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Five Bold Predictions for Week 10


Hey, check out this bonus bold prediction I hope you missed on Thursday night.

And, thank you to everyone (including me) who pointed out that this didn't age well. Where are you ahead of time? You're like the people who like to come out of nowhere when you're hungover and say, "I told you so." Like, I could have used you before we started doing Jaeger Bombs. But whatever. Here's the fodder for your Monday (or Tuesday) tweets this week:

Eli Manning will ball out this week

Eli Manning, the NFL equivalent of store-bought, medium salsa. It's not going to be the best thing you've ever had. But sometimes -- it's all right. But let's talk about Eli. He's a two-time Super Bowl winner, but he's being treated with a little disrespect. Coach Pat Shurmur is openly talking about going to going to backup Kyle Lauletta. It's like when a married guy is openly flirting with a gal at a wedding while his wife is still sitting there right at the table. At some point, you've got to stand up for yourself. And that's what Eli will do this week. The 49ers defense is 17th against the pass. They are dead last in turnovers per game. Which means Eli going to grab a little ghost pepper and torch the 49ers.

Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb will both be Top 10 RBs in PPR leagues

Nick and the Duke could end up being a poor man's version of what Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have been able to do in New Orleans. Kind of like the way Demolition was really a knockoff of the Road Warriors in the '90s WWE. Obviously, it is not as good, but still wildly entertaining. The Browns have the Falcons this week, who rank 29th against the pass and 17th against the run. And further, Atlanta has allowed a Top 10 running back in seven of eight games this season. Chubb will do all of his damage on the ground while Duke does all of his damage during the air.

Josh Gordon will score two touchdowns this week

Gordon, along with Julian Edelman, have averaged a combined 173.5 receiving yards per game over the last two weeks. The two have combined for an average of 18 targets to go along with 12 receptions. I favor Gordon this week for one simple reason: Malcolm Butler, in what could be considered a revenge game. Well, it would be if Butler was playing to a high NFL standard ... which he isn't. Instead, the revenge will be had by Bill Belichick and his staff. You don't think they aren't going to find ways to isolate Gordon on Butler and torch him? I'm not sure what Butler did to receive Belichick's scorn. I just know I wouldn't want to be on the other side of the football. Mostly because I'm a coward.

Khalil Mack returns to get two sacks

The Bears have been able to pressure the quarterback more often in the last two weeks with Mack (ankle) on the sidelines, mostly because they increased their blitz rate from 18.6 to 27.7 percent. Chicago has allowed a combined passer rating of 70.1 over the last two weeks when they send five or more rushers. But, what will that do to Matt Stafford? Stafford played well under the blitz from Weeks 1 through 8, but was pressured 17 times and sacked 10 times (both season highs) in a loss against the Vikings in Week 9. Mack's return is coming at a bad time for the Lions.

Mark Ingram outscores Alvin Kamara this week

There is no bigger Alvin Kamara mark in the land than me. I was all about him coming into this season, and he has rewarded me. And only me. Not any of you. But, I'm worried about the matchup this week. Not because the Bengals are good. Far from it. The Bengals are last in total defense. Last against the pass. Kamara is an interesting challenge this week when you consider he is often targeted on option routes and leads NFL running backs in receiving when targeted outside the numbers. He's a huge mismatch for the Bengals beleaguered linebackers. And then you have to factor in that Mark Ingram hasn't done so well this season. His carries are down, on average, by about two per game. He's rushed for an average 45.3 rushing yards per game, down from 70.3 a year ago. And, his yards-per-carry has dropped from 4.9 to 3.6.

So why would you pick this, Rank?

It's all games-script. The Bengals are 5-9-1 when they return from a bye under Marvin Lewis. As I mentioned, the defense is banged up. And the last time the Bengals were in a position like this against the Chiefs, they lost 45-10. If the game unfolds the way I see it unfolding, that could mean more opportunity for Ingram as the Saints seal the game in the second half.