WhatIfSports 2014 NFL Week 8 Predictions

BY foxsports • October 23, 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: Eagles at Cardinals

The Eagles' 5-1 record is admirable but far from unexpected. Following a switch under center, Philadelphia won eight of its final 10 games in 2013. With a full offseason of digestion into Chip Kelly's up-tempo attack, it stood to reason the Eagles would be a formidable opponent this campaign.

The same could not be said for the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Eagles, Bruce Arians' club finished last fall with a 10-6 record. Alas, the team lost defensive playmakers Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett before the season, and when Carson Palmer suffered a pinched-nerve ailment in Week 1, the 2014 forecast looked bleak.

Yet, on the backs of a stout front seven and balanced offense, it's the Cardinals who sit atop the competitive NFC West as the season reaches its midway point. This desert rendezvous between playoff aspirants serves as our WhatIfSports.com Game of the Week.

Despite its strong start, not all is well in the City of Brotherly Love. While Nick Foles flaunts an exemplary 13-3 mark in the last two seasons, the Philly field general's ball security, or lack thereof (seven interceptions, three fumbles), is becoming increasingly confounding. As the former Arizona Wildcat threw just two picks in all of 2013, these turnovers have hung like a dark cloud over the Eagles' early-season success.

Luckily for Philadelphia, the team has been bolstered by an unlikely source: its defense. The Eagles' resistance, a maligned unit that surrendered a league-high 290 yards per game last year, has made a quantum leap this fall. Though it's still allowing its fair share of yardage, the Philly defense has been an opportunistic group this fall, scoring a league-best five touchdowns. Along with three blocked kicks and two scores on special teams, the Eagles are a threat to score at all times.

Looking to extinguish Philadelphia's scoreboard fireworks will be an Arizona defense that's done a commendable job in such endeavors thus far. Entering Week 8, the Cards are one of just five teams in the NFL holding opponents under 20 points per contest. The big men up front, led by veteran linebacker Larry Foote, have spurred this attack, yielding a league-low 72.5 rushing yards per game. Facing the Eagles' fast-paced offense could present its problems, but look for Arizona to hold its ground.

As good as the defensive has been, all eyes in Phoenix are focused on Palmer. In his abbreviated time in 2014, Palmer has a lone interception against six aerial scores. That's markedly better than last season's 22 passes to the wrong team. The Heisman winner is no longer the Pro Bowl player he was in his Cincinnati tenure, but he's far from washed-up and more than capable of guiding a proficient attack. For the Cardinals to continue their hot start, Palmer's efficiency is imperative.

So who wins this battle of NFC contenders? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com football simulation engine, the Cardinals come out on top 50.9 percent of the time by an average margin of 22-21. For the rest of this week's scores, check below:

NFL Week 8 Predictions
Matchup Win % Avg. Score  
Oakland Raiders 23.5 19 Boxscore
Cleveland Browns 76.5 29 Simulate Game
Washington Redskins 26.1 21 Boxscore
Dallas Cowboys 73.9 29 Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams 31.8 20 Boxscore
Kansas City Chiefs 68.2 27 Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers 34.2 22 Boxscore
Denver Broncos 65.8 28 Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles 49.1 21 Boxscore
Arizona Cardinals 50.9 22 Simulate Game
Chicago Bears 49.0 24 Boxscore
New England Patriots 51.0 25 Simulate Game
Houston Texans 60.5 26 Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans 39.5 22 Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills 61.1 24 Boxscore
@ New York Jets 38.9 20 Simulate Game
Minnesota Vikings 62.4 25 Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37.6 21 Simulate Game
Seattle Seahawks 62.6 25 Boxscore
@ Carolina Panthers 37.4 21 Simulate Game
Miami Dolphins 65.6 24 Boxscore
@ Jacksonville Jaguars 34.4 18 Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts 66.2 25 Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Steelers 33.8 21 Simulate Game
Baltimore Ravens 66.7 23 Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bengals 33.3 17 Simulate Game
Detroit Lions 72.4 28 Boxscore
@ Atlanta Falcons 27.6 20 Simulate Game
Green Bay Packers 73.4 30 Boxscore
@ New Orleans Saints 26.6 22 Simulate Game

For additional statistics, view our sortable weekly NFL predictions.



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