2013 NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2013 NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 3 box scores and stats included

WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: September 19, 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.

Gridiron Dynasty - College Football Game

Game of the Week: Falcons at Dolphins

Though the Dolphins have not had a winning season since 2008, it would be a misnomer to designate the franchise as a bottom feeder of the AFC, as Miami has won seven games in three of the past four campaigns. Unfortunately, the team has lacked a dependent individual under center, correlating to a middling performance on offense. With second-year signal caller Ryan Tannehill and coach Joe Philbin, the South Beach crew feels they can cross the precipice into playoff relevance this fall.

This endeavor is off to a good start, dispatching the Browns and Colts in the NFL's opening weeks. But can the Dolphins continue their good fortune against one of the league's best teams in the Atlanta Falcons? This clash in Sun Life Stadium serves as the perfect grounds for the WhatIfSports.com NFL Game of the Week.

While the Dolphins' state of affairs could best be classified as "no-man's land" in the NFL landscape, the Falcons have been the cream of the crop, with 56 wins in the past five years, including clinching home-field advantage in last season's playoffs. Alas, January has not been kind to the Dirty Birds, compiling just a 1-4 postseason record in this span. If the Falcons fail to make traction toward a Super Bowl this winter, coach Mike Smith, despite his success, could find himself left out in the cold.

Luckily for Smith and Atlanta fans, the club still employs Matt Ryan. Entering his sixth year in the professional ranks, Ryan had his best season in the Georgia Dome in 2012, posting career highs in touchdowns, yards and completion percentage. To take the next step, however, Ryan will need to cut down on his inconsistency through the air. In Atlanta's middle eight games last season, the Boston College product had a disconcerting 11 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, versus an 11-2 ratio in September and a 10-1 proportion in December. Armed with the best receiving corps in the league and a solid front line, Ryan has all the necessary weapons at his disposal to lead the Falcons to the Meadowlands in February. He now needs to showcase that he's the right man to pull the trigger.

Speaking of gunslingers, Miami's Tannehill is quickly inserting his name into the discussion of top field generals in the AFC. Not as heralded as his Draft counterparts like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, Tannehill put forth a valiant effort in his debut last autumn, throwing just one pick in his final five games in 2012. Tannehill has carried over this proficiency to 2013, owning a 65.3 completion percentage through the first two weeks with 591 yards and two touchdowns. He may not be as exciting as RG3 or post the video-game numbers of Luck, yet Tannehill's arm strength is second to none, and in Philbin's aerial-based attack, could develop into one of the game's elite talents.

Assisting Tannehill in this course is offseason acquisition Mike Wallace. After being shut down in Week 1, the former Steeler wideout bounced back against the Colts, hauling in a career-high nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Viewed as a deep threat in Pittsburgh, Wallace illustrated he can be a more complete receiver for the Dolphins, a role the team desperately needs him to fill. Brian Hartline is a serviceable possession target, and H-back Charles Clay is proving to be a reliable safety valve for Tannehill. Nevertheless, any aspirations Philibin has of replicating his Green Bay success during his tenure as Packers' offensive coordinator lay in the fruition of Wallace. Through two weeks, the outlook appears promising.

So who comes out in top in this battle of Southern-based squads? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Falcons win 53.6 percent of the time by an average margin of 22-21. For the rest of this week's predictions, check below:

Please note: The Browns-Vikings, Colts-49ers, Bears-Steelers, Packers-Bengals and Chiefs-Eagles games were resimulated on 9/19 to account for injuries and roster updates.

NFL Week 3
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Oakland Raiders 9.314Boxscore
@ Denver Broncos90.730Simulate Game
Jacksonville Jaguars15.214Boxscore
@ Seattle Seahawks84.830Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns27.519Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings72.527Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers35.323Boxscore
@ New England Patriots64.728Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts36.019Boxscore
@ San Francisco 49ers64.024Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals41.225Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints58.828Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers42.421Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans57.624Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams47.926Boxscore
@ Dallas Cowboys52.127Simulate Game
Chicago Bears50.120Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers49.919Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills50.621Boxscore
@ New York Jets49.420Simulate Game
Detroit Lions51.626Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins48.425Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers52.522Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bengals47.521Simulate Game
Atlanta Falcons53.622Boxscore
@ Miami Dolphins46.421Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs54.020Boxscore
@ Philadelphia Eagles46.019Simulate Game
Houston Texans56.025Boxscore
@ Baltimore Ravens44.022Simulate Game
New York Giants56.024Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers44.022Simulate 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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