WhatIfSports 2014 NFL Week 12 Predictions

BY foxsports • November 20, 2014

Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine will provide predictions, box scores and statistics for every NFL game that week. The NFL simulation engine generates detailed information including each team's chance of winning, average score and comprehensive box score.

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 2014 NFL season.

Check out our 2014 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week.

Game of the Week: Cardinals at Seahawks

Following Week 1's smackdown of the Packers, the Seahawks seemed primed to defend their Super Bowl belts. Instead, Seattle could see its playoff hopes dissolved by Black Friday. With their season hanging in the balance, the Hawks welcome the red-hot Arizona Cardinals to the Emerald City for our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

In one regard, Seattle, despite four losses on the season, remains in good shape. The club ranks third in total defense and boasts the league's best rushing attack, averaging over 174 yards per contest. Conversely, the Seahawks have a gauntlet of a schedule ahead, facing both the Cardinals and 49ers twice, with a date against the 7-3 Eagles and a rematch versus a dangerous Rams team sprinkled in. In the highly-competitive NFC, 10 wins won't guarantee a playoff berth, leaving Pete Carroll's squad little room for error.

And then there's the matter of Russell Wilson. The Seattle signal caller has taken a step back in Year 3, posting career-lows in every major passing category. Of greater concern has been Wilson's ability, or lack thereof, to win on the road, owning an 11-10 career mark in away games versus a 19-2 record at home. Granted, the Seahawks' front office hasn't given him much to work with in the receiving ranks, and Wilson's production on the ground (571 yards, four touchdowns) is admirable. Alas, for Seattle to regain its championship swagger, Wilson will need to instill some firepower into the team's attack.

This sentiment is easier said than done against the Cardinals. Arizona ranks second in turnover differential and is one of just three defenses allowing fewer than 18 points per game. Such a stout performance is especially praiseworthy given the unit has been without All-Pro Daryl Washington and Pro Bowler Darnell Dockett for the entire campaign.

However, not all is bright in Phoenix. The Cardinals have only two more home games. Worse, five of their remaining contests are against winning ball clubs. There's also the void left by Carson Palmer, who's out for the year with a torn ACL. Drew Stanton has been solid in Palmer's absence this season, leading the Cards to a 3-1 record as starter. In that same vein, no one is under the illusion that Stanton is anything more than a 30-year-old backup.

For Arizona to maintain its first-place standing in the NFC, Andre Ellington will need to elevate a rushing assault that ranks 30th in output. To his credit, Ellington's contributions in the receiving arena (41 catches, 356 yards) have to be noted, yet his 3.4 yards per carry won't be enough against the Cards' upcoming adversaries. Ellington's fruition may ultimately decide the fate of Bruce Arians' roster.

So who comes out on top in the NFC West showdown? According to the award-winningWhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Cardinals emerge victorious 59.8 percent of the time by an average margin of 23-19. For the rest of this week's projections, check below:

NFL Week 12 Predictions
Matchup Win % Avg. Score  
Jacksonville Jaguars 26.9 20 Boxscore
Indianapolis Colts 73.1 28 Simulate Game
Tennessee Titans 28.7 19 Boxscore
Philadelphia Eagles 71.3 27 Simulate Game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29.9 21 Boxscore
Chicago Bears 70.1 28 Simulate Game
Washington Redskins 33.7 20 Boxscore
San Francisco 49ers 66.3 25 Simulate Game
New York Jets 35.0 19 Boxscore
Buffalo Bills 65.0 24 Simulate Game
Detroit Lions 35.7 20 Boxscore
New England Patriots 64.3 25 Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams 37.0 23 Boxscore
San Diego Chargers 63.0 27 Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins 46.5 22 Boxscore
Denver Broncos 53.5 23 Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens 48.6 25 Boxscore
New Orleans Saints 51.4 26 Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals 49.5 22 Boxscore
Houston Texans 50.5 23 Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals 59.8 23 Boxscore
@ Seattle Seahawks 40.2 19 Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys 62.3 28 Boxscore
@ New York Giants 37.7 24 Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns 62.3 25 Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons 37.7 20 Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers 69.9 25 Boxscore
@ Minnesota Vikings 30.1 18 Simulate Game
Kansas City Chiefs 84.5 27 Boxscore
@ Oakland Raiders 15.5 14 Simulate Game

For additional statistics, view our sortable weekly NFL predictions.