Bold predictions: Todd Gurley gets back on track

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  • By Around The NFL staff
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It's time for another round of fearless prognostications involving this week's games. Warning: these predictions are not for the faint of heart.

Todd Gurley runs for 150 yards, 2 TDs


A combination of crappy line play, terrible quarterbacking, bad play calling and defenses stacking the box have derailed Todd Gurley's ROY campaign. The rookie back has been held under 100 yards each of the last five games (averaging just 52.0 rush YPG), one run of 10-plus yards in his last four games and no touchdowns in the last two. That all ends Sunday. New offensive coordinator Rob Boras is going to slam the ball with Gurley, come hell or high water. The Lions' rush defense has been sturdy in recent weeks -- allowing fewer than 70 rush yards in four straight games -- but can still be burned on the second level by an elite talent like Gurley. -- Kevin Patra

Johnny Manziel shines for floundering Browns


Browns fans have waited long enough for another look at Johnny Manziel. He'll make it worth their while on Sunday with a stellar three-touchdown banging of the Niners. Cleveland's young quarterback will make it especially sweet by taking down ex-Browns coach and current 49ers defensive play-caller Eric Mangini. Granted, securing the No. 1 overall pick would mean more than a meaningless win, but Manziel will give this team an ounce of hope heading into the offseason. If this doesn't happen, Around the NFL's Kevin Patra will adopt a fruitarian diet for all of 2016. Eating only tree-grown fruit and organic juices, his jacked-up bodybuilder's frame will be reduced to that of a wandering 100-pound waif. Lots on the line for the barbell-pumping Patra. -- Marc Sessler

Steelers go on scoring binge to beat Bengals


The Steelers will drop a 40-burger on the Bengals, keeping the Queen City's finest crown less in the AFC North for one more week. Cincinnati's secondary is banged up, poor timing for a matchup versus the hottest offense the NFL has seen since the 1982 "Air Coryell" Chargers. Ben Roethlisberer would be an MVP candidate if he hadn't missed a third of the season. Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant are the NFL's most dynamic wide-receiver duo, bolstered by the recent emergence of Markus Wheaton as a third weapon in the aerial attack. The Steelers are ready to play the spoiler role in the AFC superpowers' race for the No. 1 seed. -- Chris Wesseling

DeMarco Murray won't make impact vs. Bills


DeMarco Murray will get less than 10 carries against the Bills. Maybe this isn't bold, but it depends on how powerful Chip Kelly really is in Philadelphia. If an extremely well-paid player has a regular audience with the team's owner and complains enough about usage and playing time, things tend to change. Not with Kelly, though. With Ryan Mathews probable, and more effective in Kelly's offense, he will be the bell cow against the Bills supplemented by Darren Sproles. Of course, the true maverick move here would be to deactivate Murray and give more time to Kenjon Barner, who had a career-high 39 yards against the Patriots last week. -- Conor Orr

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