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Kibbles and Picks 2017 - Week 9

November 2, 2017
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It looks like Stella might be getting ready to pull away.

Despite my solid 9-4 record this week, I fell yet another game behind thanks to Stella’s even-more-solid 10-3 slate. Yes, we’re only halfway through the season, but it already feels as though yet another Kibbles and Picks title is slipping through my fingers.

I managed to yet again pick a team that got shut out to win – thanks for nothing, Miami – though I did feel good about picking the Texans to win that shootout against Seattle. Stella simply did what she does, increasing her season lead to three games.

I could put a big dent in that number this week; we’re different on six of the 13 contests. Of course, it could go the other way and Stella could really put her adorable little paw on my neck. I took some swings this time around, gambling on making up some ground – we’ll see how effective that tactic turns out to be.

We start things off right away with the Thursday night game. I scoff at the Jets (as we all should) and actually kind of like this Buffalo squad as a possible playoff team. I feel like LeSean McCoy will move with impunity through the New York defense and that the Bills’ own D will shut the Jets down. I'm picking an easy Buffalo win. Despite Stella's general dislike of the Jets, she thinks they’ve got the potential to hold off a Bills team she concedes is pretty good. They’re on their own turf, and while Josh McCown is no world-beater, he’s managed to keep the Jets in most games. She's not super confident, but believes that New York might squeak one out.

Next up, I’m picking the Atlanta Falcons to go on the road and take down the Panthers. I don’t feel great about it – the Falcons haven’t exactly been on fire. But Carolina has struggled, too. It’s a coin flip in a lot of ways, but I’m hoping that Matt Ryan and the rest of that sputtering Falcons offense can get things straightened out. Stella lands on the other side of the coin; she’s thinking that Cam Newton will be able to move the ball well enough against Atlanta to do fairly well in terms of scoring. She doesn’t love the Panthers defense, but she’s comfortable saying they’ll hold off the Falcons and slow them down enough to win.

In one of my gamble games, I’m picking the 49ers to win their first game of the season against the Cardinals. San Francisco has home field (for whatever that’s worth to them these days) and very few feasible looks at a W. They don’t want to go 0-16 and this is a great chance to avoid it. Stella’s got little love for Arizona, but she still thinks I’m a moron for going with the Niners. She’s calling for the Cardinals to ride a steady helping of Adrian Peterson on the ground and a defense that will easily stifle the 49ers attack. I kind of agree with her, but I need to make a move.

I really like this year’s Kansas City Chiefs (not least because of running back Kareem Hunt’s presence on my fantasy team), and I think they’ve got what it takes to take down the Cowboys, even if the game is in Dallas. They’ve stumbled a bit after a hot start, but I like KC to right the ship against a Cowboys squad in turmoil. Stella agrees that the Dallas situation – particularly the whole Ezekiel Elliott mess – is problematic, but she thinks that Dak Prescott is ready to shoulder the load and boost the Cowboys to victory. To her mind, this is going to be a statement game for this Dallas team.

In an example of both gambling AND not learning my lesson, I’ve picked the Dolphins to beat the Raiders. I honestly picked this almost entirely because Stella went with the Raiders. And with the Jay Ajayi trade, well … I should probably have changed this. Stella agrees; she’s calling for a big game from Derek Carr, who she sees spreading the ball around to Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Jared Cook to the tune of 300-plus yards. After watching what Baltimore did to this Miami team, she figures Oakland will be able to do at least as well against a group that seems to be in utter disarray.

Last, but not least, in the Monday night game, I’m going with the road team; I’ve got the Lions going into Green Bay and taking down the Packers. The Lions offense has had its ups and downs, but I like Matthew Stafford in this matchup. And considering Green Bay’s quarterback issues, the Detroit defense will have little problem handling their business. Stella believes that Lambeau Field will play a part in this game, and while Brett Hundley is a less-than-ideal substitution for Aaron Rodgers, there’s still a lot of talent on the Packers offense. Keep an eye open for a big game from Jordy Nelson or Aaron Jones. She likes the Pack.

And there we are. Maybe I’ll make a move. Maybe I’ll dig a hole. Either way, there’s no denying that it’s a heck of a lot of fun finding out.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 2

BUFFALO at NY Jets

Sunday, Nov. 5

Baltimore at TENNESSEE

Tampa Bay at NEW ORLEANS

LA RAMS at NY Giants

Denver at PHILADELPHIA

ATLANTA at Carolina

Cincinnati at JACKSONVILLE

Indianapolis at HOUSTON

Arizona at SAN FRANCISCO

Washington at SEATTLE

KANSAS CITY at Dallas

Oakland at MIAMI

Monday, Nov. 6

DETROIT at Green Bay

Week 8 record: 9-4

Season record: 70-49

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 2

Buffalo at NY JETS

Sunday, Nov. 5

Baltimore at TENNESSEE

Tampa Bay at NEW ORLEANS

LA RAMS at NY Giants

Denver at PHILADELPHIA

Atlanta at CAROLINA

Cincinnati at JACKSONVILLE

Indianapolis at HOUSTON

ARIZONA at San Francisco

Washington at SEATTLE

Kansas City at DALLAS

OAKLAND at Miami

Monday, Nov. 6

Detroit at GREEN BAY

Week 8 record: 10-3

Season record: 73-46

Last modified on Friday, 03 November 2017 12:02

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