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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 8

October 24, 2018
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I suppose I should be grateful. After the drubbing I took in Week 6, getting beaten by just one game last week doesn’t seem so bad.

Of course, it means that Stella’s lead is now five games. It’s typical really – she lets be hang around for the first few weeks, then drops a monster week on me to establish a solid lead. From there, she just slowly (and adorably) grinds me into the dirt.

But hey – I’ve got a shot to get some back this week. We’re at odds on over half the slate; eight of the 14 games are in dispute. There’s potential for me to make a big move. There’s also potential for the hole I’m in to get MUCH bigger. We’ll have to see how it goes.

First up is this week’s London game. I’m picking the Eagles – I think they’re going to bounce back from their unfortunate collapse against the Panthers and put forward a strong effort against the reeling Jaguars. Jacksonville’s defense has fallen off and the offense never really fell … on … so I have to think Philly handles them. Stella is going with the Jags, the de facto home team for London (they’ve played there a ton). Sure, Blake Bortles is terrible – she recognizes that – but she thinks the Jags defense is too good to keep struggling. She anticipates a slow-moving, low-scoring affair that turns on a couple of big-moment turnovers pulled off by Jacksonville.

I’ve got Cincinnati beating Tampa Bay. I like the Bengals to win at home, although they have been pretty inconsistent thus far. Still, Andy Dalton will probably look good against the questionable Buccaneers defense. Stella likes Tampa Bay to pull off the road upset; she’s no big fan of the Bucs, but she thinks that they’ve got the right pieces to cause some matchup issues with the Bengals.

In the Seattle/Detroit matchup, I’m picking the Lions to win at home. They haven’t looked great, but they’ve done enough to win some games. And with young Kerryon Johnson, they actually have a running back to help counterbalance the pass-happiness of the Matthew Stafford-led offensive attack. Stella’s not a huge proponent of the Seahawks, but she also thinks that the Lions are due to stumble. And even when he’s struggling, QB Russell Wilson is always a danger to pull some magic out of a hat. She knows counting on Seattle to play up against the run is a gamble, but she’s willing to take it.

I’ve got the Giants winning at home against Washington, which feels weird and wrong. Honestly, while there’s some brilliant skill position talent in Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning has looked washed for some time now. There’s no reason to pick the Giants other than the fact that I don’t like picking Washington. Stella has no such reservations and scoffs at me for my convoluted reasoning. She has no doubt that Alex Smith and company will move the ball with impunity against a not-good Giants defense and that the Washington D will prevail against an offense that leans too heavily on limited talent.

Picking the Ravens on the road feels a little risky – particularly against a Panthers squad that should be riding high after a big comeback win – but it’s tough to dispute how effective Baltimore has been in recent weeks. Their defense is playing tremendously; there’s a good chance that they’ll manage a game-changing turnover or two. Stella acknowledges the Ravens D, but she doesn’t think they’ve got an answer for Cam Newton. She expects the Panthers QB to have a breakout game, likely in tandem with a big performance from Christian McCaffery. Defensively, they should be able to handle Baltimore so long as they limit big play opportunities. This one will be close.

In a pair of garbage games that no one should watch, Stella and I basically just flipped coins. In the Indianapolis/Oakland game, she took the Colts and I took the Raiders. In 49ers/Cardinals, I took Arizona and she took San Francisco. But yeah – it’s all terrible. We have no idea and neither do you. Some bad football here.

Finally, in a game that should be a lot of fun to watch, I’m taking the Saints to beat the Vikings in Minnesota. It’s tough to pick against the New Orleans offense right now; they’re humming. Watching Drew Brees throwing the ball all over the place is a delight; Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are as good a running back tandem as any in the league. Stella also likes the Saints offense, but she also thinks that the Vikings defense could potentially slow them down a little. And if they can impede New Orleans just a bit, their own offense – featuring a dynamic duo of its own in receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs – will put up the points necessary to pull out the win. One thing we both agree on – this one is going to be a shootout.

And that’s that for Week 8. Eight games in Week 8 – I love the symmetry of it. Here’s hoping the results are as appealing as the aesthetics. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 25

Miami at HOUSTON

Sunday, Oct. 28

PHILADELPHIA at Jacksonville

NY Jets at CHICAGO

Tampa Bay at CINCINNATI

Seattle at DETROIT

Denver at KANSAS CITY

Washington at NY GIANTS

Cleveland at PITTSBURGH

BALTIMORE at Carolina

Indianapolis at OAKLAND

Green Bay at LA RAMS

San Francisco at ARIZONA

NEW ORLEANS at Minnesota

Monday, Oct. 29

NEW ENGLAND at Buffalo

Week 7 record: 9-5

Season record: 63-42-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 25

Miami at HOUSTON

Sunday, Oct. 28

Philadelphia at JACKSONVILLE

NY Jets at CHICAGO

TAMPA BAY at Cincinnati

SEATTLE at Detroit

Denver at KANSAS CITY

WASHINGTON at NY Giants

Cleveland at PITTSBURGH

Baltimore at CAROLINA

INDIANAPOLIS at Oakland

Green Bay at LA RAMS

SAN FRANCISCO at Arizona

New Orleans at MINNESOTA

Monday, Oct. 29

NEW ENGLAND at Buffalo

Week 7 record: 10-4

Season record: 68-37-2

 

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