Eagles vs. Texans Week 16: A.I. Predicts Winner for Foles vs. Watson 

A "swarm" of 29 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction.

by T.E. Andrews
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Grease the light poles and fire up the Meek Mill – are you ready for the sequel? Can Nick Foles pull off the impossible – again? Heading into last week’s game against the Rams, the Eagles looked like they were finished, having surrendered control of the NFC East via a 29-23 overtime loss to the Cowboys in Week 14. To make matters worse, Prince Harry Carson Wentz got hurt (again). Going into last week’s game against the Rams, few gave the Eagles a puncher’s chance at victory.

Fortunately for Philly, the Eagles have [already lived out this movie before]( Re-enter Nick Foles. With Wentz out, Philadelphia once again turned back to its backup quarterback and the hero of Super Bowl LII. Guess what? Foles delivered once again, completing 24 of 31 passes for 270 yards by spreading the ball around to the Eagles’ playmakers and sparking the offense back to life.

For their part, the Texans are 10-4 and if the playoffs started tomorrow, Houston would have a first-round bye. Which brings us to this week’s game. If the Eagles can find a way to knock off the Texans, their odds of making the playoffs will shoot up to 51%. But perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Is Nick Foles up to the task of rescuing the Eagles – again?

If Foles is nervous, he sure isn’t showing it. Any man with the gumption to rock webbed-toe shoes to a press conference has what it takes to lead the Eagles out of the wilderness and back to the playoffs, in our book. Do we believe? Yes. We’ve seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. Eagles 27, Texans 23, is my prediction, but how does a hive-mind of NFL experts acting as an artificial intelligence predict this Week 16 match-up?

To predict the result of this Week 16 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence. A “swarm” of 29 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction, and as you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the result they thought was the most likely outcome. This is where it gets interesting: As a user sees the puck move toward a particular decision, it triggers a psychological response. They might readjust their thinking as the group builds toward a consensus. It’s an artificial intelligence, produced by human brains, working together as a swarm.

As the swarm replay above shows, the swarm has low confidence that the Houston Texans will win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

The Texans play at the Eagles at 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.

Here’s how Unanimous A.I. has predicted previous NFL games this season.

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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