FOX Sports South walks the plank of potential embarrassment by chronicling seven bold predictions for NFL Week 4 -- 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: Matthew Emmons/Jim Brown/Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #1: Ryan Fitzpatrick will channel his inner-Dan Fouts and throw 3 TDs against the Bills ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Fitzpatrick has accomplished the above feat 13 times in his career (2005-13). 2) The Texans finally have a No. 2 receiver (DeAndre Hopkins) who's a weekly threat for 100 yards/one TD -- similar to alpha dog Andre Johnson. 3) With tailback Arian Foster (hamstring) still ailing, the Houston offense will likely shoulder a greater load on Sunday. 4) The scraggly bearded Fitzpatrick is due for a three- or four-TD explosion ... just like the Hall of Famer Fouts (right). (Photos: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports/Assorted Images)
Better Late Than Never
BOLD PREDICTION #2: Rookie tailback Bishop Sankey will collect his first NFL touchdown (vs. the Colts) ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) There's a reason why Sankey (2,174 total yards/21 TDs at the University of Washington last season) was the first running back selected in this year's NFL draft. He shares similar traits for size, speed and explosivenss with Philly's LeSean McCoy. 2) Sankey modestly tallied a career-best 10 rushes last week for 61 yards (against Cincy). 3) Given the wrist injury to QB Jake Locker, the Titans will likely heighten their offensive focus on the running game. 4) The scoring-deprived Titans (17 combined points for Weeks 2/3) need a spark to keep up with the high-powered Colts.
Sit Back ... And Enjoy The Ride
BOLD PREDICTION #3: The Arizona Cardinals will be the NFC's lone unbeaten team come Monday morning ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) With a Week 4 bye, Andre Ellington (left) and the Cardinals (3-0) are guaranteed to maintain a perfect record this weekend. 2) The 1-2 Niners, in desperate need of a victory, will knock off the Eagles -- the conference's other unbeaten -- on Sunday afternoon. 3) As part of that, QB Colin Kaepernick (right) and the San Francisco offense will finally bust the season-long jinx of going scoreless in the fourth quarter. (Photos: Matt Kartozian/Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
The Screaming Viking
BOLD PREDICTION #4: Matt Asiata will amass 120 total yards and two TDs against the Falcons ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Before last week's thrashing of the Bucs -- where Atlanta held a 56-0 lead in the third quarter -- the Falcons had surrendered 100-plus team rushing yards to the opposition in 15 straight games. 2) With rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater getting his first NFL start, the Vikings will lean heavily on the rushing attack (Asiata, rookie Jerick McKinnon) on Sunday. 3) In three home starts with Minnesota (2013-14 -- Metrodome/TCF Bank Stadium), Asiata has notched 100 total yards and/or one touchdown on every occasion.
BOLD PREDICTION #5: Eli Manning and Andrew Luck will end their respective droughts against the Redskins and Titans ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Both QBs are due for some positive karma: Eli Manning (left) hasn't accounted for multiple TDs against the Redskins in his last eight tries; and Luck, on a smaller scale, has never collected multiple TDs against the Titans (four outings). 2) This season, Luck (right) ranks 1st in TD passes, 1st in pass completions and 3rd in yards passing. 3) Good throwing conditions for Thursday/Sunday (climate-wise) should help Manning and Luck overcome the following stat: The Redskins (10th) and Titans (2nd) rank among the NFL's top 10 pass defenses -- yards allowed. (Photos: Brad Mills/Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Trouble Across The Pond
BOLD PREDICTION #6: The Raiders and Dolphins, as a tandem, will fall short of the expected 40-point threshold in London ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Of the last seven NFL regular-season games played in England (2008-13), the average combined tally stands at 51.1 points. 2) Through three games in 2014, Miami and Oakland have averaged 19 and 13 points, respectively. 3) Oakland, led by rookie QB Derek Carr (left), was the only NFL club to score less than 15 points for Weeks 1, 2 and 3. 4) In three career outings against the Dolphins, Raiders tailback Darren McFadden holds subpar averages of 40 total yards and zero TDs. 5) Deep-ball threat Mike Wallace (right) is averaging only 7-plus receiving yards per target this season. (Photos: Greg M. Cooper/Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #7: The Saints and Cowboys will post the weekend's highest point tally, as a pairing ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) In his Saints career (2006-14), QB Drew Brees boasts the following per-outing averages against the Cowboys -- 375 yards passing and 2.8 TDs. 2) Fueled by the troika of QB Tony Romo, RB DeMarco Murray and WR Dez Bryant (right), the Cowboys have averaged 30 points in their last two victories (Weeks 2/3). 3) Of his last 11 regular-season road tilts, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (left) has collected double-digit targets and/or one TD 10 times. 4) For Week 10 last year, the Saints incredibly racked up 40 first downs and 625 total yards in a home rout of the Cowboys. (Photos: Andrew Weber/Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)