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Kibbles and Picks 2015 Wild Card Round

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Allen and Stella Allen and Stella

So the regular season has come to a close. For those who have been following the epic man/beast battle for primacy of prognostication that is Kibbles and Picks on our website, you know that it has been a fairly long season for the man half (that would be me) of the equation.

My dog Stella has once again proven to be my better at picking the winners of NFL games for the second time in three years, in fact. She is adorably cutthroat, feeling no shame at metaphorically biting the hand that feeds her.

I did achieve one goal, however following a Week 17 in which I went 9-7 and Stella went 10-6, I only lost to her by nine games for the season. Kept it under double digits I'm calling that a win.

But now we're on to the playoffs, so we can reset the counter to 0-0 and hope that I put up a better showing.

Stella and I differ on three of the four contests that make up Wild Card Weekend; the only place we're in agreement is that Green Bay will go into Washington and pull out a road win.

As for the rest, I like the red-hot Chiefs to go into Houston and take down the Texans. Their defense has been phenomenal, while QB Alex Smith has gotten it done on the offensive side. I'm betting Kansas City wins this one handily. Stella isn't so sure she has a tendency to go with a 'best player on the field' mentality, and the truth is that the Texans might well have that advantage on both offense (wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins) and defense (defensive lineman J.J. Watt). That plus home field is enough to sway her to the Houston side of things.

In Saturday's second game, I've got Cincinnati handling the Steelers. While QB Andy Dalton's health remains questionable, the Bengals have plenty of offensive talent to keep things going. It has been a long time coming, but I think they get out of the first round this year. Stella, on the other hand, will believe it when she sees it; the Bengals have a history of laying eggs in the postseason and this Pittsburgh team is the one that no one wants to play. The Steelers might have some injury issues, but they also have Ben Roethlisberger; Stella figures they get this win on the road.

Finally, we have Seattle at Minnesota. I went with the Vikings here, but I'm not particularly enthusiastic about it. Adrian Peterson has looked good and this team has won a lot of games, but there's still a hint of smoke and mirrors about them. I'm betting they grind out a low-scoring win on their home turf. Meanwhile, Stella is high on the Seahawks. She loves the explosiveness the offense has displayed in the second half of the season; paired with the still-formidable Seattle defense, she thinks they win with ease over a largely outclassed Vikings squad.

So yes the regular season has ended and I have been defeated by a dog. But now we're in the playoffs. Now is my chance at redemption. Let's just hope that at least some of Stella's sorcery has worn off.

(winners in caps)

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