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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 4

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Not going to lie to you – that one was rough.

Neither Stella nor I had anything resembling a good week. However, since Stella’s was marginally less terrible than mine – she went 8-8 while I stumbled to 7-9 – she’s cut my lead down to a single game. And if the Steelers hadn’t pulled it out on Monday night, we would have been tied.

As for Week 4, we stand in opposition on six of the 15 games on the slate.

Our first is the Tampa Bay/Chicago matchup. I’m picking the Bears to win this game at home. While the offense has sputtered with Mitch Trubisky under center, the defense has thus far proven more than capable of picking up the slack. And with Khalil Mack getting more comfortable by the week, I like Chicago to shut down the Bucs. Stella is giving FitzMagic one more chance; she thinks the Tampa QB has at least one more unexpectedly spectacular performance in him before ceding the job. If the Bucs can generate any sort of ground game to buy some space for the pass, they’ve got a real shot at pulling out a win.

Next up is the matchup between Detroit and Dallas. I’m picking the Lions to continue riding the momentum generated by their big win against the Patriots. Matt Stafford is slinging the ball as per usual; the Cowboys defense isn’t going to have an easy time slowing down this offense. And with some talented guys running the ball, Matt Patricia’s squad looks poised to win. Stella thinks the Lions win was a bit fluky and that the Cowboys aren’t going to let Detroit take them down – certainly not in Dallas. She’s a little concerned about the O-line, but she thinks they’ll hold up well enough to let Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott and the rest get something going.

I was a bit surprised that Stella didn’t agree with my pick of the Texans to go into Indianapolis and knock off the Colts. Houston has sputtered a bit offensively, but they’re due to really blow up. Plus, the Houston pass rush could really do some damage to a still-fragile Andrew Luck. Houston’s not a great team, but they’re better than Indy. Stella disagrees; she believes that Luck is on the brink of taking another important step forward. She’s not enamored of any specific part of the Indy team, but she feels like she needs to see the Texans not shoot themselves in the foot before she can be really confident in them. She’s taking a risk with this pick, albeit a calculated one.

I’ve got the Browns winning on the road in Oakland. I'm calling that the the Browns are going to have their first two-game winning streak in however many years; Baker Mayfield might actually be the answer to Cleveland’s offensive woes and the defense is legitimately talented. I'm not predicting playoffs or anything, but I'm optimistic about this team. Stella understands that the Jon Gruden experience has been decidedly mixed thus far in Oakland, but there’s still some interesting talent on this offense. If Derek Carr and Amari Cooper can regain their mojo, she thinks these guys have a shot at putting up some serious points. 

Next up, I’m picking the Saints to win on the road in New York against the Giants. We’ve seen some hiccups in the New Orleans offensive attack to start the season, but the sheer talent – QB Drew Brees, receiver Michael Thomas, running back Alvin Kamara – means that things almost have to work themselves out. They’ll have to outscore the Giants, because the defense is suspect. Stella feels similarly, only about her pick – while Eli Manning hasn’t looked great at QB, Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley might be an even MORE talented WR/RB duo than Thomas and Kamara. This one has potential to turn into a real shootout.

Finally, I’m picking the Steelers to win at home against the Ravens. While Pittsburgh has been dealing with internal strife all season, they still look capable of scoring plenty of points. They haven’t missed a beat in Le’Veon Bell’s absence; James Connor has seamlessly filled in. The biggest concern for them is consistency; if it’s a down day, they’re in trouble. Stella doesn’t think the Ravens are particularly impressive in any respect, but neither are they actively bad. She thinks that structure of general competence will be sufficient to handle a hot-and-cold Steelers team. The one thing we agree on is that the vibe will be combative.

And that’s Week 4. I’m still in the lead, folks. Here’s hoping I can at least make it to .500 this weekend.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Sept. 27

Minnesota at LA RAMS

Sunday, Sept. 30

Cincinnati at ATLANTA

Tampa Bay at CHICAGO

DETROIT at Dallas

Buffalo at GREEN BAY

PHILADELPHIA at Tennessee

HOUSTON at Indianapolis

Miami at NEW ENGLAND

NY Jets at JACKSONVILLE

CLEVELAND at Oakland

SEATTLE at Arizona

NEW ORLEANS at NY Giants

San Francisco at LA CHARGERS

Baltimore at PITTSBURGH

Monday, Oct. 1

KANSAS CITY at Denver

Week 3 record: 7-9

Season record: 27-19-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Sept. 27

Minnesota at LA RAMS

Sunday, Sept. 30

Cincinnati at ATLANTA

TAMPA BAY at Chicago

Detroit at DALLAS

Buffalo at GREEN BAY

PHILADELPHIA at Tennessee

Houston at INDIANAPOLIS

Miami at NEW ENGLAND

NY Jets at JACKSONVILLE

Cleveland at OAKLAND

SEATTLE at Arizona

New Orleans at NY GIANTS

San Francisco at LA CHARGERS

BALTIMORE at Pittsburgh

Monday, Oct. 1

KANSAS CITY at Denver

Week 3 record: 8-8

Season record: 26-20-2

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 October 2018 14:03

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