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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 14 Featured

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I’m running out of time.

After a spectacular performance in Week 12, I put up another solid number for Week 13, going 10-6. Unfortunately for my chances, so did Stella. This means that with just four weeks to go, her lead remains at 10.

And so … time to go big.

Stella and I are at odds on fully half the Week 14 slate. Eight games. It’s room enough for one of us to make a big move. Granted, I took some risks here – I had to if I was going to have any shot at catching up (or, perhaps more achievably, at least keep it close).

It all starts with the Thursday night game. I’ve got the Jaguars, fresh off a shutout of the Colts, going into Tennessee and beating the Titans. This is one of those games that I don’t feel great about, but chances must be taken. Stella thinks that the Titans will be ready for whatever the Jags bring to the table and will come out on top in what promises to be a low-scoring affair. On that, we both agree – it’s going to be a dull slog of a game.

Speaking of dull, the Jets are going to Buffalo to take on the Bills. I went with the Jets because Stella went with the Bills. Stella went with the Bills because they’re at home. Neither one of us knows what to expect from this tire fire of a matchup. Nor do we care.

In what might prove to be a surprisingly feisty game, the Giants are visiting Washington. I’ve got the Giants winning because the offense has shown flashes of life behind the play of probably ROY Saquon Barkley and the enigmatic Odell Beckham Jr. Granted, it’s still Eli Manning under center, so who knows, but I like my chances. Stella thinks that Washington, despite their bordering-on-ludicrous QB injury issues (Mark Sanchez? Really?), will come up with enough to win. This feels like a stretch for Stella – I feel like she’s flexing on me a little with this one.

I’ve got Houston winning at home against the Colts. I’ve given up picking against the Texans – they just keep winning. Deshaun Watson is the real deal and that defense is playing hard. They’ve got all the pieces in place. Stella, in a bit of a gamble, is going with the visiting Colts. She believes strongly that Andrew Luck and company will bounce back big time following their humiliation by the Jaguars. It’s also a game that has legitimate postseason implications – for Indy to have a shot at the postseason, they really need this win. Expect a hard-fought effort from both sides.

As far as the Denver/San Francisco tilt, I went with the Broncos to win on the road. It’s not that I think the Broncos are all that good – I don’t – but the 49ers just haven’t been able to put it together this year. In another strange decision, Stella has gone with San Francisco. She thinks that Denver is due to really stumble. In her defense, the Niners haven’t been bad at home. Still, this one is a mystery.

In one of the week’s marquee matchups, I’m picking Dallas to win at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas looks to be picking up steam – they’ve won four in a row – and are poised to make a real move to run away with the NFC East. Amari Cooper has been everything the Cowboys could have dreamed, while linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has anchored the defense. Oh, and Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott are here too. Stella likes the Cowboys, but she thinks this Philly squad has one last big push in them. The Eagles have struggled with the Super Bowl hangover, but they appear to be righting the ship. She thinks the defense is going to step up and that the Carson Wentz-led offense is due for a breakout.

Meanwhile, in a game that no one with any sense cares about, I’ve got the Cardinals winning at home against the Lions. Stella’s going with Detroit. There’s nothing about this game that holds any interest for either one of us. We’re just throwing darts here.

Finally, I’ve got Minnesota going into Seattle and winning on Monday night. The Vikings have been inconsistent, but they’ve got a real shot to put themselves in the driver’s seat with regards to the playoffs with a win here. Kirk Cousins needs to protect the ball and deliver it to his many weapons; if he does that, Minnesota can pull off the road win. Stella is ready for Russell Wilson to lead the Seahawks to a big win over Minnesota. She really likes what she’s seen from him in recent weeks; she also likes how hard the defense is playing. Seattle’s got a huge home-field advantage and a not-insignificant chip on their shoulder – that’s a one-two punch that Stella digs.

Eight games. I could erase most of Stella’s lead. She could put the whole thing completely out of reach. Or there’s a little movement one way or the other and we continue the slow march to my inevitable defeat. Yeah – probably that last one.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, December 6

JACKSONVILLE at Tennessee

Sunday, December 9

NY JETS at Buffalo

CAROLINA at Cleveland

ATLANTA at Green Bay

Baltimore at KANSAS CITY

NEW ENGLAND at Miami

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Bay

NY GIANTS at Washington

Indianapolis at HOUSTON

Cincinnati at LA CHARGERS

DENVER at San Francisco

Philadelphia at DALLAS

PITTSBURGH at Oakland

Detroit at ARIZONA

LA RAMS at Chicago

Monday, December 10

MINNESOTA at Seattle

Week 13 record: 10-6

Season record: 115-75-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, December 6

Jacksonville at TENNESSEE

Sunday, December 9

NY Jets at BUFFALO

CAROLINA at Cleveland

ATLANTA at Green Bay

Baltimore at KANSAS CITY

NEW ENGLAND at Miami

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Bay

NY Giants at WASHINGTON

INDIANAPOLIS at Houston

Cincinnati at LA CHARGERS

Denver at SAN FRANCISCO

PHILADELPHIA at Dallas

PITTSBURGH at Oakland

DETROIT at Arizona

LA RAMS at Chicago

Monday, December 10

Minnesota at SEATTLE

Week 13 record: 10-6

Season record: 125-65-2

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