Week 15 NFL Picks From WhatIfSports.com image

Week 15 NFL Picks

Boxscores, stats and predictions from every Week 15 game
By Michael Schneid, WhatIfSports.com
December 15th, 2009

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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 links to the pre-season preview are located here.

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. To see other picks like our Upset and Locks of the Week, as well as our season-to-date performance, click here.

Game of the Week: #6 Bengals 20 @ #4 Chargers 24

The Colts clinched a first round bye back in September it seems and just last week locked up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The other first round bye is up for grabs in San Diego this weekend as the Bengals visit the Chargers in a huge AFC showdown with major playoff implications.

With a win and a Denver loss, the Chargers win the AFC West and with simply a win, the Bengals win the AFC North. The Bengals would control their playoff seeding destiny with a win and with games against Kansas City and the Jets to close out the season, a win in San Diego would be crucial, especially coming off a loss in Minnesota.

Both teams coming into this game ranked in the top 6 of our Week 15 power rankings. We simulated the Chargers vs. Bengals 10,001 times to find the winner and the Chargers won 57.2% of the time by an average score of 23.5-19.5.

The Chargers win with the help of Philip Rivers who has still never lost in December in his NFL career. Rivers throws for an average of 267 yards and 1.7 TDs. The running game never really got established for the Chargers but credit Mike Zimmer's stellar run defense for that. Tomlinson and Sproles combined for under 70 yards.

Meanwhile, the Bengals used their three-headed running game to their benefit. Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, and Larry Johnson carried the ball a combined 28 times for 125 yards. But the Bengals' passing game struggled, as it has for most of the season.

Click on the Boxscore below to the average results from 10,001 simulations of that game. Or click on Simulate Game to play the game once and view stats and play-by-play from that simulation.

NFL Week 15
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Atlanta Falcons13.212Boxscore
@ New York Jets86.827Simulate Game
Oakland Raiders16.512Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos83.525Simulate Game
Chicago Bears16.014Boxscore
@ Baltimore Ravens84.028Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers30.516Boxscore
@ Seattle Seahawks69.524Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins33.817Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans66.225Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers35.222Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers64.828Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys39.725Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints60.330Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals42.820Boxscore
@ San Diego Chargers57.224Simulate Game
San Francisco 49ers49.019Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles51.022Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts53.223Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars46.822Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings54.125Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers45.924Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns54.822Boxscore
@ Kansas City Chiefs45.221Simulate Game
Houston Texans55.022Boxscore
@ St. Louis Rams45.021Simulate Game
New York Giants61.720Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins38.318Simulate Game
New England Patriots63.920Boxscore
@ Buffalo Bills36.118Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals56.923Boxscore
@ Detroit Lions43.122Simulate Game

Other Notable Games in Week 15

The Colts and Saints both remain unbeaten 14 games into the season. The Colts beat the Jaguars, who are battling for a Wild Card spot by an extremely slim margin of 23.1-22.1. Peyton Manning threw for 250 yards and the Colts ran for 125 yards as a team as the win 53.2% of the time. The Saints handed the Cowboys their third straight December loss 60.3% of the time by an average score 30.4-25.1.

The Steelers snap a 5 game losing streak by beating the Green Bay Packers 64.8% of the time and the Titans stayed alive in the AFC playoff picture beating the Dolphins 66.2% of the time.

Other Notable Names in Week 15

In Baltimore, Ray Rice and Joe Flacco put up huge numbers against the Bears. Rice had 94 yards rushing (0.9 TD) and 36 yards receiving while Flacco threw for almost 235 yards and both are in our top 12 of our Fantasy Football Projections for week 15.

Joshua Cribbs helped the Browns win their second straight game. He ran for 77 yards and had 17 yards receiving (0.7 and 0.1 TDs respectively). Cribbs is our top ranked WR (based mostly on his rushing stats) and 29th overall.

WhatIfSports.com is a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in fantasy football simulation analysis and football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, we can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!


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