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Kibbles and Picks 2022 – Week 9

November 3, 2022
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And just like that – it’s all tied up.

Thanks to a solid performance by me and a so-so one from Stella, we enter the midway(ish) point of the season in a dead heat. It’s a brand-new start for both of us as we head toward the season’s back half, where things are only going to get more unpredictable as teams begin to make their respective playoff pushes.

Despite the bye weeks leaving us with just 13 contests this week, Stella and I still managed to find our share of disagreement. Indeed, we’re at odds on nearly half of Week 9’s games – six in all – and we’ve both made some interesting choices to get there.

For the first time in ages, we’re in agreement on the Thursday night game – expect the Eagles to walk all over the Texans in Houston – so our first matchup of the week is Chargers/Atlanta. I like the Chargers here, coming off a bye week that gave some of their flagging skill position players a chance to rest up. I expect that the Falcons are going to have a tough time slowing down Austin Ekeler, who should have a big game both on the ground and through the air. Toss in a faltering Atlanta D and I like the Chargers here. Stella’s not at all sold on the Chargers, though she does believe them to be the more talented of the two teams. She’s got a hunch about the Falcons, however – she’s betting that Marcus Mariota finds a way to pull out a win that Atlanta probably doesn’t really deserve and that the Falcons secondary will pull off a turnover or two against Chargers QB Justin Herbert.

From there, we head to Detroit, where I am somewhat inexplicably picking the Lions over the visiting Packers. Look, I recognize that Detroit is a bit of a mess. Their defense is bad and their offense has been depowered somewhat by the departure of T.J. Hockenson. Still, D’Andre Swift is still here. And Green Bay has been reeling in the past few weeks; they don’t seem to have much of an answer on offense beyond Aaron Jones. Stella acknowledges all of this but still thinks I’m nuts for picking Detroit. If ever there was a defense that would help Aaron Rodgers get off the schneid, it’s this one – they can’t stop anyone, let alone a diminished-but-still-talented all-timer of a QB. This might be the most confident Stella has been in a pick in a month or more.

Next, we take a look at Minnesota/Washington. I’ve tapped the visiting Vikings as the winners here, mostly because I like the look of their skill position guys WAY more than what the Commanders bring to the table. Sure, there have been some struggles, but dudes like Dalvin Cook are big-play threats every time they touch the ball. Washington doesn’t really have an equivalent. Stella’s rolling the dice a bit with this one; it’s less a pick of the ‘Ders and more a pick against the Vikes. She’s counting on Kirk Cousins having one of his classic Kirk Cousins games when he manages to hand a victory to a lesser opponent; Stella predicts multiple turnovers for Kirk in this one.

In the Las Vegas/Jacksonville tilt, I’m going with the Jags at home. Now, this isn’t what you’d call a good team, per se, but it is a frisky one. And with the Raiders defense looking a touch questionable in recent weeks, it’s a chance for Trevor Lawrence to show why he was the number one pick a couple of years ago. Plus, Vegas can’t seem to get out of their own way on the offensive side of the ball. Stella’s anticipating a pretty serious bounceback from the Raiders. Specifically, she expects that Josh Jacobs will get back on track running the ball and that Davante Adams will probably have a much better showing than his execrable Week 8. She’s not a fan of the Vegas defense, but she’s confident that QB Derek Carr and company will put up enough points for it not to matter.

In a game that sure looked a lot more interesting when the season started, I’ve got the Seahawks heading into Arizona and beating the Cardinals. Why? I don’t really know – I like what Geno Smith has done with the opportunity he’s gotten in Seattle. Ditto Kenneth Walker III. Is that enough? Who can say? Stella just can’t quit Kyler Murray, even as much as he and the Arizona offense have struggled with consistency. But with DeAndre Hopkins getting more comfortable with each passing week and guys like Rondale Moore looking to break out and, of course, the aforementioned Kyler Murray, Stella feels like this group should be able to put it together and hang a big number on this Seahawks squad.

Lastly, I’ve got the Rams going into Tampa Bay and knocking off the reeling Buccaneers. The Rams have been up-and-down all season and they certainly have their holes – their run game is abominable, for instance – but there are still some serious pass catchers and pass rushers getting after it for L.A. And with the slowly withering husk of Tom Brady stubbornly staying under center in Tampa Bay, I like the Rams to get it done. Stella recognizes that perhaps Brady should have been a bit more conciliatory to whatever sinister force was causing the portrait in his attic to get worse at football. She also concedes that stuff in his personal life isn’t great at the moment. However, he’s still Tom Brady. And this Bucs team still has some pretty impressive firepower at receiver. She’s not sure they’ll get it done, but she’s not yet at the point where she feels comfortable picking against Brady here.

And there we have it. Half the season gone and we’re basically starting over. Here’s hoping the back half of the season is even more successful than the front end. Stella remains confident that, when all is said and done, she will once again put me in my place.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, November 3

PHILADELPHIA at Houston

Sunday, November 6

LA CHARGERS at Atlanta

MIAMI at Chicago

Carolina at CINCINNATI

Green Bay at DETROIT

Indianapolis at NEW ENGLAND

BUFFALO at NY Jets

MINNESOTA at Washington

Las Vegas at JACKSONVILLE

SEATTLE at Arizona

LA RAMS at Tampa Bay

Tennessee at KANSAS CITY

Monday, November 7

BALTIMORE at New Orleans

Week 8 record: 10-5

Season record: 70-52-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, November 3

PHILADELPHIA at Houston

Sunday, November 6

LA Chargers at ATLANTA

MIAMI at Chicago

Carolina at CINCINNATI

GREEN BAY at Detroit

Indianapolis at NEW ENGLAND

BUFFALO at NY Jets

Minnesota at WASHINGTON

LAS VEGAS at Jacksonville

Seattle at ARIZONA

LA Rams at TAMPA BAY

Tennessee at KANSAS CITY

Monday, November 7

BALTIMORE at New Orleans

Week 8 record: 8-7

Season record: 70-52-1

Last modified on Thursday, 10 November 2022 14:56

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