T.E. Andrews
10.21.2018 11:00 PM

Innovation

Week 7 NFL Predictions: Preview and A.I. Projected Winner for Bengals vs. Chiefs

The Chiefs seem determined to make football fun again.

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

The Chiefs were this close to knocking off the Patriots at home last week. And yet, because 2018 is the dark winter of our discontent, the bad guys prevailed once again, kicking a field goal as time expired to edge Kansas City, 43-40.

Amidst the gloom, the Chiefs have emerged as one of the few legitimate contenders in the NFL (along with the Patriots, Rams, and Saints). With Kareem Hunt in the backfield and Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill terrorizing opposing secondaries, Kansas City has an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions. And in Patrick Mahomes, head coach Andy Reid has finally found the triggerman best suited to take advantage of the talent all over the field. The Chiefs seem determined to make football fun again, playing with a reckless abandon and a thrilling, schoolyard style. Their helmets even look like cherry Ring Pops‼

The silver lining from the loss to the Patriots was that Mahomes rose to the Mahoment (shout out to The Ringer for that gem) in the season’s biggest game, battling his way back from a subpar first half to lead Kansas City within a hair of victory, on the road, against the resident bullies of the NFL. What’s crazy is Mahomes threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns – and could have played much better. He left several big plays on the table, including a couple of easy throws that would have gone for touchdowns in the first half (well, easy for him).

The Sunday Night Football broadcast also introduced the Patrick Mahomes rap to the wider NFL audience, reinforcing our belief that one has not made it in life until an MC drops a track in your honor, and giving us such lyrical gems as “I’m going deep / I’m going looong / I’m in the end zooone / Call me Patrick Mahomes.”

To predict the result of this Week 7 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. Some 31 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make picks. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a little golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. As the users saw the puck move toward a particular decision, it triggered a psychological response. They readjusted their decision-making, building toward the consensus you see below. It’s an artificial intelligence produced by human brains working together as a swarm.

The swarm has high confidence that the Chiefs will not only beat the Bengals, but also beat the spread, as the above animation shows. The Swarm likes the Chiefs to bounce back in this one. We agree. Get your guns up. Chiefs 42, Bengals 27.

The Bengals play at the Chiefs at 8:20 p.m. Eastern Sunday on NBC.

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our this article explains. For instance, the swarm picked this year’s Oscar winners with 94 percent accuracy. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk:

Want to join the hive mind that picks NFL matches every week? Sign up to participate in future predictions.

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