2013 NFL Week 14 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2013 NFL Week 14 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 14 box scores and stats included

UPDATE: December 5, 2013

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 2013 NFL season.

Check out our 2013 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: Seahawks at 49ers

As recent as three seasons ago, the NFC West was the laughingstock of the NFL. All four teams finished with losing marks, with the Seahawks “winning” the division with seven victories.

San Francisco exemplified this dreadfulness. A loaded defense was negated by head coach Mike Singletary, who proved unqualified and inept for the position. Worse, former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith seemed like a lost cause. The Niners’ 6-10 record marked the eighth straight non-winning season for the franchise.

While making noise with its upset of New Orleans in the Wild Card round, the forecast was not much sunnier in Seattle. The 2010 campaign was the Hawks’ third straight losing year, and with three-time Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck departing for Tennessee, the organization was without a viable commodity under center. And though he led the team to the playoffs in his first season at the helm, many in the Emerald City questioned if Pete Carroll was the right man for the job.

How times have changed. Once thought to be the black sheep of the NFC, the West division is now the conference’s bastion. Spurred by a stout defense, Arizona is fighting for a playoff spot at 7-5. Although their chances have been encumbered by a season-ending injury to Sam Bradford, the Rams have been no push-over, notching five wins on the season. The Niners, reigning conference champions, are in a position to defend their belt at 8-4, while the Seahawks are shooting for a top seed at 11-1. A Bay Area battle between the latter two serves as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Following consecutive losses at the start of November, San Francisco has regained its mojo with wins over Washington and St. Louis. Moreover, in a year riddled with parity more than ever, there’s nothing aberrational concerning eight wins heading into the final month. HOWEVER, one can certainly question the Niners’ chances, or lack thereof, in January. For a look at the game log showcases a startling trend: San Francisco can’t beat the big boys, losing to Seattle, Indianapolis, Carolina and New Orleans. In fact, the Niners’ only triumph against a winning team came versus divisional foe Arizona. This weekend’s rendezvous with the Seahawks, a squad that laid the smackdown in the teams’ first meeting of the season, will be a litmus test for San Francisco’s postseason odds.

Some semblance of Colin Kaepernick will improve the team’s prospects. The defense has been the foundation for San Francisco’s fortunes the past few seasons, and the return of Aldon Smith cements this unit’s reputation heading into the winter. Likewise, in a pass-happy league, the 49ers remain one of the few attacks that can successfully move it on the ground (130.6 yards per outing). Alas, as Kaepernick goes, so go the Niners. In wins this season, the third-year signal caller owns 16 total scores versus three turnovers, averaging 227 passing yards per game and a 62.1 completion percentage. In losses? Not so much: a 2-to-8 TD/TO ratio, hitting just half of his intended targets for a scant 124 passing yards per contest. For San Francisco to challenge Seattle for the division throne, it’s imperative for Kaepernick to be at his best.

Seattle’s signal caller is proof that such security woes can be alleviated. Known for his proficiency as a game manager, Russell Wilson didn’t fit the bill in the Seahawks first seven games, plagued by Butterfingers Syndrome. Wilson was guilty of eight fumbles in that span, with five recovered by opponents. Given the Wisconsin product also had four picks in said time frame and it was fair to wonder if Wilson’s development had arrested.

The past four games have put those fears to rest. In the past month, Wilson has not put the pigskin on the ground. Better yet, Wilson has found the end zone 15 times in the past six contests, showcasing the aptitude needed to take his club to the Meadlowlands in January. Coupled with the ground stylings of Marshawn Lynch (80.8 yards per game), the Seahawks have more than enough firepower to be a threat on offense.

But can the defense maintain its quality of play? The Seahawks resistance is relinquishing just 284.5 yards per appearance, best in the NFL. Unfortunately, the secondary has taken a hit with suspensions to Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond, and the stigma of drug-related issues hangs over the franchise. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas continue to perform at an All-Pro level, and the front seven’s pressure is a major part of the pass protection’s success. Nevertheless, depth is at the utmost importance during the playoffs, an attribute the Seahawks suddenly find themselves deficient in heading into December.

So who comes out on top in the NFC West soiree? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Seahawks emerge victorious 63.4 percent of the time by an average margin of 21-17. For the rest of this week’s projections, check below:

Please note: The Browns-Patriots, Panthers-Saints, Giants-Chargers, Cowboys-Bears, Falcons-Packers, Chiefs-Redskins, Seahawks-49ers, Texans-Jaguars, Vikings-Ravens, Raiders-Jets and Titans-Broncos games were resimulated on 12/5 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 14
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Tennessee Titans29.519Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos70.526Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns34.017Boxscore
@ New England Patriots66.022Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings34.822Boxscore
@ Baltimore Ravens65.227Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers44.322Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints55.724Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams47.117Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals52.918Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins47.322Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers52.723Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts47.721Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bengals52.322Simulate Game
Detroit Lions47.923Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles52.124Simulate Game
New York Giants49.225Boxscore
@ San Diego Chargers50.826Simulate Game
Houston Texans51.720Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars48.319Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons53.524Boxscore
@ Green Bay Packers46.523Simulate Game
Oakland Raiders56.318Boxscore
@ New York Jets43.717Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills57.825Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers42.223Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys58.026Boxscore
@ Chicago Bears42.023Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks63.421Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers36.617Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs67.225Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins32.819Simulate 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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