2013 NFL Week 10 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2013 NFL Week 10 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 10 box scores and stats included

WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: November 7, 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: Panthers at 49ers

San Francisco finds itself in familiar territory heading into November. After a stumble out of the gate, the Niners won five consecutive games to post a 6-2 record in the first half of the season, bringing the team's record to 30-10 under the Jim Harbaugh Era. Such a performance is expected from a squad returning most of its integral components from a Super Bowl appearance in February.

The same cannot be said for the Panthers. Carolina has not made the postseason since 2008, and entered the fall with a 15-33 record in its previous three seasons. After a phenomenal rookie campaign, quarterback Cam Newton was victim to the dreaded sophomore slump in 2012. Worse, little was done to the roster in the offseason, meaning more of the same for the Charlotte faithful.

Or so was envisioned. Instead, Carolina has been a pleasant surprise, racking up a 5-3 mark to insert itself into the playoff race. This unexpected fruition has transformed Week 10's journey to Frisco a must-see affair and serves as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Although the Panthers sit a game back of the NFC South lead and are slotted for a Wild Card spot, there's doubt Carolina can keep the good times rolling, and with reason. Carolina's victories have come against clubs with a collective 8-33 record. That's what we in the business call “not good.” Certainly the Panthers are not the only team that's been the benefactor of a generous itinerary. Nevertheless, with second-half dates with the Niners, Patriots, Jets and Saints (twice), Carolina will have to earn its way into January.

The Panthers defense will certainly assist in this endeavor. The Carolina resistance is surrendering just 13.3 points per game, second-best in the league. Led by reigning Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly, the Panthers have suffocated opposing running games to a meager 79.1 yards per outing, lowest in the conference, and the front seven's pressure has resulted in a plethora of ill-timed throws from quarterbacks. This force has correlated to a field day for the secondary, recording 12 picks against just seven scores. Outside of Kuechly, the unit may lack household names, but it's a group that's given offensive coordinators nightmares.

While the defense's merit will keep the team relevant, Carolina's ultimate destiny lies with Newton. In wins this season, the former Heisman winner has been magnificent, with a 69.1 completion percentage, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. In losses? Not so much, hitting 58 percent of his targets for three trips to pay dirt and five turnovers. Newton has made strides in consistency, accuracy and decision-making this campaign, yet would hardly be described as a sound entity. If he continues this progression, Carolina will be a tough out.

Lining up against Newton will be a Niners defense whose bark matches its bite. Despite a rash of injuries and the sabbatical of Aldon Smith, San Fran is still holding adversaries to 18.1 points per contest, fourth-lowest in the league. The 49ers have been especially stout against the pass, conceding a 57.2 completion percentage (a conference-best) and 221 yards per game (third-lowest in the NFC). With Smith returning to practice this week, this is a unit that is just scratching the surface of its potential.

To reach the Meadowlands in February, though, the Niners will need a steady presence from Colin Kaepernick under center. Since lighting up the Packers in the season opener, the Nevada product has been far from impressive, connecting on 54 percent of his passes and has just as many turnovers as touchdowns (nine apiece). Kaepernick's depleted receiving crew is slowly nearing a return to health, and the Niners offense has been a beast on the terrain, averaging a league-high 153 yards per game. Alas, as Kaepernick goes, so goes the Niners, and unless the third-year arm eliminates some of his erratic tendencies, San Fran remains vulnerable.

So who emerges from this NFC battle victorious? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com simulation engine, the 49ers come out on top 55.8 percent of the time by an average margin of 18-17. For the rest of this week's predictions, check below:

Please note: The Cowboys-Saints, Texans-Cardinals, Raiders-Giants, Bills-Steelers and Dolphins-Buccaneers games were resimulated on 11/7 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 10
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Jacksonville Jaguars19.015Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans81.027Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams23.014Boxscore
@ Indianapolis Colts77.024Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys35.426Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints64.631Simulate Game
Houston Texans38.820Boxscore
@ Arizona Cardinals61.223Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers44.217Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers55.818Simulate Game
Oakland Raiders49.622Boxscore
@ New York Giants50.423Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills54.926Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers45.124Simulate Game
Washington Redskins56.428Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings43.626Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals57.021Boxscore
@ Baltimore Ravens43.019Simulate Game
Detroit Lions57.624Boxscore
@ Chicago Bears42.421Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles65.627Boxscore
@ Green Bay Packers34.422Simulate Game
Denver Broncos66.929Boxscore
@ San Diego Chargers33.123Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks72.628Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons27.420Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins75.324Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers24.715Simulate 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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