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Kibbles and Picks 2017 - Week 13

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Believe it or not, I actually made some progress last week.

I managed to gain on Stella courtesy of a 12-4 record in Week 12. However, my gain was minimal – just a single game – thanks to her own very strong 11-5 run for the week. As things stand, her lead is at five games as we enter Week 13.

There’s a chance for a big move, though – we’re at odds in seven of this week’s matchups. A strong showing could lead to some major progress for me … or a nigh-insurmountable lead for her.

First up is the Thursday night game. I'm going with Washington on the road against Dallas, despite my many issues with that team. I'm pretty sure that the downward Dallas spiral will continue and that Washington’s Kirk Cousins-led offense will be able to outscore the Cowboys and chalk up a road victory. Stella's picking the Cowboys to take care of business and win at home. This despite an abysmal Thanksgiving showing from Dallas. Still, she thinks the Cowboys will have enough to get the win against a Washington team that has had its own share of struggles. 

Next, we’re looking at Minnesota/Atlanta. While I’m a fan of the Falcons and think their offense is on the upswing, I still think the Vikings are equipped to handle them. Minnesota has seven wins in a row – I think that Atlanta is going to fall short in their efforts to prevent number eight. I’m expecting some fireworks and a big game from Case Keenum. Stella’s bullish on Atlanta’s chances; she likes what she’s been seeing from Matt Ryan as of late and thinks Julio Jones is back to where he needs to be. She also like the underrated Falcons defense’s chances to hold off the Vikings attack. One thing we both agree on – it’s going to be a heck of a game.

Happily, we’re on opposing sides of the Tampa Bay/Green Bay showdown. While the Packers have certainly seen some struggles with Brett Hundley under center, they’ve slowly been figuring it out. There’s nothing particularly impressive here, but I think they’ve got enough to hold off the scuffling Bucs. Stella couldn’t disagree more; she’s counting on the return of QB Jameis Winston to give the Buccaneers a big boost. And while the Tampa Bay D has had its share of struggles, she likes them to give Green Bay fits.

I picked Denver against Miami. Mostly because Miami has looked REALLY bad. But the truth is that Denver has had plenty of issues as well. It feels kind of like a coin flip, with a slight Broncos talent advantage essentially negated by Miami’s home field. Stella agrees that both teams are terrible, but considers the Dolphins to be slightly less terrible than I do. So, she went with Miami at home against the nose-diving Broncos. It’s a big old shoulder shrug of a game.

I’ve got Detroit going into Baltimore to take down the Ravens. I don’t feel great about this pick – it’s a calculated risk taken in an effort to potentially gain some more ground. Still, any team with Joe Flacco at quarterback is definitely in a vulnerable position. And the Ravens defense has shown some flashes of inconsistency. Again – I don’t feel great, but I’m rolling the dice. Stella thinks I’m nuts – especially because Detroit’s Matthew Stafford is dealing with injury. She thinks that even in the best of circumstances, the Lions are going to struggle to score … and these are not the best of circumstances. It won’t be a pretty win for the Ravens, but she’s confident of the W.

In another calculated risk game, I’m going with Carolina against New Orleans. Last week saw the Saints’ eight-game win streak come to an end; I’m betting on the Panthers being able to continue pushing New Orleans. Carolina has been playing hungry as of late, with Cam Newton showing more glimpses of his former MVP form. It’s going to be close, but the Panthers should triumph. Stella expects a full rebound for the Saints; she expects Drew Brees to have a good game and the running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamera to blow up in a big way. She also thinks the defense can slow down the Carolina attack. One thing we do agree on: this might just be the best game of the week.

Finally, I’m rolling the dice one more time by picking the Seahawks to beat the Eagles. Yes, Philadelphia is 10-1. Yes, Carson Wentz looks like an MVP. Yes, the Eagles are almost certainly the class of the NFC. But I don’t see them going 15-1, and if they are going to lose, this one looks like a good candidate for that loss. Russell Wilson and company will move the ball against the Philly D; I think they move it enough to pull out the home win. Stella took one look at Seattle’s depleted secondary and went with the Eagles on the road. She’s picking Alshon Jeffery and Jay Ajayi to have big games as Wentz takes Philadelphia to 11-1. Another potentially awesome game.

And there we have it. I’m making my push, but the clock is ticking. I’ve got a shot to make a real move this week if all goes according to plan.

Stella, as always, remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 30

WASHINGTON at Dallas

Sunday, Dec. 3

MINNESOTA at Atlanta

NEW ENGLAND at Buffalo

San Francisco at CHICAGO

Tampa Bay at GREEN BAY

Houston at TENNESSEE

DENVER at Miami

KANSAS CITY at NY Jets

Indianapolis at JACKSONVILLE

DETROIT at Baltimore

Cleveland at LA CHARGERS

NY Giants at OAKLAND

CAROLINA at New Orleans

LA RAMS at Arizona

Philadelphia at SEATTLE

Monday, Dec. 4

PITTSBURGH at Cincinnati

Week 12 record: 12-4

Season record: 109-67

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 30

Washington at DALLAS

Sunday, Dec. 3

Minnesota at ATLANTA

NEW ENGLAND at Buffalo

San Francisco at CHICAGO

TAMPA BAY at Green Bay

Houston at TENNESSEE

Denver at MIAMI

KANSAS CITY at NY Jets

Indianapolis at JACKSONVILLE

Detroit at BALTIMORE

Cleveland at LA CHARGERS

NY Giants at OAKLAND

Carolina at NEW ORLEANS

LA RAMS at Arizona

PHILADELPHIA at Seattle

Monday, Dec. 4

PITTSBURGH at Cincinnati

Week 12 record: 11-5

Season record: 114-62

Last modified on Friday, 01 December 2017 10:09

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