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Week 14 NFL Picks From WhatIfSports.com

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IDecember 9, 2009

Each Tuesday morning, we will preview every NFL game of the upcoming week. All of our NFL content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the pre-season preview are located here .

The inputs to the 10,001 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position. To see other picks like our Upset and Locks of the Week, as well as our season-to-date performance, click here.


Game of the Week: Broncos 23 @ Colts 24

While the Broncos continue to battle the Chargers for the AFC West, the Colts seek their 22nd consecutive regular season victory—which would be a new record—and look to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Broncos enter this game one back of the Chargers and in control of their Wild Card destiny. After winning their first six games, Josh McDaniel’s group has come back to Earth a bit.

For starters, Kyle Orton had just one pick through the first six wins and that was on a Hail Mary intercepted by Randy Moss at the end of the half against the Pats. Orton hit a bit of a skid in back-to-back games against the Ravens and Steelers.

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After an ankle injury kept him out of starting lineup against Chargers, Orton is back and seems to be comfortable again as he was early in the season. We project Orton to have 188 yards passing and almost half of those to Brandon Marshall.

It also helps to have Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno running behind him. The two combine for 135 yards.

But the big story of this game revolves around Peyton Manning who we project to throw for nearly 250 yards and have another big game.

Manning throws for nearly 60 more yards than Orton. The Broncos outgain the Colts on the ground by 50 yards. Those 10 yards and almost one minute of time of possession difference prove to be the difference with almost every other stat identical.

In 10,001 simulations, Peyton Manning and the Colts win just 50.7 percent of the time by an average score of 24-23.

Click on the boxscore below to the average results from 10,001 simulations of that game. Or click on simulate game to play the game once and view stats and play-by-play from that simulation.


Other Notable Games in Week 14

The Cowboys look to avoid another December loss hosting the Chargers in a crucial game for playoff seeding for both teams. Philip Rivers shreds the Dallas secondary for over 300 yards but the Cowboys still get off the "Schneid" and pick up a big win in December 54.1 percent of the time.

The Eagles/Giants may decide the division. The Eagles won the first time around when the Giants were slumping. But they're back to playing good football again and beat the Eagles 62.1 percent of the time to get closer to winning the division.

Who would have guessed the Bengals vs. Vikings would be a premiere game in Week 14? Well, if you did you would probably assume it was only important for the Vikings. But the Bengals can actually clinch the AFC North and improve their positioning with a win over the Vikings. However, behind the arm of you know who, the Vikings win 77.2 percent of the time.

And the Saints remain unbeaten as well, defeating the Falcons 86.8 percent of the time.

Michael Schneid is the Marketing Director and assistant content manager for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in fantasy football simulation analysis and football sim games . With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Mike can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com . Thanks!