FOX Sports South walks the plank of potential embarrassment by chronicling seven bold predictions for NFL Week 10 -- an ambitious gallery that could be way off the mark come Monday night. There's no fear of failure here, though. Just educated guesses. (Photos: Daniel Shirey/Ron Schwane/Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #1: The Jets' embattled defense will hold Ben Roethlisberger -- who's currently riding a two-game streak of six TD passes -- to two or fewer touchdowns (through the air) ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) In seven career meetings against the Jets, Big Ben has a grand total of seven TD passes. 2) Last year, Roethlisberger had an efficient outing against New York (23 of 30 for 264 yards), but tallied only one touchdown. 3) Steelers tailback Le'Veon Bell (1,444 total yards, 3 TDs) is due for a breakout performance, in the form of 130-plus rushing yards or multiple rushing TDs. 4) All good things must end sometime. Plus, of Pittsburgh's first seven games ... Big Ben notched two or fewer TD passes six times.
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BOLD PREDICTION #2: Rookies Jeremy Hill and Sammy Watkins will tally four total TDs ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Hill crushed the Jaguars for 163 total yards and two TDs last week. 2) The Browns currently own the NFL's 31st-ranked rush defense, allowing 140 ground yards per game. 3) Cleveland has surrendered 100-plus team rushing yards in 10 of 11 games -- and 120-plus nine times. 4) Since Week 2, Watkins (590 yards, 5 TDs) has attracted eight-plus targets five times -- including three double-digit outings. 5) With Kyle Orton at QB, Watkins has averaged six catches, 10 targets, 140 yards and 1.5 TDs in his last two games. (Note: Watkins tweaked his groin on Wednesday.) (Photos: Mark Zerof/Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #3: Drew Brees will pass for 400-plus yards against the Niners ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Of his last 15 games at the Superdome, the Hall of Fame shoo-in has absurdly accounted for 300 yards passing or three touchdowns 14 times. 2) During that 15-game home stretch, Brees boasts averages of 339 yards passing and 3.3 TDs. 3) Since 2007, Brees holds stellar per-game averages of 336 yards passing and 3.3 TDs against the 49ers.
My Right Foot
BOLD PREDICTION #4: Steven Hauschka (Seahawks) and Dan Bailey (Cowboys) will kick four field goals apiece ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Of his last 12 games, Bailey (right) has booted multiple field goals six times -- including superb outings of four (Week 2) and five (Week 15 last year). 2) The Jaguars (Bailey's Week 10 foe) have allowed 27 points or more six times ... but have a sneaky-good pass defense in the red zone. 3) Of his last 12 games (including the playoffs), Hauschka has tallied multiple field goals 11 times. 4) To date, Hauschka (left) and Bailey are both 16 of 18 with field goals. 5) The Seahawks are a good bet for 30-plus points against the vulnerable Giants. (Photos: Brad Mills/Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #5: The Titans, a double-digit underdog, will upend the home-standing Ravens ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Tennessee has been competitive, albeit mostly in defeat, since the calendar turned to October, dropping three games by an average of 5.7 points. 2) The rookie trifecta of QB Zach Mettenberger (left), RB Bishop Sankey (right) and left tackle Taylor Lewan -- all high-ceiling prospects -- should flourish in the second half. 3) The Ravens have the NFL's 24th-ranked pass defense, allowing 263 yards per game. 4) Our main rationale (outside of playing a major hunch): Baltimore will most likely take a 2-6 Tennessee club for granted, especially with a wandering eye toward the Week 11 bye. 5) The NFL betting world is due for a shocking home upset. (Photos: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #6: Defensive linemen Junior Galette (right) and Iggy Ansah (left) will collect two sacks apiece ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Galette (27.5 career sacks) has registered at least one sack eight times in his last 12 games -- including three multi-sack outings. 2) The 49ers, Galette's Week 10 foe, rank 30th in sacks allowed this season. As part of that, it seems like QB Colin Kaepernick has been running for his life just about every Sunday. 3) Ansah (tied for 20th in sacks -- 4.5) has notched 3.5 sacks since Week 6. 4) The Dolphins (Ansah's Sunday opponent) are a middling club, in terms of protecting QB Ryan Tannehill. 5) The Lions boast the NFL's top-ranked defense -- No. 5 against the pass and No. 2 against the run. 6) Detroit's front four generates consistent heat on every possession. (Photos: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #7: Falcons-Bucs will be the weekend's highest-scoring game ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Atlanta and Tampa Bay combined for 70 points in Week 3 -- although the Falcons assumed the lion's share of production that night (56). 2) The Falcons and Bucs currently own the NFL's 30th- and 31st-ranked pass defenses (both above 280 yards per game). 3) Of its last 21 games, Atlanta has surrendered 100-plus team rushing yards 19 times. 4) Bucs tailback Bobby Rainey fleeced the Falcons for 167 total yards and three TDs last November -- in Tampa. 5) The Falcons and Bucs both have top-10 receiving duos in the NFL, featuring Julio Jones (right)/Roddy White and Mike Evans(left)/Vincent Jackson. 6) No other games on the Week 10 calendar scream 60-plus points. (Photos: Jason Bridge/Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports)