Brian Sullivan (@MadManScouting)
I’m off to a hot start this week, as I incorrectly predicted that the Ravens would make a statement last night against Cincinnati. The exact opposite happened, and it appears that Cincy is better than I expected. I have to give them credit. Last week I correctly predicted that the Ravens would hold Buffalo to single digits, but I don’t really think I deserve credit for that. Most of us saw that coming right? Anyways, here’s 5 bold predictions, as well as 10 more less bold predictions for this exciting weekend of football.
5 Bold Predictions
Ben Roethlisberger Will Throw For 500+ Yards and 6 TDs
Patrick Mahomes is a stud, and we all saw that last week against Los Angeles. His fantastic performance masked the fact that the Chiefs were lucky to hold Philip Rivers to 424 yards. His receivers were open all day, they just couldn’t catch. Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster are certainly tougher to prepare for than Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams. Ben is in for a big day.
Josh Gordon Will Finish With 150+ Receiving Yards
The return of the future hall of famer was stifled by poor weather and stubborn coaching. Obviously I’m being hyperbolic, but the fact that Gordon played 69 snaps, as opposed to the planned 20 snaps, proves that he’s healthy enough to start. In the dome, against a Saints defense that appears to be vulnerable, he could be in for his big breakout game.
The Bears Will Sack Russell Wilson 10+ Times
Russell Wilson might want to pull a Jordan and just retire for a year. He gets to play against Khalil Mack, one week after dealing with Von Miller. Both on the road. Both behind his turnstiles that the coaches attempt to pass off as an offensive line. Mack will likely be even more involved this week. This one could get ugly.
Cam Newton Will Throw 3+ INTs At Atlanta
The Panthers have a phenomenal defense. It made Dak Prescott look so bad, that nobody noticed that Cam Newton didn’t do much aside from a few big runs against Dallas last week, Obviously those runs count for something, but he appears to be the same inaccurate Cam of the past. The Falcons are missing some key defensive players, but they’re likely to perform better at home.
The Jags Will Hold Rob Gronkowski To Under 50 Receiving Yards
The Jaguars are one of the few teams in the league that possess the personnel to slow down the toughest mismatch in the NFL. Telvin Smith and Myles Jack both have a unique combination of size and speed. Jalen Ramsey is dying to match up with Gronk as well. The Pats will move the ball, but I expect Jacksonville to game plan around forcing Tom to throw to other options. James White could be in for a nice game. Chris Hogan could bounce back. But I think the Jags have a chance to keep Gronkowski in check.
5 Somewhat Bold Predictions
Nick Foles Will Look Like Super Bowl Nick Foles And Throw For 300+ Yards and 3+ TDs
The Buccaneers defense is bad. Very bad. Nick Foles struggled against Atlanta, which is not at all surprising, since Atlanta is great on defense. But Foles is still capable of carving up a terrible Buccaneers defense, especially behind the Eagle’s massive offensive line.
Alvin Kamara Will Record 8+ Catches
With the absence of Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara has an opportunity to prove how special he is. He recorded 9 receptions last week against Tampa, and I expect a similar performance this week. The Browns allowed James Conner to catch the ball 5 times last week, and Kamara is a different beast.
Sam Darnold Will Have His 1st 3 TD Game
There were so many takes about Sam Darnold last week. “He was great”. “He actually wasn’t that great, his defense did all of the work for him”. How about both? I doubt his defense and special teams will blow this game out of the water for him again, but he followed up his atrocious pick 6 with some great football. With more opportunities to throw, expect him to have his first of many 3 touchdown games.
Saquon Barkley Will Rush For Under 50 Yards
Barkley had one huge play against Jacksonville last week. He averaged 2.2 yards per carry on all of his other carries. It’s not his fault, because his offensive line is still rusty. But his inconsistencies go back to college. Against an underrated Dallas defense, I expect him to fall back a little. He’ll still have a few receptions though.
James Conner Will Finish With 150+ All Purpose Yards
The Chiefs allowed 189 yards on 14 receptions to the Charger’s running backs last week. The Steelers love throwing to their running backs. James Conner could easily finish with over 200 total yards depending on how this game goes, but I’ll settle for 150.
5 Mild Predictions
Jimmy Garoppolo Will Bounce Back With 250+ Yds and 3+ TDs
Those who predicted that the 49ers were overrated this season are feeling themselves after week 1. They should enjoy it now, because it won’t last too long. Most quarterbacks struggle in Minnesota. Now Garoppolo gets the Lions at home? With Kyle Shanahan game planning against Matt Patricia? Jimmy should be good this week.
The Rams Will Record 7+ Combined Sacks and Turnovers
The Raiders did a surprisingly impressive job of slowing down Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh last week, despite doing a terrible job at everything else. This Cardinals offensive line will likely struggle more with that. Expect a ton of pressure and errant throws.
Dalvin Cook Will Finish With 125+ All Purpose Yards In Green Bay
Even if Aaron Rodgers plays, I expect him to be a little bit hobbled. The Vikings usually start the season hot, so this could be a massive win for them. Dalvin Cook is too talented to not have a breakout game soon, and this could be the one.
Andrew Luck and Alex Smith Will Combine For 6+ TDs
On one hand, you have Alex Smith going against a relatively weak defense. On the other hand, you have Andrew Luck. Enough said. This one could be a shootout.
Antonio Brown Will Finish With 8+ Rec and 150+ Yards
For most receivers, this would be bold. But for Antonio Brown? This is just a normal day at the office. He could be in for a historic game against this Chiefs defense. This stat line feels like a borderline guarantee.
Image Credit – http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/2017/02/steelers_already_working_on_new_contract_for_antonio_brown