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Kibbles and Picks 2020 - Week 11 Featured

November 19, 2020
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Well then. I needed that week in a big way.

I put together a stellar performance for Week 10, going 11-3. Stella, on the other hand, only managed a .500 record – 7-7. This means I was able to make a significant dent in her season lead. Of course, I’m still half-a-dozen back, so we’re not celebrating just yet. Plenty of time for Stella to put her little paw back on the gas and expand her lead back into the realm of the humiliating.

Once again, we’re at odds on eight contests. This means I could conceivably eliminate Stella’s entire lead, though the reality is that it seems VERY unlikely that she’s going to pull another .500 week anytime soon. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Right off the bat, in the Thursday night game, I’m picking the home Seahawks to triumph over the visiting Cardinals. While Seattle has struggles somewhat with consistency, both in the ground game and in on defense, the truth is that I find it difficult to pick against Russell Wilson here. Stella is a big believer in Kyler Murray, so she’s happy to go with Arizona here. She’s expecting a big performance from the young passer and doesn’t think the Seahawks defense will be able to stop him or all-world passcatcher DeAndre Hopkins. Plus, she likes the Cardinals D against this Seattle attack.

Next up, I’m going with the Eagles to win over the Browns, though if I’m honest, I can’t really tell you why. Call it a hunch combined with the need to find games where I can potentially gain ground. Truth be told, Philly’s a bit of a mess. Stella agrees, which is why she picked the Browns despite that team’s season-long struggles with consistency. She thinks this’ll be an up game for Baker Mayfield and a solid performance for the talented Cleveland rushing attack, though she acknowledges that she’s got a bit of a blind spot when it comes to the Browns because she likes their talent so much.

After that, I’ve got yet another road winner: Atlanta over New Orleans. I think the Saints are going to have a really tough time stopping the Falcons through the air – I expect Julio Jones to have a massive game, as will Calvin Ridley if he’s able to get back on the field. We won’t see much on the ground from Atlanta, but Matt Ryan will handle things well enough through the air. Ultimately, this is a pick that says the Saints can’t deal with the absence of Drew Brees. Stella disagrees; while she obviously recognizes that losing Brees is huge, she thinks that backup Jameis Winston will be able to largely pick up the slack. She expects a breakout game from wideout Michael Thomas and a typically excellent performance from Alvin Kamara. One thing we both agree on: this is going to be a shootout.

In this week’s “Who Cares?” matchup, I have the Washington Football Team beating Cincinnati. I picked the WFT because they’re the home team and I have Terry McLaurin on my fantasy team. Stella’ picked the Bengals because she likes Joe Burrow’s chances against this Washington defense. Neither of us are excited by or invested in this game – we’re just throwing stuff out there.

From there, it’s off to Carolina, where I have the Panthers beating the visiting Lions. It’s not a particularly exciting squad, and the absence of Christian McCaffery continues to be felt, but Teddy Bridgewater has this team believing they can win. Expect good things from Mike Davis in this one. Stella isn’t buying it and likes Detroit to win. She’s very high on rookie running back D’Andre Swift now that he’s been officially named the starter – she expects another big game from him both carrying the ball and catching it. It’ll come down to which team can better stop the opposing rushing attack.

Big surprise to everyone – I’m picking the Patriots to win in Houston. I must admit to riding high a bit following that New England upset of the Ravens last week. Sure, it was in a monsoon, but still – a W is a W. If Jacobi Meyers keeps developing and Cam Newton can pull off a couple of big plays, they should have little trouble with a Texans team in turmoil. Stella admits that she might have made this pick primarily to needle me a little – she’s not a huge fan of what’s going on in Houston, but she also thinks the Patriots are due for a bit of a letdown.

I’m not sure how comfortable I am with picking the Colts to beat the Packers, but here we are. There’s nothing flashy about Indianapolis, from QB Phillip Rivers on down the line. However, there’s a reason they’re 6-3. They’ve figured out how to score and are low-key very good at preventing other teams from scoring. Stella concedes the point, but also makes clear that the Packers are not just any team. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, Green Bay is always just a play away from the end zone – particularly when you factor in game-breaking talents like Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. She thinks the Colts get a comeuppance from this Packers squad.

Lastly, in the Monday night matchup, I’m picking the home Buccaneers to defeat the visiting Rams. I liked what I saw from the Tampa Bay offense last week, with Tom Brady finding ways to involve his receiving corps and Ronald Jones II getting it done on the ground. Throw in an opportunistic defense and there you have it – Bucs win. Stella believes that Brady and company will not be nearly as effective against Aaron Donald and the relentless Rams pass rush; L.A. has a pretty darned good secondary as well. While she’s not as enthusiastic about the Rams offense, she’s confident that they will find a way to score enough to take down the Buccaneers.

And there you have it. Eight contests. Here’s hoping that I can keep making progress – I don’t have to win again this year, but avoiding embarrassment would be nice. A good week here gets me that much closer to that goal. Stella, for her part, remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 19

Arizona at SEATTLE

Sunday, Nov. 22

PHILADELPHIA at Cleveland

ATLANTA at New Orleans

Cincinnati at WASHINGTON

Detroit at CAROLINA

PITTSBURGH at Jacksonville

Tennessee at BALTIMORE

NEW ENGLAND at Houston

MIAMI at Denver

NY Jets at LA CHARGERS

Green Bay at INDIANAPOLIS

Dallas at MINNESOTA

KANSAS CITY at Las Vegas

Monday, Nov. 23

LA Rams at TAMPA BAY

Week 10 record: 11-3

Season record: 90-56-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 19

ARIZONA at Seattle

Sunday, Nov. 22

Philadelphia at CLEVELAND

Atlanta at NEW ORLEANS

CINCINNATI at Washington

DETROIT at Carolina

PITTSBURGH at Jacksonville

Tennessee at BALTIMORE

New England at HOUSTON

MIAMI at Denver

NY Jets at LA CHARGERS

GREEN BAY at Indianapolis

Dallas at MINNESOTA

KANSAS CITY at Las Vegas

Monday, Nov. 23

LA RAMS at Tampa Bay

Week 10 record: 7-7

Season record: 96-50-1

Last modified on Thursday, 19 November 2020 07:21

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