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Kibbles and Picks 2020 – Divisional Round

January 7, 2020
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Well then. That didn’t go well for anybody, now did it?

Despite our shared regular season excellence, Stella and I both managed to lay a pretty significant egg during the Wild Card round. Of the four games I picked, I got exactly one right – Seattle over Philly. Of course, Stella also got exactly one right – Houston over Buffalo. The two predictions we shared – New England over Tennessee and New Orleans over Minnesota – were both sadly, heartbreakingly wrong.

We’re at odds in two of the four again this round. We’ll start with our shared winners. We both like Baltimore to easily dispatch Tennessee; Lamar Jackson and company have had plenty of time to rest and heal, so there’s little reason to doubt that we’ll see some offensive fireworks from the Ravens. The Titans are Derrick Henry and not much else; they won’t be able to run him 35 times against Baltimore (though Jackson’s quick-strike capability might give them a chance to pound the ball). It stung to watch the Titans take down the Patriots, but while that was an impressive win for Tennessee, it will also likely be the last win in this postseason run.

We also agree that Kansas City will have no problem dispatching the Texans on Sunday. The Chiefs offense remains impressive with Patrick Mahomes under center and a wealth of legitimately talented skill position players. Kansas City will put up points, while their defense has sneakily been one of the league’s better units over the past six weeks or so. Now, any team with Deshaun Watson under center has at least a puncher’s chance in any matchup, but in this particular case, that chance will be a slim one. We’re expecting this game to be the biggest blowout of any matchup this weekend; don’t be surprised to see a two- or three-score margin when it’s all said and done.

I’ve gone with Minnesota on the road against San Francisco. I could come up with some sort of analysis talking about how good Kirk Cousins has been over the past few weeks and how the Minnesota pass catchers are peaking at the right time, or I could just tell the truth – I went with the Vikings because Stella wanted San Francisco and I wanted to make a move. Stella picked the 49ers; she likes what she’s seen so far and thinks that that defense will go a long way toward shutting down Minnesota. She figures the Niners run game will make up for any shortcomings of QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

In our other opposing game, I’m picking the Packers to win at home against Seattle. I know that the advanced metrics don’t love Green Bay and that a lot of their success this year can be chalked up to luck. But the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, and while he might be a little older these days, he’s still one hell of a QB. They also have the explosive Aaron Jones and Davante Adams and a better-than-advertised defense. Meanwhile, Stella’s gone with the Seahawks; she’s got a hunch about Seattle in this one, counting on them to continue their odd tendency to be a much more successful team on the road. She’s confident in what Russell Wilson brings to the table and expects a big play or two from D.K. Metcalf.

And that’s that – after a pair of identical garbage 1-3 records, Stella and I are hoping to have slightly better weeks this weekend. We’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out; it seems that the postseason makes even less sense than the regular season.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Saturday, Jan. 11

MINNESOTA at San Francisco

Tennessee at BALTIMORE

Sunday, Jan. 12

Houston at KANSAS CITY

Seattle ay GREEN BAY

Wild Card Record: 1-3

Postseason record: 1-3

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STELLA’S PICKS

Saturday, Jan. 11

Minnesota at SAN FRANCISCO

Tennessee at BALTIMORE

Sunday, Jan. 12

Houston at KANSAS CITY

SEATTLE at Green Bay

Wild Card Record: 1-3

Postseason record: 1-3

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 January 2020 07:52

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