For those who have never been over, WhatIfSports.com is a rather awesome website that provides a whole host of simulation opportunities and games for folks to take part in. The website has been expanding and has started putting together a variety of predictive models for folks to consider. This Saturday ninjames will have his Madden simulation, which is always a fun way to look at the games. Of course, the Madden simulation is a one-time thing that can have a variety of odd play-calling and tech quirks that can mess with the game. WhatIfSports tries to take some of the random things out by simulating the game 10,001 times.
This week's featured game is our 49ers-Falcons matchup. In running the sim 10,001 times, the 49ers won the game 61.5% of the time by an average score of 22.6-16.9 (Maybe I'll go with 23-17 for my 49ers-Falcons prediction game this week). To give some context to the stats you'll see over at the matchup page, the spread on this game is approximately 3 points. The home team automatically gets 3 points for being at home. That would indicate that really this is viewed as a pretty even matchup, which shouldn't surprise anybody. The 49ers bring a stout defense while the Falcons bring a potentially explosive offense. The 49ers bring a lackluster offense and the Falcons defense has a lot of room for improvement.
If you go to the site you can click on "Simulate This Game" to get a single simulation of the game. One drawback to that is that it does not recognize Frank Gore as injured. You can actually change the depth chart and remove Gore, but for some reason it continues to play him as a backup to Coffee. The average box score they initially show reflects the game without Gore. Even without Gore, the stats are amazingly close across the board. If the average matchup prevails, the 49ers would have done a solid job containing the Ryan-Jenkins-White-Gonzalez combination.
The most interesting stat from the simulation is that Coffee averages just about 4 yards per carry. Atlanta is 25th against the run so I guess that's not shocking. Either way, a solid performance like that would certainly be reason for optimism without Frank Gore. My other favorite average is Moran Norris getting 28.6 yards. Everyone loves seeing big yards from the fullback.