Each Tuesday morning, we will preview every NFL game of the upcoming week. All of our NFL content, including our most recent power rankings and weekly fantasy projections, is located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.
The inputs to the 10,001 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position.
Game of the Week: #4 Steelers 18 @ #3 Redskins 24
On Monday night, Big Ben will not be falling down nearly as much as last week, but passing yards will still be at a premium in this contest that features two of the best pass defenses in the NFL. In that case the Washington skill position players, including two former Pro Bowlers who are having career years in Clinton Portis and Santana Moss, and overall health will make the difference. Last week, we accurately predicted that Brandon Jacobs and the Giants' rushing attack would struggle against the Pittsburgh defense. Do not expect the same from Portis and the Redskins this week. It may not be the 120+ yards that he has hit the last five games, but we still think Portis will top 110 yards and get in the endzone at least once. Juxtapose that with Pittsburgh's banged up offense that, save for a good game against the lowly-Bengals, has regressed over the season against a very tough, physical schedule, and the Redskins have the clear edge. Washington wins 66.7% of the time and by an average score of 24-18.
Upset of the Week: #11 Cardinals 26 @ #24 Rams 28
This may sound like an upset in record and ranking, but the rationale is fairly simple: healthy and at home, St. Louis is the better team. The Rams gave Steven Jackson a week off to rest for this week's divisional foe. Expect him to terrorize the Cardinals' defense with around 150 all-purpose yards and at least one score. Rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery may not be too far from that either. The sim likes Avery to net about 100 total yards and a score as well. As has been the case for a long time, Arizona is finding ways to lose on the road this season. Against a resurgent Rams squad that appears to be targeting this game as a way back into the playoff mix, the Cardinals are in trouble. St. Louis wins 56.7% of the time and by an average score of 28-26.
Click on the Boxscores below to see detailed team and player stat projections for every game.
Week 9 Scores for Every NFL Game
|Matchup||Home Win%||Avg Score||Detroit @ Chicago||86.6||18-31||Boxscore||Green Bay @ Tennessee||77.6||19-29||Boxscore||New England @ Indianapolis||69.2||21-29||Boxscore||Pittsburgh @ Washington||66.7||18-24||Boxscore||Dallas @ New York Giants||64.7||19-24||Boxscore||Houston @ Minnesota||61.2||22-27||Boxscore||Baltimore @ Cleveland||61.2||15-19||Boxscore||New York Jets @ Buffalo||60.7||22-26||Boxscore||Arizona @ St. Louis||56.7||26-28||Boxscore||Atlanta @ Oakland||55.2||25-28||Boxscore||Miami @ Denver||35.8||35-27||Boxscore||Jacksonville @ Cincinnati||35.8||20-12||Boxscore||Tampa Bay @ Kansas City||16.9||31-17||Boxscore||Philadelphia @ Seattle||15.4||28-14||Boxscore|
Paul Bessire is the Senior Quantitative Analyst and Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!