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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 7

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Holy s—t.

In the years since I started Kibbles and Picks, I’ve grown accustomed to the notion that my dog is better at picking winners than I am. It’s not a great feeling, mind you, but it is one that I’ve gotten used to.

However, every once in a while, there’s a week where she just lays the smack down in such a brutally thorough manner that I find myself wondering why I put myself through this week after week, season after season.

We were at odds on six games in Week 6. I was correct on exactly one of them – Stella nailed the other five. That means that I’ve gone from a tie to a four-game deficit in a single Sunday. And if the Buccaneers had managed to pull off a comeback, it would have been a shutout.

And with the byes coming faster, the opportunities to catch up are going to become fewer. This week, for instance, we’re going head-to-head in just five games. The only way I can fully catch up is to sweep them, but honestly, any gain will be welcome.

We’re coming in hot – well, “hot” – in the Thursday night contest. I’ve got Denver pulling off a road win in Arizona. I don’t love Case Keenum and the once-vaunted Broncos D is less than impressive, but they can run the ball. Meanwhile, the Cardinals don’t seem to know what to do with their offense, even with talented skill position guys like David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Stella thinks that Arizona could right the ship against Denver; she’s predicting that rookie QB Josh Rosen is prepared to take a major step forward. That’ll be enough for the Cardinals to win at home.

Next up, I’m looking to the Lions to go into Miami and take down the Dolphins. Detroit is always going to score; their offense is ever-potent with Matthew Stafford under center. Their defense isn’t great, but they should be able to contain the Fins. Stella actually likes what the Dolphins have to offer, regardless of which not-great (Ryan Tannehill) or kind of bad (Brock Osweiler) quarterback is at the helm. She’s not expecting them to be spectacular, but she does expect them to win.

I’m picking the Browns this week. I’m not sure I should, but the team just has so much talent that I have to believe they can handle a weirdly up-and-down Tampa Bay team. Baker Mayfield continues to find his way at quarterback, while Carlos Hyde remains staunchly effective as a runner. The defensive side is littered with young studs as well. Stella doesn’t deny Cleveland’s talent, but she can’t resist the offensive attack of the Buccaneers. Jameis Winston can sling it and there are a handful of Bucs who can catch it. She thinks Tampa Bay will expose the inexperience of the Browns and pick up the W.

In a bit of a dice roll, I’m going with the Ravens to win at home against the Saints. The Baltimore defense is firing on all cylinders right now; if they can manage just a little bit of offense against a questionable New Orleans D, they should be able to win. Stella liked the look of the Baltimore defense last week, but the Saints attack is a hell of a lot different than what the Titans put on the field. She expects Drew Brees to continue his march toward history and for the dual running threats of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram to move the ball with impunity.

Finally, I’m picking the Cowboys to win in Washington. Dak Prescott showed something against an excellent Jaguars defense last week; I expect him to continue along that path against Washington. Expect a lot of Ezekiel Elliott and plenty of Cole Beasley. It’ll be enough. Stella disagrees, feeling like Washington will come into this one ready to handle their business. Alex Smith will do just enough to pull out the victory; don’t be surprised if we see a few opportunistic turnovers go their way either.

Honestly, who even knows anymore? I’m just out here spitballing because I’ve been thoroughly psyched out by my dog. Meanwhile, Stella just keeps on keeping on. I need a good week to avoid a hole to deep to escape. Wish me luck.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, October 18

DENVER at Arizona

Sunday, October 21

Tennessee at LA CHARGERS

NEW ENGLAND at Chicago

Buffalo at INDIANAPOLIS

DETROIT at Miami

MINNESOTA at NY Jets

Carolina at PHILADELPHIA

CLEVELAND at Tampa Bay

Houston at JACKSONVILLE

New Orleans at BALTIMORE

LA RAMS at San Francisco

DALLAS at Washington

Cincinnati at KANSAS CITY

Monday, October 22

NY Giants at ATLANTA

Week 6 record: 8-7

Season record: 54-37-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, October 18

Denver at ARIZONA

Sunday, October 21

Tennessee at LA CHARGERS

NEW ENGLAND at Chicago

Buffalo at INDIANAPOLIS

Detroit at MIAMI

MINNESOTA at NY Jets

Carolina at PHILADELPHIA

Cleveland at TAMPA BAY

Houston at JACKSONVILLE

NEW ORLEANS at Baltimore

LA RAMS at San Francisco

Dallas at WASHINGTON

Cincinnati at KANSAS CITY

Monday, October 22

NY Giants at ATLANTA

Week 6 record: 12-3

Season record: 58-33-2

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