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Five bold predictions for this week


Editor's note: Adam's bold predictions appear each week on ESPNBoston.com. You can listen to Adam Jones and Drew Brooks on ESPN Boston Radio every weekday live from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 2 to 4. (Listen HERE)

1. The Red Sox will make the playoffs
I know it's trendy to say the Red Sox will miss the postseason, but I don't believe it. They'll play the Orioles seven times in the season's final 10 days, while the Rays will face the Yankees seven times in that span. I'm sure the Yankees might not be trying their hardest. I also assume Buck Showalter relishes the role of spoiler. I just think the Red Sox -- especially with a two-game cushion -- will ultimately find a way to sneak in. The real question is, what do they do once they get there?

2. Lackey will beat the Orioles
Yes, I like to poke fun at him. Yes, his 6.19 ERA is historically bad. But I expect John Lackey to pitch well Monday in the second game of the doubleheader. For starters, he held the Orioles to three hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings in his only appearance against them this season. He's also fared well against Baltimore in his career, going 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA. He had a reputation as a big-game pitcher while he was in Anaheim. This is about as big as it gets tonight.

3. McCourty will continue to struggle
Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty has been victimized by big, physical receivers in each of the season's first two weeks. Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 139 yards in the season opener, with much of the damage coming against McCourty. The same goes for Vincent Jackson, who grabbed 10 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns Sunday. I expect that trend to continue against the Bills this week. If he plays, Steve Johnson (groin) is the type of receiver who has given McCourty problems. If he doesn't, the Bills still boast 6-foot-5 receiver David Nelson, who caught 10 balls for 83 yards and the winning score against Oakland. It all adds up to a long afternoon for McCourty.

4. Green-Ellis gets it going ...
Tom Brady and the offense have been stellar through the season's first two weeks, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been forgotten. That will change this week against Buffalo. Green-Ellis averaged 5.8 yards per carry against the Bills last season. He also started to find his rhythm at the end of Sunday's win over the Chargers, with 45 of his 70 yards coming in the fourth quarter. Expect a heavy dosage of Green-Ellis against the Bills.

5. Patriots 38, Bills 28
The last time the Patriots lost to the Bills, Tom Jackson thought they hated their coach. The Bills will score, but not enough to snap a 15-game losing streak against New England.