FOX Sports South walks the plank of potential embarrassment by chronicling seven bold predictions for NFL Week 6 -- 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: Scott Kane/Brace Hemmelgarn/Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports)
The Path Of Similar Righteousness
BOLD PREDICTION #1: LeSean McCoy, Lamar Miller (middle), Ben Tate will each account for 125 total yards or two touchdowns this week ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Of his last eight games against the rival Giants, McCoy (left) has notched 100 total yards and/or one TD six times. 2) In Miller's happy case, the Packers have the NFL's worst rushing defense, allowing 163 ground yards per outing. 3) Tate (right), who rushed for 123 yards last Sunday, was averaging 6.8 yards per carry in Week 1 against the Steelers -- before leaving with a hamstring injury. 4) Back to McCoy (342 total yards, one TD in 2014): He's absolutely due for a breakout game, especially at home. (Photos: Robert Deutsch/Kirby Lee/Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)
BOLD PREDICTION #2: The Jaguars will end their winless jinx on Sunday ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) The Titans might still be shellshocked from blowing the largest second-half home lead in NFL history (Week 5 loss to the Browns). 2) QB Jake Locker (injured right thumb) likely will be a game-time decision for the Titans, who would rely on Charlie Whitehurst as the next man up. 3) After incurring four straight defeats of double-digit points (Weeks 1-4), Jacksonville kept Pittsburgh relatively in check (losing by eight). 4) Jags QB Blake Bortles (above) enjoyed a 70-percent completion rate for Weeks 4/5. 5) Jags rookie Storm Johnson has tangible upside as a primary rusher. 6) Jacksonville (+7) would be a strong underdog pick in Vegas -- with or without Locker in the lineup.
BOLD PREDICTION #3: Jeremy Maclin's season-long streak of double-digit receiving targets will continue on Sunday ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Maclin (right) is the only NFL pass-catcher (receiver/tight end/tailback) to log double-digit targets for every game this year. 2) Star receivers Calvin Johnson (Lions), Andre Johnson (Texans), Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) and Julio Jones (Falcons) have already posted double-digit targets against the Giants. 3) New York currently ranks 25th against the pass, allowing 265 yards per game. 4) PREDICTION PART II: For Sunday night, Giants wideout Rueben Randle (left) will collect double-digit targets for a fourth straight time. (Photos: Brad Penner/Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Pick And A Poke
BOLD PREDICTION #4: Vikings safety Harrison Smith will tally a pick-six against the Lions ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Smith (above) shares the NFL lead for interceptions (three) this season -- tied with Malcolm Jenkins, Perrish Cox and rookie Kyle Fuller. 2) The third-year safety also holds a top-15 NFL ranking with pass deflections (six). 3) Lions QB Matthew Stafford (four INTs in 2014) might not have injured stars Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush on Sunday. 4) To compensate for the injury absences, the Lions might invoke a number of two tight-end formations on passing downs ... leading to a few INT opportunities for Smith on overthrows.
It's About Time!
BOLD PREDICTION #5: Maurice Jones-Drew (cue sad music) will finally score a touchdown with the Raiders ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) At age 29, Jones-Drew (26 total yards for the season) is too young and too spry to average a measly 13 total yards per game. 2) With Tony Sparano seriving as Oakland's interim head coach, the Raiders offense will likely recommit to a rushing attack that features Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and upside prospect Latavius Murray. 3) MJD (81 career touchdowns) is only three years removed from amassing 188 total yards and one TD against Chargers -- during his Jaguars days (2011).
BOLD PREDICTION #6: Robert Quinn will collect 2.5 sacks against the 49ers on Monday night -- eclipsing the Rams' team output for the season, to date ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) Quinn (zero sacks) has had a sluggish start to the season, perhaps due to the injury absence of defensive end Chris Long. 2) The Niners' O-line has yielded 13 sacks for the season -- tied for 6th-worst in the NFL. 3) The Rams currently boast the NFL's top-rated pass defense, allowing just 190 yards per game. 4) Quinn (NFL-high 19 sacks last year) tallied three sacks when St. Louis hosted Monday Night Football last October (loss to Seattle).
BOLD PREDICTION #7: Bears-Falcons will be the highest-scoring game of the weekend ... REASONS TO BELIEVE: 1) On the defensive side, Chicago (26.2 ppg) and Atlanta (28.6 ppg) both possess bottom-10 rankings in the NFL for points allowed. 2) Conversely, Steven Jackson (right) and the Falcons rank 3rd in points scored (30.2 ppg). 3) Chicago likely has the NFL's premier 1-2 receiving tandem -- Brandon Marshall (left) and Alshon Jeffery. 4) Bears tailback Matt Forte holds averages of 124 total yards this season. 5) Chicago and Atlanta are perfectly suited for the fast-track surface of the Georgia Dome. 6) Falcons QB Matt Ryan has an outside chance at 5,000 yards passing and 35 TDs by season's end. (Photos: Andrew Weber/Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)