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Kibbles and Picks 2017 - Week 8

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Much better.

After a stretch of mediocrity, Stella and I both stepped up our games significantly for Week 7. Unfortunately for me, my strong 10-5 showing wasn’t strong enough; Stella went 11-4 and extended her season lead by another game. 

(Note: the strength of my week was undercut a bit by the fact that I was on the wrong end of BOTH of the week’s shutouts – thanks for nothing, Arizona and Indy.)

But there’s always another week. And there’s a chance to make a move – despite the fact that there are just 13 games on the slate, Stella and I still managed to differ on seven. More than half - who knows what could happen? 

We'll start in the Thursday game, where I'm picking Miami to go into Baltimore and take down the scuffling Ravens. While I'm no Dolphins believer, Baltimore looks to be in free-fall behind the struggling not-elite Joe Flacco. Stella, on the other hand, is no Ravens truther, but also thinks that their run game has the potential to make things tough on Miami's defense. Either way, neither of these teams are very good, nor do either of us feel confident in our picks.

I’m picking the Bills to win at home in Buffalo against the Raiders. LeSean McCoy is the most potent offensive weapon on either team; I expect him to have little trouble against a struggling Oakland defensive front. Stella thinks the Raiders will be riding high over their last-minute heroics against the Chiefs last week and that Amari Cooper’s breakout is not a fluke. She expects Derek Carr and company to score early and often.

I’m going with the road team in the next one, picking the Falcons to take out the Jets. While Atlanta has definitely struggled in recent weeks, it’s just a matter of time before they right the ship. If the Falcons feed the ball to their talented running backs – and if Matt Ryan can get going – they’ll have no problems. Stella thinks it won’t be that easy, picking the Jets to hold their own on their home turf. She admits that this is an instinct pick, but hey – she’s a dog. Dogs have GREAT instincts.

I like the Buccaneers to win at home against the Carolina Panthers. It’s not that I love the Bucs – they’ve got plenty of issues, though Doug Martin has looked good and Jameis Winston looks like he’s healing – so much as that I don’t trust the Panthers. Stella has no such issue. Nor is she concerned about Cam Newton’s recent petulance; she thinks it’s a sign that the QB is going to have one of his patented go-eff-yourself performances and torch Tampa Bay big.

I’m a little leery of this next one, but I’m picking the Texans to win on the road against Seattle. Yes, I know that the vaunted Houston defense is a bit less vaunted these days and that Deshaun Watson is a rookie. I still think they’ve got enough going on to handle the Seahawks. Stella thinks I’m nuts; while she agrees that the Seahawks offense will have its struggles against even a less-than-optimal Texans D, she thinks Seattle’s own defense will give the Houston offense fits all night and make Watson look like the rookie that he is.

In a game featuring two teams that I wish were bad but that are actually pretty good, I picked Washington to win at home against the Cowboys. I've got Washington handling their business; I think Kirk Cousins will benefit from the continued rejuvenation of tight end Jordan Reed and the potential home-run hitters in the backfield. It’ll be a shootout where Washington comes out on top. Stella disagrees; while she concedes Dallas has had some consistency concerns, she feels good about how great they looked last week. Sure, it was against the 49ers, but still. They’ll pound it on the ground and control the pace and take the W. 

I’ve got the Steelers going into Detroit on Sunday night and taking out the Lions. While Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the quarterback he once was, the Pittsburgh defense has looked very good and Le’Veon Bell just keeps getting better. Some off-field weirdness for them, but not enough to keep them from managing a victory. Stella agrees with all of my takes except for the one where Pittsburgh wins. She thinks that Matthew Stafford will be slinging it all over the yard, and while he might get burned occasionally, she likes him to succeed more often than he fails. And she thinks the Lions defense is sneaky good and might snag a few turnovers of their own. She’s feeling Detroit.

And there we have it. I like my chances to make up some ground this week, but ultimately, who the hell knows?

Stella remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 26

MIAMI at Baltimore

Sunday, Oct. 29

MINNESOTA at Cleveland

Oakland at BUFFALO

Indianapolis at CINCINNATI

LA Chargers at NEW ENGLAND

Chicago at NEW ORLEANS

ATLANTA at NY Jets

San Francisco at PHILADELPHIA

Carolina at TAMPA BAY

HOUSTON at Seattle

Dallas at WASHINGTON

PITTSBURGH at Detroit

Monday, Oct. 30

Denver at KANSAS CITY

Week 7 record: 10-5

Season record: 61-45

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 26

Miami at BALTIMORE

Sunday, Oct. 29

MINNESOTA at Cleveland

OAKLAND at Buffalo

Indianapolis at CINCINNATI

LA Chargers at NEW ENGLAND

Chicago at NEW ORLEANS

Atlanta at NY JETS

San Francisco at PHILADELPHIA

CAROLINA at Tampa Bay

Houston at SEATTLE

DALLAS at Washington

Pittsburgh at DETROIT

Monday, Oct. 30

Denver at KANSAS CITY

Week 7 record: 11-4

Season record: 63-43

Last modified on Thursday, 02 November 2017 13:37

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