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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 12

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Yeah … I’m definitely in trouble.

See, while Stella didn’t have a spectacular week, going 8-5, I managed to fail spectacularly to the tune of 4-9. That’s four more games added to Stella’s lead, putting it up into double-digit territory – 12, to be exact.

What this means is that I am going to need some miraculous moves to get back into this thing. Granted, there are six weeks left counting this one; if I can pick up two games each time, I’ll finish in a tie. Of course, we all know how unlikely that is – I think I’ve pulled that feat off exactly once all season so far – but hey, at least there’s a chance.

We’re at odds in six of the 15 games on the Week 12 slate. It’s not an ideal situation, but I’ve made a couple of dice rolls and Stella has made some unorthodox picks, so who knows how it will play out?

We’re in agreement on all three Thanksgiving games, so our first head-to-head comes with the Jacksonville/Buffalo tilt. While anyone with eyes can tell that the Jaguars offense is in real trouble, there’s still plenty of juice on the defense – certainly enough to hold off the anemic Bills. If they can move the ball with Leonard Fournette, the Jags should win a low-scoring affair. In an unexpected pick, Stella is going with Buffalo. She’s not at all enthusiastic about the Bills, but she thinks that the Jaguars have basically given up – she’s counting on a couple of bad turnovers courtesy of Blake Bortles and a lucky break or two against that defense. We both think it’s going to be an ugly 10-7 sort of game.

In the Battle of Ohio, I’m picking the Browns to go into Cincinnati and beat the Bengals. I like what I’ve been seeing out of Cleveland in recent weeks. They’re coming off the bye, so they’re rested and prepped. Guys like Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb will pace the offense; there’s legit talent on defense as well. Stella’s going with the Bengals in this one – she thinks Andy Dalton is due for one of those inexplicable games where he goes off for three TDs. She still likes the Cincy D-line. Oh, and she’s pretty sure that fired Browns coach/newly-hired Bengals advisor Hue Jackson might have some insight (and a little saltiness).

I’m picking Tampa Bay to win at home against San Francisco. While the QB carousel has continued – pretty sure that Jameis Winston is the starter now, but who the hell knows? – there’s no disputing that this team puts up points. And while the 49ers have looked OK with young Nick Mullens under center, it’s tough to count on this offense on the road. Stella took one look at the frankly terrible Buccaneers defense and took the road team; she likes Matt Breida to rip off chunks of yardage on the ground, opening things up for Mullens to take advantage of the Tampa Bay secondary. Neither team can really stop anybody, so expect a high score one way or the other.

In one of my dice rolls, I’ve got Seattle going into Carolina and beating the Panthers. I do not feel particularly confident about the pick, but to have any chance of catching up, I have to gamble. Russell Wilson is certainly capable of having the type of game needed to beat Carolina, but will he? Here’s hoping. Stella feels confident that Cam Newton will have his way with the depleted Seahawks defense; she also thinks that Christian McCaffery has quietly been a top-five back this season. And the Panthers D far outstrips the once-vaunted Seattle crew. Again, I need some lucky bounces for this one, but it’s a risk worth taking.

One of the marquee games of the week is Green Bay/Minnesota. I’m picking the Vikings to win at home. Sure, Kirk Cousins has had his issues over the course of the season, but when you’re throwing to a duo like Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, you’re certainly set up well for potential success. I think they’re better equipped on the defensive side of the ball as well. Stella is going with Green Bay for one reason – Aaron Rodgers. She thinks the QB owns real estate in the collective heads of the Vikings roster. The great work of Davante Adams and the burgeoning stardom of Aaron Jones is just an added bonus; she thinks this is a no-brainer.

Finally, on Monday night, I’m taking another probably ill-advised leap by picking Tennessee to beat the Texans in Houston. Basically, I need the good Marcus Mariota to show up. Big games from guys like Dion Lewis and Corey Davis are key as well. I don’t feel great about the pick, but again – I have to take some shots. Stella thinks this is easily my dumbest pick this week – she feels like the Texans are better than the Titans almost across the board. She likes Deshaun Watson more than Mariota. Deandre Hopkins basically laps Corey Davis. The defense – particularly the front seven – is WAY better. She’s pretty sure that if Houston musters any kind of ground game, this will be a blowout.

And that’s that. Again. Cross your fingers for me, because it’s starting to get ugly.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, November 22

CHICAGO at Detroit

Washington at DALLAS

Atlanta at NEW ORLEANS

Sunday, November 25

JACKSONVILLE at Buffalo

CLEVELAND at Cincinnati

NEW ENGLAND at NY Jets

NY Giants at PHILADELPHIA

San Francisco at TAMPA BAY

SEATTLE at Carolina

Oakland at BALTIMORE

Arizona at LA CHARGERS

PITTSBURGH at Denver

Miami at INDIANAPOLIS

Green Bay at MINNESOTA

Monday, November 26

TENNESSEE at Houston

Week 11 record: 4-9

Season record: 93-66-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, November 22

CHICAGO at Detroit

Washington at DALLAS

Atlanta at NEW ORLEANS

Sunday, November 25

Jacksonville at BUFFALO

Cleveland at CINCINNATI

NEW ENGLAND at NY Jets

NY Giants at PHILADELPHIA

SAN FRANCISCO at Tampa Bay

Seattle at CAROLINA

Oakland at BALTIMORE

Arizona at LA CHARGERS

PITTSBURGH at Denver

Miami at INDIANAPOLIS

GREEN BAY at Minnesota

Monday, November 26

Tennessee at HOUSTON

Week 11 record: 8-5

Season record: 105-54-2

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