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Kibbles and Picks 2016 – Week 14

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It appears that Stella is done screwing around.

Apparently, she took umbrage at my having dared to outpick her last week. She made certain that it wouldn’t happen twice in a row, coming out on top in four of our six head-to-head matchups on her way to an 11-4 record. I managed a not-bad 9-6, but that two-game swing means that Stella is now on top by seven for the season.

It is not looking good for the man in this particular man-versus-beast showdown.

We differ on six games this week, so basically, even if I out do her on every one of them, I’m still going to be behind for the season. There’s something sad about that.

First up is the Thursday night game – a potential non-stinker for a change. I’ve got the Raiders winning this matchup with the Chiefs, even though the game is in Kansas City. I just really like the way Oakland has looked in recent weeks; they’ve got some stars on that roster. Stella thinks that the Chiefs will be looking to prove that they’re for real and will shut down the potent Raiders offense; their defense has been particularly sharp at Arrowhead this year.

I’m going with the road team again in the Pittsburgh/Buffalo tilt. I think the Steelers are just starting to fire on all cylinders as they’re making their playoff push. I’m thinking that we’ll see a big game out of receiver Antonio Brown. Stella likes the way the Bills have played as of late; she’s calling for a huge game from LeSean McCoy and an almost-as-huge performance from Tyrod Taylor. She thinks Buffalo will get enough stops to pull this one out at home.

It feels weird picking against last year’s NFC champions at home against an iffy Chargers squad, but that’s what I’m doing. The Panthers are in full-on free-fall right now; I don’t expect they’ll right the ship against San Diego. Stella thinks this game is just what the doctor ordered for a reeling Carolina team; she thinks that Cam Newton has a big-time bounceback game. You know, assuming he remembers to wear a tie on the team flight.

This next one is a “I need to pick outside the box to have any chance at catching Stella” pick. I’m going with the Texans for reasons that I can’t really explain. Stella thinks I’m a lunatic for this one and happily picked the Colts at home. One thing we both agree on – the AFC South is just the absolute worst.

I’m looking for the Jets to bounce back from their Monday night drubbing and take down the 49ers. Stella is taking San Francisco at home. Again, neither one of us feels great about our decision, but you’ve got to pick every game – even the ones that literally no one cares about.

And finally, I’m taking the Buccaneers to take a borderline must-win game at home against the Saints. Tampa Bay is surging, but they need this game to keep pace in the division race. Expect big numbers from Mike Evans. Stella acknowledges that the Saints are a very different team outside of New Orleans, but she thinks Drew Brees has something to prove after a substandard performance last week. She likes the Saints in a shootout.

There it is. If I get lucky, maybe I can gain back some of the ground that I’ve lost, but the reality is that I am once again resigned to hoping to keep Stella’s margin of victory in single digits.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Dec. 8

OAKLAND at Kansas City

Sunday, Dec. 11

PITTSBURGH at Buffalo

Denver at TENNESSEE

WASHINGTON at Philadelphia

ARIZONA at Miami

SAN DIEGO at Carolina

CINCINNATI at Cleveland

Chicago at DETROIT

HOUSTON at Indianapolis

MINNESOTA at Jacksonville

NY JETS at San Francisco

New Orleans at TAMPA BAY

ATLANTA at Los Angeles

SEATTLE at Green Bay

DALLAS at NY Giants

Monday, Dec. 12

Baltimore at NEW ENGLAND

Week 13 record: 9-6

Season record: 109-84-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Dec. 8

Oakland at KANSAS CITY

Sunday, Dec. 11

Pittsburgh at BUFFALO

Denver at TENNESSEE

WASHINGTON at Philadelphia

ARIZONA at Miami

San Diego at CAROLINA

CINCINNATI at Cleveland

Chicago at DETROIT

Houston at INDIANAPOLIS

MINNESOTA at Jacksonville

NY Jets at SAN FRANCISCO

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Bay

ATLANTA at Los Angeles

SEATTLE at Green Bay

DALLAS at NY Giants

Monday, Dec. 12

Baltimore at NEW ENGLAND

Week 13 record: 11-4

Season record: 116-74-2

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