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Kibbles and Picks 2017 - Week 17

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Not going to lie to you folks – it’s not looking good.

I had a pretty solid showing in Week 16, going 11-5 with my picks. Alas, it wasn’t enough to make up any ground on Stella. In fact, thanks to her own 12-4 record, she actually added to her lead. She’s got a solid cushion of five games with just one week of picks left to go.

However … there’s still a chance.

Stella and I are at odds on eight games this week. Fully half the schedule is in play here on the season’s final Sunday. So the possibility of a furious, nigh-historic comeback is still real. Not likely, mind you – even taking six of eight games won’t cut it.

And so, for the final time in the 2017 regular season, here is Kibbles and Picks.

First up, we’re looking at the Green Bay/Detroit tilt. Despite my better judgment, I’m going with Green Bay here – mostly because we’re in Hail Mary territory and I need to take a whole lot of gambles. Meanwhile, Stella took the Lions. It was an easy pick for her; she thinks Matthew Stafford will have no problems with the Packers defense and that Detroit is going to be playing hard looking toward postseason possibilities. She’s almost certainly right.

I’ve got Houston heading into Indianapolis and taking out the Colts. This one, I feel a little bit better about – the Texans aren’t a good team right now by any stretch, but they’ve at least shown a few flashes. There’s nothing about Indy that flashes, but Stella still likes them to win on their home turf. In a matchup of two teams playing out the string, she’s happy to take the home team.

In another game that I don’t feel good about at all, I’ve taken the Giants to win at home against Washington. The New York Giants are a bad football team. Like, a BAD team. Picking them to win anything at this point feels dirty and wrong. But again – I have to take shots. Stella, meanwhile, thinks that Washington will have no problem taking out the demoralized and rudderless Giants. She’s expecting Kirk Cousins to have a field day.

After that, I’m picking the Cowboys to pull out a win on the road against a suddenly-vulnerable Philadelphia squad. It doesn’t feel great, but there’s a good chance that Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott will go down swinging. And with the Eagles looking shaky, it’s as good a call as any. Stella’s still feeling Philly, though. She doesn’t love what she’s seen from Nick Foles under center, but she thinks if the Eagles D can hold up, he’ll be able to do enough to win.

In a marquee game with legitimate and direct playoff implications, I’ve got Carolina going into Atlanta and taking out the Falcons. The Panthers look poised to make a real move on Atlanta; Cam Newton is ready to get it done. The Falcons have struggled as of late, and there’s little reason to think that stops here. Stella disagrees – she thinks that Matt Ryan is primed to manage this game along with the stout Atlanta running attack. She’s counting on Julio Jones to break loose a couple of times as well.

It’s weird to pick the Titans against the Jaguars, because I think Jacksonville is a good team and Tennessee is a bad one. However, the Titans are in contention for a playoff spot and the Jags don’t really have a ton to play for, so Marcus Mariota and company might sneak one by the vaunted Jacksonville defense. Stella thinks Jacksonville will want to send a message after last week’s less-than-stellar showing against the 49ers. She’s not expecting much from Blake Bortles, but she’s looking for a handful of big plays from the D.

Speaking of the 49ers, I’ve got the Rams beating them in their matchup. It’s a home game for Los Angeles, and while the guy most responsible for the Rams’ explosive offense – running back Todd Gurley – is reportedly sitting (as is QB Jared Goff), there’s still a lot of talent on that team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Stella not only thinks that San Francisco wins this game, she thinks they’d have a real shot even if the Rams played everybody – she’s really liked what she’s seen out of Jimmy Garoppolo as he’s led the Niners to a four-game win streak. Her guess is that this one makes five.

Finally, I’m going with the still-kinda-in-it Bills to beat the Dolphins in Miami. They’re going to feed the ball to LeSean McCoy and control the clock; they don’t think the Miami passing game can beat them. Stella’s no fan of the Dolphins, but she thinks the Bills are cooked. She’s calling for a dull, low-scoring affair – one that Miami can win on their home turf.

And with that, we’ve made our final regular season picks for the year. Barring a miracle comeback on my part, Stella will have once again defeated me. Still – stranger things have happened. There’s still a chance.

As always, Stella remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Sunday, December 31

GREEN BAY at Detroit

HOUSTON at Indianapolis

Chicago at MINNESOTA

NY Jets at NEW ENGLAND

Washington at NY GIANTS

DALLAS at Philadelphia

Cleveland at PITTSBURGH

Carolina at ATLANTA

KANSAS CITY at Denver

Jacksonville at TENNESSEE

San Francisco at LA RAMS

BUFFALO at Miami

Oakland at LA CHARGERS

Arizona at SEATTLE

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Bay

Cincinnati at BALTIMORE

Week 16 record: 11-5

Season record: 153-87

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STELLA’S PICKS

Sunday, December 31

Green Bay at DETROIT

Houston at INDIANAPOLIS

Chicago at MINNESOTA

NY Jets at NEW ENGLAND

WASHINGTON at NY Giants

Dallas at PHILADELPHIA

Cleveland at PITTSBURGH

CAROLINA at Atlanta

KANSAS CITY at Denver

JACKSONVILLE at Tennessee

SAN FRANCISCO at LA Rams

Buffalo at MIAMI

Oakland at LA CHARGERS

Arizona at SEATTLE

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Bay

Cincinnati at BALTIMORE

Week 16 record: 12-4

Season record: 158-82

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