FOX Sports South walks the plank of potential embarrassment by chronicling seven bold predictions for NFL Week 11 -- 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: Brad Penner/Jason Bridge/Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #1: Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will account for two TDs ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Patterson (26 catches, 308 yards, 1 TD) has averaged eight targets in his last four games -- a substantial bump from the 5.0 average for Weeks 1-5. 2) The Bears have surrendered 50-plus points in back-to-back outings. 3) QB Teddy Bridgewater should have little trouble passing for 280-plus yards against Chicago, weather permitting. 4) For Minnesota, neither Jerick McKinnon (552 total yards) nor Matt Asiata (476 total yards, 7 TDs), have found the end zone on the road. 5) Patterson tallied nine TDs last year, including two kick-return scores. 6) As such, the uber-athletic Patterson is long overdue for a breakout, especially when returning kicks.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY SportBrace Hemmelgarn
A Pick & A Promise
BOLD PREDICTION #2: Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will tally a pick-six off Philly QB Mark Sanchez (left) ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) The Packers currently hold top-five rankings with interceptions (12) and defensive TDs (two). 2) Citing 2012 (with the Jets) and 2014 (with the Packers), Sanchez's pass attempt/INT ratios are somewhat similar. Also, Sanchez completed only 54 percent of his passes on Monday night (against the Panthers). 3) The Eagles (and by extension, Sanchez) might feel extra road pressure to keep pace with the Packers, especially if Philly cannot produce a special-teams TD. 4) Nine Packers have collected at least one INT -- including the rookie Clinton-Dix (right -- one INT, four pass deflections). (Photos: Troy Taormina/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Break On Through
BOLD PREDICTION #3: Rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will amass 90 yards and one TD on Sunday ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Tampa Bay's rushing offense has been wretched over the last two months, averaging only 78.1 team ground yards since Week 3. 2) Bucs wideout Mike Evans has accounted for 249 receiving yards and three TDs in his last two games, meaning he'll command plenty of attention from the Redskins. 3) Speaking of attention, Vincent Jackson has attracted double-digit targets five times since Week 4. Wow! 4) Jenkins (two TDs in his last three outings) notched a career-high nine targets last week. 5) The weather at FedEx Field could be cold and windy, allowing for more between-the-hashes throws to tight ends.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
BOLD PREDICTION #4: Raiders rookie Khalil Mack will collect two sacks against the rival Chargers ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) On the surface, two sacks doesn't seem like a bold projection. But Oakland currently ranks dead-last in sacks (8), three behind the Atlanta at No. 31. 2) The Raiders may be winless, but the freakishly athletic Mack -- the No. 5 overall pick last May -- has drawn rave reviews for his Pro Bowl-caliber work as a strong-side tackling machine. In fact, ESPN recently tabbed Mack as Houston's pick at No. 1 overall ... in a hypothetical re-draft exercise. 3) Mack notched 28.5 collegiate sacks as a linebacker, meaning he's long overdue for a rush-end breakthrough in the pros. 4) San Diego's leaky offensive line succumbed to four sacks in a Week 9 drubbing against Miami.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY SportsCary Edmondson
BOLD PREDICTION #5: The home-standing Giants (4 1/2-point underdogs) will pull off the weekend's biggest upset ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) I'm not a betting man, but that above line just screams It's a trap, it's a trap! from Admiral Ackbar -- in the Giants' favor. 2) Regarding the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning partnership in New York (2004-14), the Giants are 5-1 against the 49ers. In that span, Big Blue holds averages of 25.4 points against San Fran. 3) With tailback Rashad Jennings (right -- 176 rushing yards, 1 TD in Week 3) back off the injury list and rookie Odell Beckham, Jr. (15 catches, 264 yards for Weeks 9-10) on the rise, Manning (left) stands to improve upon his lifetime average of 230 yards passing/1.5 TDs against Jim Harbaugh (middle) and the Niners. (Photos: Brad Penner/Ed Szczepanski/Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
First Time For Everything
BOLD PREDICTION #6: Seattle's Christine Michael will become the first NFL player this season to score a rushing TD against Kansas City ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Marshawn Lynch (six TDs for Weeks 9-10) stands as the obvious Seahawks back to find the end zone against the stingy Chiefs. But then again, that wouldn't count as a bold prediction. Right? 2) The backup Michael, who has averaged 5.7 yards per rush in his two-year career, is long overdue for his first pro touchdown.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsJoe Nicholson
BOLD PREDICTION #7: Patriots-Colts will be the weekend's highest-scoring game ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) The Colts (32.2 PPG) and Patriots (31.2 PPG) currently rank 1st and 3rd in NFL scoring. 2) Indy and New England have both notched 40-plus points three times. 3) QBs Tom Brady (left -- 2,392 yards passing, 22 TDs) and Andrew Luck (right -- 3,085 yards passing, 28 total TDs) have their full complement of playmakers in place. 4) Prior to their bye, the Colts surrendered 881 yards passing and eight TD passes in a two-game span. 5) In the playoffs last year, New England and Indy combined for 65 points. 6) The Patriots are the NFL's 22nd-ranked rush defense (120 YPG). 7) The blustery weather in the Midwest won't be a factor -- inside Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Kevin Hoffman/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)