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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 11

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Another week, another tie.

Stella and I both handled our business to the tune of 9-5 – a good record, to be sure, but let’s be clear: 9-5 isn’t going to cut it. Not when I’m eight games back. I need to start making real gains soon if I’m going to have any chance of keeping this a contest.

I’ve got a shot to make up some ground this week – even with six teams on bye and just 13 games on the schedule, we’re at odds in just shy of half of them. A big week out of me could close the gap considerably.

First up, we have the Green Bay/Seattle matchup in the Thursday night game. I’m going with the Packers; I think running back Aaron Jones had a real breakthrough last week that will continue going forward and, lest we forget, Green Bay still has Aaron Rodgers under center. Seattle’s a tough place to play, but I think the Pack handles it. Stella likes what she’s seen out of Russell Wilson in recent weeks and is ready for another strong outing from Rashaad Penny on the ground. It’ll be a back and forth game, but Stella is firmly in the Seahawks camp.

After watching this Titans team steamroll the Patriots, I’m going to go ahead and pick them to win on the road against division rival Indianapolis. Marcus Mariota is finally looking like the guy everyone has hoped to see since he entered the league. If Corey Davis can stay hot and the running game can keep moving the ball, Tennessee will pull this off. Stella is ready to hop onto the Andrew Luck bandwagon; she’s really liked what she’s seen as far as the Colts O-line keeping the pressure off the QB. Indy has been rolling over the past few weeks – she’s calling for that roll to continue at the expense of the Titans.

I like the Buccaneers to beat the Giants, even if I’m not 100 percent certain who their quarterback will be. It’s a pick that doesn’t sit quite right – I can see myself regretting it – but if I’m picking to be contrary, there are worse odds out there than this. Stella agrees that it will be an ugly game, but she defers to the fact that the Giants feature guys like Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. Regardless of who wins, this game will almost certainly be sh---y.

Another roll of the dice on my part comes in the Cincinnati/Baltimore tilt. I don’t love the Bengals, but I figure that if Joe Mixon has a big game and Andy Dalton keeps the turnovers in check, Cincy could eke one out against a Ravens team that may be starting a rookie at QB. Stella, on the other hand, not only thinks that Baltimore’s D will handle the Bengals, but ALSO thinks that if Lamar Jackson starts, he'll have his way with Cincinnati. Again, I don’t feel great about my pick, but I have to start taking some big swings to catch up.

I like the Bears to win at home against the Vikings. That Chicago defense has been impressive all season; there’s no reason to think that train will stop rolling against Minnesota. And with Mitchell Trubisky looking for all the world like a dude who has finally figured it out, these Bears look ready to take on pretty much anyone. Stella likes the Bears D as well, but she also likes Minnesota coming off a bye to be ready to take it to Chicago. She’s expecting big games out of both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in the passing game if – and it’s a BIG if - the Vikings like can keep Kirk Cousins upright.

And finally, in a marquee Monday night game – one no longer taking place in Mexico City due to unsafe field conditions – I’m picking the Kansas City Chiefs to take down the Los Angeles Rams. I love Patrick Mahomes and Kareem Hunt (because they’re on my fantasy team) and Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill (because they’re awesome at football). They will score a TON. Of course, the Rams can score too. Stella likes Todd Gurley to run roughshod over the suspect Chiefs defense. She thinks LA will miss Cooper Kupp – lost for the season to an ACL injury – but that the offense will manage. She also thinks the Rams are a far superior defense to Kansas City. This game features a very high over/under number – 63 points – but Stella and I both think these teams will clear it with room to spare.

And there we have it – six games in Week 11. If a few things fall my way, I’ve got a shot at taking a good chunk out of her lead. If not, this might be the beginning of the end. Wish me well!

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, November 15

GREEN BAY at Seattle

Sunday, November 18

Dallas at ATLANTA

CAROLINA at Detroit

TENNESSEE at Indianapolis

TAMPA BAY at NY Giants

HOUSTON at Washington

PITTSBURGH at Jacksonville

CINCINNATI at Baltimore

Oakland at ARIZONA

Denver at LA CHARGERS

Philadelphia at NEW ORLEANS

Minnesota at CHICAGO

Monday, November 19

KANSAS CITY at LA Rams

Week 10 record: 9-5

Season record: 89-57-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, November 15

Green Bay at SEATTLE

Sunday, November 18

Dallas at ATLANTA

CAROLINA at Detroit

Tennessee at INDIANAPOLIS

Tampa Bay at NY GIANTS

HOUSTON at Washington

PITTSBURGH at Jacksonville

Cincinnati at BALTIMORE

Oakland at ARIZONA

Denver at LA CHARGERS

Philadelphia at NEW ORLEANS

MINNESOTA at Chicago

Monday, November 19

Kansas City at LA RAMS

Week 10 record: 9-5

Season record: 97-49-2

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