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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 15

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That was not good. Not good at all.

It’s safe to say that this was one of the worst weeks Stella and I have had in the entire history of this feature. Stella went just 8-8, leaving me with an opportunity to make a move. And move I did – backwards. I put up a real stinker – 6-10. And so her lead is back up to 12 games, with just three weeks left to go.

We’re at odds on just six games this week, so basically, I need to absolutely crush to have any sort of hope of taking her down this season. If I can’t run the table or at least come close, Stella is simply going to stroll to an easy win.

I’m picking the Browns to win on the road in Denver. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Baker Mayfield and company over the past few weeks. This is a team that appears poised to close out the season strong. Stella likes the Broncos. Not only do they have a distinct homefield advantage, they have the kind of punishing running game that can control the clock and hold onto the ball. It won’t be a high-scoring game either way, but she likes Denver’s chances.

In a game that could not matter less, I’m picking the Bills to win at home against the Lions. Honestly, while I like what I’ve seen from Josh Allen, this Buffalo team is really bad. Still, someone has to win, right? Stella has similar feelings, although she feels like this sort of meaningless contest is where Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford really shines. Neither one of us will watch a single second of this game … and neither should you.

Speaking of unwatchable games, I’m going with the Raiders over the Bengals in Cincinnati. Why? I honestly don’t know. Stella is in the same spot, just on the other side of the docket. We’re just flipping a coin on this one; these teams are trash and so is this game.

Conversely, the Dallas/Indianapolis matchup has a chance to be one of the best games on the slate. Both teams will be playing hard; postseason berths are still on the table. I went with the Cowboys – they’ve been looking really good over the past few weeks. I expect a big game out of Ezekiel Elliott; that’ll be the difference. Stella thinks the Colts are going to make a big playoff push here at season’s end; her take is that QB Andrew Luck is all the way back and ready to lead Indy to the postseason. It’s going to be a heck of a game either way.

I went with the Titans to win on the road against the Giants. Tennessee has shown itself to be a surprisingly capable team, but they need every win to keep pace in a very competitive division. Derrick Henry won’t rush for a million yards again, but he should have no trouble moving against a porous Giants defense. Stella has similar thoughts, only about rookie sensation Saquon Barkley. She doesn’t love the rest of this Giants squad, but she decided to go with her gut on this one. Doesn’t make much sense to me, but she’s a dozen games ahead of me, so what do I know?

And finally, for only the second time all season, we’re at odds on the Patriots game. I went with New England to win on the road against Pittsburgh. I have to think that the Patriots will be in bounceback mode following the disastrous ending to last week’s game against Miami. Also, the Pats have owned the Steelers in recent years. Stella is basically taunting me with this pick; it’s not that she thinks that Pittsburgh is the better team so much as it is that she wants me to feel bad about myself. This game more than any other is an illustration of how little regard she has for my picking abilities.

And there we have it. If I don’t come out on top in at least four (and preferably more) of these matchups, it’s almost certainly over. Keep me in your thoughts; let’s see if we can’t at least make it close.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, December 13

LA Chargers at KANSAS CITY

Saturday, December 15

HOUSTON at NY Jets

CLEVELAND at Denver

Sunday, December 16

Arizona at ATLANTA

Detroit at BUFFALO

Green Bay at CHICAGO

OAKLAND at Cincinnati

Dallas at INDIANAPOLIS

Miami at MINNESOTA

TENNESSEE at NY Giants

Washington at JACKSONVILLE

Tampa Bay at BALTIMORE

SEATTLE at San Francisco

NEW ENGLAND at Pittsburgh

Philadelphia at LA RAMS

Monday, December 17

NEW ORLEANS at Carolina

Week 14 record: 6-10

Season record: 121-85-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, December 13

LA Chargers at KANSAS CITY

Saturday, December 15

HOUSTON at NY Jets

Cleveland at DENVER

Sunday, December 16

Arizona at ATLANTA

DETROIT at Buffalo

Green Bay at CHICAGO

Oakland at CINCINNATI

DALLAS at Indianapolis

Miami at MINNESOTA

Tennessee at NY GIANTS

Washington at JACKSONVILLE

Tampa Bay at BALTIMORE

SEATTLE at San Francisco

New England at PITTSBURGH

Philadelphia at LA RAMS

Monday, December 17

NEW ORLEANS at Carolina

Week 14 record: 8-8

Season record: 133-73-2

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