2012 NFL Week 16 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2012 NFL Week 16 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 16 box scores and stats included

By Joel Beall and Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: December 21, 2012

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 2012 NFL season.

Check out our 2012 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: Giants at Ravens

A soiree in the Emerald City featuring San Francisco and Seattle may bestow an NFC West crown, while a showdown between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will illuminate the race for a coveted AFC Wild Card spot. Yet there exists another battle that not only has implications for the fates of each team and their respective divisions, but rather, the entire NFL playoff picture. The added intrigue behind the New York Giants traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens serves as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

To say that either team is riding a wave of momentum would be a misnomer, as each squad is limping toward the finish line. The G-Men have lost four of their last six outings, including coming out on the business end of a 34-0 thumping by Atlanta last Sunday, while the Ravens enter licking their wounds following three consecutive defeats.

In truth, that number could be five, as Baltimore escaped a loss in San Diego thanks to a 4th-and-29 conversion from Ray Rice, and the Ravens didn't exactly take advantage of the absence of Ben Roethlisberger in the team's 13-10 victory in the Steel City. The lethargic showings correlated to the axe of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron last Monday, an unprecedented move for a roster sitting at first at this juncture of the season, especially since most point to the defensive side of the ball as the catalyst for the Ravens' woes. Injuries to Lardarius Webb, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs have not helped matters, but Baltimore enters this weekend conceding the third-most yards in the AFC and a pedestrian 21.9 points per contest. For a franchise built on its defensive prowess, Baltimore's bark has not lived up to the bite in 2012.

Not that the offense has been firing on all cylinders. In the midst of his fifth season under center, the much-maligned Joe Flacco has failed to develop as an effective signal caller, completing fewer than 60 percent of his pass attempts for the second consecutive campaign and continuing to showcase a vulnerable propensity with the pigskin. Though the offense employs one of the more complete backs in Rice, if "Average Joe" fails to raise his level of play as January draws near, John Harbaugh's crew will be looking at a quick playoff exit.

Of course, at least Harbaugh has a postseason berth secured. The Giants are notorious for putting their backs against the wall, but even for them, their current predicament might be too tough a hole to dig out of. While Washington, Dallas and New York hold the same record, the G-Men are on the outside looking in on the NFC East, slotted at third in the division. Worse, out of the four conference companies with eight wins vying for the final Wild Card position, the Giants lie in fourth.

Luckily for Tom Coughlin, his team is comprised of veterans who are not new to these dilemmas. His statistics this year tell a tale of regression, yet one would be hard-pressed to endorse a better candidate for cavaliering a comeback than Eli Manning, who has consistently proven his merits in the clutch. With Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks finally reaching full health, as well as a breath of fresh air in rookie running back David Wilson, Manning has all the necessary tools to pull off such a feat.

So who emerges victorious from this Week 16 encounter? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com simulation engine, the Ravens come out on top 51.3 percent of the time by an average margin of 25-24. For the rest of this week's predictions, check below:

Please note: The Browns-Broncos, Titans-Packers, Bills-Dolphins, Giants-Ravens, Chargers-Jets, Bears-Cardinals, Redskins-Eagles, Falcons-Lions and Patiots-Jaguars games were resimulated on 12/21 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 16
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Cleveland Browns15.217Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos84.831Simulate Game
Tennessee Titans27.019Boxscore
@ Green Bay Packers73.026Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings34.019Boxscore
@ Houston Texans66.025Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills39.319Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins60.722Simulate Game
Oakland Raiders47.524Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers52.525Simulate Game
New Orleans Saints47.927Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys52.128Simulate Game
New York Giants48.724Boxscore
@ Baltimore Ravens51.325Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals49.424Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers50.625Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams49.423Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers50.624Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers54.121Boxscore
@ New York Jets45.918Simulate Game
San Francisco 49ers57.617Boxscore
@ Seattle Seahawks42.414Simulate Game
Chicago Bears67.124Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals32.918Simulate Game
Washington Redskins67.021Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles33.014Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons69.729Boxscore
@ Detroit Lions30.322Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts75.928Boxscore
@ Kansas City Chiefs24.118Simulate Game
New England Patriots90.629Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars 9.413Simulate 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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