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Bold predictions: Broncos hold Ryan under 250 yards

Week 5 of the NFL season is upon us, and that means it's time for another round of bold predictions. As always, this week's edition of fearless prognostications includes a macho helping of audaciousness and abandon as we head into Sunday and Monday's contests. Warning: these predictions are not for the faint of heart.

Marcus Mariota, Titans finally see the light on offense

The Titans have spent the past four weeks explaining why Marcus Mariota does not look as good as he did a year ago despite keeping a similar version of the offense and adding superstars like Andre Johnson and DeMarco Murray to the offense. That changes this week against the troubled Miami Dolphins. Sensing the walls closing in, coach Mike Mularkey will open up the playbook for his young signal caller and allow him to take the Miami Dolphins down. Mariota will score four total touchdowns on Sunday via the pass and the run in a Titans win.

-- Conor Orr

Frank Gore snaps streak, rumbles past Jim Brown

The Chicago Bears' defensive front, decimated by injury, struggles to stop the run. Toss out last week's game versus a Lions team that couldn't run the ball against paper defenders, and the Bears' defense is giving up an average of 142.7 rushing yards per game -- 100-plus ground yards in each of the first three weeks. Frank Gore will pass Jim Brown for the No. 9 spot on the all-time rushing yards list (needs just 20 yards). After he accomplishes that, Gore will snap a 20-game streak with fewer than 100 rushing yards. Frank Gore hasn't had 100 yards in 20 games? Are you freaking kidding me? The Colts haven't had a 100-yard rusher since Vick Ballard late in the 2012 season. 2012! The Colts' offensive line might suck, but they face a worse defensive front seven. Gore can and will take advantage of the Bears' weakness and rumble past that elusive century mark.

-- Kevin Patra

Denver holds Matt Ryan to under 250 yards

Matt Ryan -- yes, thatMatt Ryan -- leads the NFL in passing yards after four weeks, thanks in part to a 503-yard performance in a Week 4 win over Carolina. The Falcons have won three straight and look to be red-hot offensively, but they run into a steel trap of a defense in the Broncos. Denver is the second-best unit in the league against the pass, allowing just 169.5 yards per game through the air. Using a mix of 3-4 base defense and the six-defensive-back Dime package (Denver has used one of the two personnel groupings 95.2 percent of defensive downs, per Next Gen Stats), a Broncos secondary featuring Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. shuts down Matty Ice and takes it one step further by blanketing Julio Jones, who exploded for 300 yards last week. Ryan records just his second game under 250 yards this season and Atlanta falls back to Earth, seeing its winning streak snapped after a frustrating afternoon in the Mile High City.

-- Nick Shook

Big Ben breaks single-game passing record against Jets

The Jets are crashing down to earth in a fiery hellstorm, and their hot descent to the AFC cellar will be finished off by Ben Roethlisberger and his arsenal of wideouts. New York's secondary, led by a disintegrating Darrelle Revis, has been ripped to shreds by Pro Bowl pass-catchers A.J. Green, Jimmy Graham and Travis Kelce, but also has been exposed by a cavalcade of nobodies (Marquise Goodwin, Greg Salas, Tanner McEvoy) on pass plays of 40-plus yards. With Revis doubtful to play in the Steel City with a hamstring injury, there is no legitimate threat on the Jets' back line to stand in the way of Pittsburgh's juggernaut passing game. One weekend after Big Ben embarrassed Marcus Peters and the K.C. secondary, Roethlisberger airs it out against the Jets like no one in the history of the sport of football has ever done before. Sammie Coates hauls in two 75-yard touchdown passes over Calvin Pryor, who trips over his own dreads; Antonio Brown twerks thrice on Buster Skrine's grave; and Le'Veon Bell takes two screens to the house, making mince meat out of Rontez Miles in the process. Roethlisberger throws for 612 yards and seven touchdowns, and tosses a pick-six in the waning minutes just because he can, in a season-defining rout.

-- Jeremy Bergman

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