Week 8 NFL Predictions: Preview and A.I. Projected Winner for Packers vs. Rams

An A.I.-powered "swarm" of NFL experts has predicted the outcome of this sure-to-be-fun game.

by T.E. Andrews
Corey Silvia/Icon Sportswire

Grab some cold ones, a buddy or two, and some prime real estate on the couch, because this one is gonna be a dandy. Post up on your couch like Karl Malone in the ‘90s. And if not like the Mailman, post up like Paul Wall, posting up like a mailbox.

The Packers and the undefeated Rams square off in the 4:25 p.m. slot in what should easily be the Game of the Week, in terms of pure football joy and entertainment value. Aaron Rodgers leads the Lambeau Legion into Hollywood for a star-studded showdown with the Rams and their pyrotechnic offense. For their part, the Rams are 7-0 and have established themselves as a clear Super Bowl favorite in the NFC (and along with the Patriots, Saints, and Chiefs, one of the four “actually good” teams to separate themselves from the pile of mediocrity that is the rest of the NFL right now). The Rams continue to rain destruction without regard for life or limb upon the rest of the league at a rate unmatched by anyone save the Chiefs.

For their part, the Packers continue to hang around at 3-2-1, good for second place in the NFC North, behind the Vikings. Most importantly, however, Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers, who has done more on one leg than you have done your entire life on two. In wide receivers DaVante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Jimmy Graham, the Packers have surrounded themselves with a decent collection of playmaking talent, while the Rams have Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks — the list goes on. Meanwhile, the NFL refuses to allow Clay Matthews to hit the quarterback any more.

What does all of this add up to? Offensive fireworks galore for the true winner here, which is all of us — the viewing public. Look for plenty of pop in this one. Expect points in bunches, and between Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, the Rams’ defensive line to make a few big plays that will tilt the course of the game in Los Angeles’ favor. Just don’t make Suh mad — if he can’t sack the quarterback normally any more, he may just go ahead and do this. Good lord. “Chaos N. Suh,” indeed. Who taught him Pai Mei’s Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique?! This is gonna be fun. Rams 31, Packers 28 is my prediction, but how does an A.I.-powered swarm of NFL experts think this game will turn out?

To predict the result of this Week 8 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. Some 26 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 chosen the Rams to win this one over the visiting Packers, and it has low confidence that LA will beat a 9-point spread, as the animation above shows.

The Packers play at the Rams at 4:25 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.

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:

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