WhatIfSports 2014 NFL Week 17 Predictions

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: Lions at Packers

The Lions and Packers have both punched their tickets into the postseason. However, the Black-and-Blue division title remains on the line, as well as a shot at the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Throw in the Packers’ quest for revenge from a Week 3 loss and this weekend’s battle in Lambeau serves as our WhatIfSports.com NFL Game of the Week.

Since dropping the aforementioned Week 3 contest, the Packers have won 10 of their last 12 outings, with most of the victories coming in a decisive manner. Unfortunately, that’s not been the case as of late. In the last three weeks, the Cheeseheads have been less than impressive, falling to the Bills and struggling with lowly clubs in the Falcons and Buccaneers. In short, a performance that fails to instill conviction heading into January.

Yet Green Bay will enter the postseason as a formidable foe thanks to the play of Aaron Rodgers. Already in his 10th year in the league, Rodgers’ 2014 (4,155 yards, 36 touchdowns, five picks) is second only to his MVP-winning campaign in 2011. With the best one-two receiving combo in the league in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb at his disposal, coupled with contributions from running back Eddie Lacy, Rodgers has led the Packers to a conference-best 30.4 points per game. The defense and coaching may leave much to be desired, but Rodgers’ presence is enough to make Green Bay a title contender.

By reputation, the Lions seemingly front their own daunting offensive strike. Alas, Detroit is more bark than bite, evidenced in its 23rd rank in points per game (20.1). Part of this blame lies with the signal caller, Matthew Stafford. Though he’s tossed for over 4,000 yards and just 12 interceptions, the former No. 1 pick has failed to find the end zone at a consistent rate. Following three scores in Week 1, Stafford has hit pay dirt only 18 times in the ensuing 14 games. Quite the far cry from 2011’s 41 touchdowns, or even last year’s 31 scores.

Luckily for Motown, the Lions’ defense has been a nightmare for opponents. Spurred by a tough front seven and opportunistic secondary, Detroit ranks second in both total defense and points allowed. It’s such a resistance that has allowed Stafford and company plenty of room for error.

Unfortunately, the merit of Detroit remains in doubt. Aside from Week 3’s win over the Packers, the Lions have beaten just ONE club that enters Week 17 with a winning record: the 8-7 Dolphins. Worse, in its two shots at legitimate competition, Detroit fell flat on its face to Arizona and New England. A win grabs a first-round playoff bye for Detroit, but perhaps more importantly, it also grants a level of confidence.

So who comes out on top in the NFC North showdown? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com NFL simulation engine, the Packers emerge with the W 55.4 percent of the time by an average margin of 24-21. For the rest of this week’s scores, check below:

NFL Week 17 Predictions
Matchup Win % Avg. Score  
Oakland Raiders 14.4 16 Boxscore
Denver Broncos 85.6 30 Simulate Game
Jacksonville Jaguars 24.9 17 Boxscore
Houston Texans 75.1 26 Simulate Game
St. Louis Rams 26.2 17 Boxscore
Seattle Seahawks 73.8 25 Simulate Game
New York Jets 34.1 19 Boxscore
Miami Dolphins 65.9 24 Simulate Game
Buffalo Bills 36.5 19 Boxscore
New England Patriots 63.5 24 Simulate Game
Cleveland Browns 39.8 21 Boxscore
Baltimore Ravens 60.2 24 Simulate Game
Carolina Panthers 44.5 23 Boxscore
Atlanta Falcons 55.5 24 Simulate Game
Detroit Lions 44.6 21 Boxscore
Green Bay Packers 55.4 24 Simulate Game
Arizona Cardinals 46.1 20 Boxscore
San Francisco 49ers 53.9 21 Simulate Game
Cincinnati Bengals 47.1 24 Boxscore
Pittsburgh Steelers 52.9 25 Simulate Game
Chicago Bears 48.7 23 Boxscore
Minnesota Vikings 51.3 24 Simulate Game
Philadelphia Eagles 62.6 26 Boxscore
@ New York Giants 37.4 22 Simulate Game
San Diego Chargers 63.0 26 Boxscore
@ Kansas City Chiefs 37.0 21 Simulate Game
Dallas Cowboys 71.5 29 Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins 28.5 21 Simulate Game
New Orleans Saints 75.2 31 Boxscore
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24.8 22 Simulate Game
Indianapolis Colts 81.3 31 Boxscore
@ Tennessee Titans 18.7 20 Simulate Game

For additional statistics, view our sortable weekly NFL predictions.