*Week 7 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. *
Christine Michael outshines inimitable David Johnson on 'SNF'
When we roll out Around The NFL's mid-season All Pro squad in two weeks, there's a good chance David Johnson will be the running back. Along with Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy and Le'Veon Bell, he's in the discussion for the game's premier tailback. He combines Adrian Peterson's explosive cutting ability with game-breaking speed and the pass-catching skills of a wide receiver.
Johnson faces a tough matchup, though, against a Michael Bennett-led defensive front seven that held him to 25 yards on 11 carries in last year's regular-season finale. Awakened as he is, Michael still isn't getting the publicity of the backs mentioned above despite 2.56 yards more per carry than all other Seattle backfield members combined. Running like he's shot out of a cannon, Michael is due for a national coming out party Sunday night.
-- Chris Wesseling
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins derail Bills' momentum
The Rex Ryan era in Buffalo has been largely misunderstood to this point. Until a recent coordinator change, Ryan's teams have gotten little credit for how disruptive and hard to defend they can be when everything is rolling in the right direction. The reason for the hot and cold attitude? The team sometimes struggles to capitalize on momentum when things are going well. Our prediction is that this will happen again this weekend in Miami Gardens. While the Dolphins don't give us many reasons to believe that they can upend the Bills offensively, sometimes the NFL has a strange weekend where nothing we expect happens. Ryan Tannehill will throw three touchdowns and Jay Ajayi will add a fourth in a 28-24 win over Buffalo.
-- Conor Orr
Blake Bortles breaks out bigly against Raiders
With all of its talent and promise, this Jaguars offense has to show up and dominate eventually, right? Despite being projected to win the AFC South and set franchise passing records, Bortles and the Jags instead slumped to an 0-3 start, thanks to turnovers and a stillborn run game. Jacksonville is on a two-game winning streak now, but has yet to prove the preseason pundits right; that will change against the Raiders. With fellow 2014 draft selection Derek Carr having the season of his life on the opposite sideline, Bortles plays inspired football, torches the vulnerable Raiders secondary to the tune of 411 yards and three TDs and finally sends a Jaguars receiver -- Allen Robinson -- over 100 yards. Meanwhile, the AFC South regresses to the mean -- Denver pops Houston and Indy beats Tennessee -- and by the end of the weekend, the Jags are one game in the win column out of the division lead, stealing the show and Sean Smith's pride.
-- Jeremy Bergman
Falcons and Chargers combine for 65-plus points in shootout
It's taken me six weeks to believe that the Falcons might be for real. The statistics are difficult to ignore. Atlanta leads the league in total offense (441.5 yards per game, 33.2 points per game), thanks to its potent mix of a passing game, led by receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and running attack with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. They'll look to rack up points against San Diego's defense, which falls in the lower half of teams in the league at 18th overall (363.2 yards per game allowed). But on the other side of the field reside Philip Rivers and a Chargers offense that ranks 14th in the league at 368 yards per game, a deceiving stat considering San Diego is third in scoring (28.8 points per game). San Diego's offense will face an Atlanta defense that ranks 24th in the league. This matchup screams points explosion.
Rivers and Matt Ryan engage in an air show, putting up big numbers in an offensive display to remember, combining for 65-plus points in a shootout. Will San Diego, which is the best in the league in longest time owning a lead, be able to hang on for a victory? Or will this contest be a back-and-forth affair that comes down to the final possession? We'll leave it to Sunday to see who comes out on top. One thing is for sure: We'll see plenty of trips to the end zone, and hopefully just as many league-approved celebrations.
-- Nick Shook