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Each Tuesday morning, 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: Eagles at Bears
Before the 2010 NFL season commenced, many forecasted the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints as formidable candidates to win the NFC. Two franchises left out of this discussion were the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. And with good reason. Philly fans were anticipating a rebuilding campaign as the team made the transition from Donovan McNabb to backup Kevin Kolb. The Bears similarly had tempered expectations, as Chicago was coming off of a dysfunctional 7-9 season, one which saw hope surrounding QB Jay Cutler convert into false aspiration. Yet heading into Week 12 on the NFL schedule, Philly and Chi-town find themselves as two of the prohibitive favorites to win the conference.
The Philadelphia offense, which is first in the conference in scoring (28.4 points per game) and yardage (399.4 yards per contest), has been led by the resurgence of Michael Vick, who has yet to throw a pick in seven games worth of action. On the season, Vick leads the league with a 108.7 QB rating while throwing 11 touchdowns and running for another five scores. Aiding Vick in this offensive endeavor has been the receiving duo of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, who have combined for 80 receptions, 1,357 yards and 12 touchdowns. LeSean McCoy has been dependable in the backfield, rushing for 726 yards and six scores while garnering 51 catches and 381 yards in the passing game.
Not to say Philadelphia is a one-trick pony. The Eagle defense leads the NFL in interceptions with 19 and is one of eight units in the league keeping opponents under 100 yards per game. To give these numbers better perspective, Philadelphia has played the likes of offensive-juggernauts Indianapolis, Green Bay and Atlanta, illustrating the dominance of the Philly D.
But as assertive as the Eagles have been, they are no match for the defensive supremacy displayed at Solider Field. Chicago is surrendering just 14.6 points per game, tops in the NFL. Newly acquired defensive end Julius Peppers and a healthy Brian Urlacher have equated to success against the run as the Bears are containing opposing backs to an NFC-best 78 yards a game. The pass protection has been just as proficient, suppressing enemy signal callers to a league-low 66.4 QB Rating.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the defense has been forced to impose their jurisdiction to counter the insipidity of the Chicago offense. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz was brought in to revitalize an anemic aerial attack, yet the early returns have been disheartening. The Bears are ranked 30th in total offense yardage (294.4 yards per game) and are averaging a less-than-pedestrian 19.1 points on the scoreboard. Cutler has mostly been mediocre, throwing 12 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, and Matt Forte has been unable to recapture the magic from his 2008 rookie campaign. Cutler's performance has been the most alarming, as Chicago exchanged two first-round picks for the quarterback's services in 2009. Though the Cutler Era in the Windy City is only 25 games old, the investment thus far hasn't paid off, with Cutler throwing 39 touchdowns to 36 interceptions.
So who wins in this clash of NFC titans? According to the WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Eagles come out on top 68.8-percent of the time by an average score of 24-18. For the rest of this week's predictions, check below:
NFL Week 12
|@ New York Giants||84.2||29||Simulate Game|
|@ New York Jets||77.3||21||Simulate Game|
|@ Cleveland Browns||75.0||21||Simulate Game|
|@ Oakland Raiders||68.6||20||Simulate Game|
|St. Louis Rams||32.4||17||Boxscore|
|@ Denver Broncos||67.6||23||Simulate Game|
|@ Houston Texans||56.5||23||Simulate Game|
|Green Bay Packers||48.0||21||Boxscore|
|@ Atlanta Falcons||52.0||22||Simulate Game|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||47.6||19||Boxscore|
|@ Baltimore Ravens||52.4||20||Simulate Game|
|@ Washington Redskins||47.9||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Chicago Bears||32.6||17||Simulate Game|
|New Orleans Saints||68.0||23||Boxscore|
|@ Dallas Cowboys||32.0||17||Simulate Game|
|San Francisco 49ers||68.3||26||Boxscore|
|@ Arizona Cardinals||31.7||20||Simulate Game|
|New England Patriots||70.8||24||Boxscore|
|@ Detroit Lions||29.2||17||Simulate Game|
|Kansas City Chiefs||73.5||25||Boxscore|
|@ Seattle Seahawks||26.5||17||Simulate Game|
|San Diego Chargers||83.0||28||Boxscore|
|@ Indianapolis Colts||17.0||17||Simulate Game|
|@ Buffalo Bills||6.8||12||Simulate Game|
Joel Beall is a Content Writer for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.