushing yards and another 287 through the air for the Lions.

But we'd be remiss in failing to mention the Detroit defense, which has been the catalyst for the marvelous start in Motown. The Lions are holding opponents to 19 points per contest while suffocating them to the tune of 335 total yards, third-best in the NFC. The rush resistance is nothing to scuff at, but it is the secondary that has boasted the unit as one of the league's best, smothering their aerial adversaries to a conference-low 205.5 yards per game. The defense has also managed more interceptions (eight) than surrendered passing scores (seven).

Unfortunately, the Falcons are on the opposite side of the secondary spectrum. One of the better protectors against the pass last season, Atlanta is giving up 282.8 yards per outing this season, second-worst in the conference. The Dirty Birds have been opportunistic, snagging nine picks, but opposing signal callers have had their way in the early going against Mike Smith's squad.

Luckily for Atlanta, a balanced offensive attack has kept the team floating through the first six weeks. Running back Michael Turner is inflicting his usual damage with 499 yards and six touchdowns in the early going, and rookie Julio Jones has lived up to his hype, hauling in 25 catches for 358 yards. But all is not right in the Georgia Dome. Despite posting solid numbers (34 receptions, 373 yards, two touchdowns), Roddy White has not been his usual self. The perennial Pro Bowler leads the league in drops, and has been disgruntled for the past few weeks. Odd, as White is second in the NFL in targets with 60 passes in his direction. If Atlanta hopes to surmount a postseason run, White will need an about-face for the Falcon offense to fly.

So who wins this matchup in the Motor City? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com simulation engine, the Lions come out on top 53.1 percent of the time by an average score of 22-20. For the rest of this week's predictions, check below:

Please note: The Colts/Saints, Chiefs/Raiders, Seahawks/Browns, Falcons/Lions, Redskins/Panthers, Texans/Titans, Packers/Vikings and Ravens/Jaguars were resimulated on 10/20 to account for injuries, trades and roster updates.

NFL Week 7
MatchupWin%Avg Score
St. Louis Rams12.314Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys87.730Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts16.817Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints83.230Simulate Game
Denver Broncos38.117Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins61.920Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs40.420Boxscore
@ Oakland Raiders59.622Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks43.916Boxscore
@ Cleveland Browns56.118Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons46.920Boxscore
@ Detroit Lions53.122Simulate Game
Washington Redskins50.522Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers49.521Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers53.724Boxscore
@ New York Jets46.322Simulate Game
Chicago Bears53.723Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers46.322Simulate Game
Houston Texans54.223Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans45.822Simulate Game
Pittsburgh Steelers75.529Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals24.518Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers81.327Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings18.715Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens91.726Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars 8.310Simulate 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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