2012 NFL Week 8 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2012 NFL Week 8 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 8 box scores and stats included

By Joel Beall and Jake Westrich - WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: October 25, 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: Falcons at Eagles

"I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better," remarked German scientist and satirist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a sentiment seconded by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Only six games into their schedule, the Eagles have seen turnover in their ranks, with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo receiving the boot during the team's bye week. Though the move was designed to spur the squad from their pedestrian 3-3 record, it may have signaled that a wave of renovation is near, most notably in the cases of head coach Andy Reid and starting signal caller Michael Vick. Not exactly what the City of Brotherly Love envisioned 13 months ago for the infamously self-appointed "Dream Team."

While "must-win game" is an overworked and misused label, such a designation applies for Philadelphia's upcoming encounter with Atlanta, as roster upheaval is on the horizon. Consequently, the contest qualifies as "must-see TV" and serves as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

In some ways, it's poignant that Vick's final game as field general for Philly comes against the franchise that drafted him in 11 years ago. The narrative that has ensued since the spring of 2001 has ranged from a Greek tragedy to movie-of-the-week triumph, with more twists and turns than an O. Henry composition. Alas, the chronicle, at least the Eagles chapter, is one ill-advised fumble away from nearing completion. Despite ranking seventh in yards per game, Philadelphia is averaging just 17.2 points per contest, second-worst in the NFC. This lack of lighting up the scoreboard is attributed to Vick's carelessness with the pigskin, as the quarterback owns 13 turnovers in six games. This sloppiness has also correlated to a NFL-worst minus-nine takeaway ratio for the Eagles in 2012. With talented weapons in LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek, it's easy to envision what a steady presence could provide for the Eagles offense, and it's that conviction that places Vick on the hot seat this weekend.

Not that this game's spotlight will be solely on Philadelphia. The Falcons enter as the last remaining team with an unblemished mark, rocking a 6-0 record. Duo dexterity on both sides of the ball have aided this endeavor, as the defensive unit is holding opponents to under 19 points per contest (seventh-fewest in the league) while the offense's new up-tempo attack has equated to, you got it, the seventh-best scoring average in the league. The latter's performance has vaulted Matt Ryan into MVP consideration, as the fifth-year arm flaunts a career-best mark 292.7 passing yards per game with 15 total touchdowns.

Unfortunately for the Dirty Birds, their regular-season display will mean little if they continue to falter in the postseason. Under the regime of Mike Smith, the Falcons have won 43 games the past four seasons, fifth-most during that time span. However, Atlanta has also failed to notch a victory in the playoffs, falling short on three occasions. If such an inadequacy befalls the team again, Smith might find himself in a similar situation as the one currently facing his Sunday counterpart Reid.

With the Falcons chasing perfection and the Eagles fighting for their livelihoods, who comes out on top? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com simulation engine, the Falcons emerge victorious 66.1 percent of the time by an average margin of 22-18. For the rest of this week's projections, check below:

Please note: The Jaguars-Packers, Dolphins-Jets, Seahawks-Lions, Giants-Cowboys, 49ers-Cardinals and Patriots-Rams games were resimulated on 10/25 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 8
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Jacksonville Jaguars15.416Boxscore
@ Green Bay Packers84.630Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers21.017Boxscore
@ Chicago Bears79.027Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins38.916Boxscore
@ New York Jets61.119Simulate Game
Oakland Raiders40.722Boxscore
@ Kansas City Chiefs59.325Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks41.120Boxscore
@ Detroit Lions58.923Simulate Game
New Orleans Saints43.227Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos56.830Simulate Game
Washington Redskins43.619Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers56.422Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers47.721Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings52.322Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts50.625Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans49.424Simulate Game
New York Giants59.926Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys40.123Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers61.526Boxscore
@ Cleveland Browns38.522Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons66.122Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles33.918Simulate Game
San Francisco 49ers67.724Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals32.318Simulate Game
New England Patriots68.528Boxscore
@ St. Louis Rams31.522Simulate 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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