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Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 9

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At least I didn’t LOSE any ground this week.

Under most circumstances, a 10-4 week could be considered quite good. It was a solid performance for me. Unfortunately, Stella put up an identically solid 10-4 of her own, meaning that Week 8 is a push and Stella maintains her five-game lead.

Now that we’re entering the bye-heavy weeks of the schedule, there are fewer opportunities available for me to make my move. However, I’m making the most of what I’ve got in Week 9; I’ve disagreed with Stella’s take on seven games – more than half the slate.

It looks to be a chaotic weekend, even less predictable than usual. And we’ve both made some questionable calls. Here’s hoping the ball bounces my way.

We’ll start with the nigh-unwatchable Oakland/San Francisco matchup on Thursday Night Football. The once-promising 49ers season has disappointed due to injury, while Oakland head coach Jon Gruden has incapacitated this Raiders team with discomfiting speed. I’ve picked Oakland to win and Stella has picked San Francisco, but we both agree that as far as this game is concerned, everybody loses.

Next, I have the Jets going into Miami and taking down a division rival. It’s a little bit of a reach, but I think Sam Darnold and the Jets can pull off the upset. I will concede that the skill-position picture in New York isn’t great, but the Dolphins have struggled mightily on defense in recent weeks. Stella agrees that the Miami D isn’t great, but she also thinks that the Dolphins could break out on offense – even with Brock Osweiler under center. She likes Miami’s explosiveness and thinks it will make up for a deficit on defense.

I’ve got another road team winning in this next one, picking the Falcons to go into Washington and pick up the win. The Atlanta offense still sputters occasionally, but Matt Ryan and company have smoothed things out to the point where they’re poised to put up points. They match up well against Washington and should have no problems in the passing attack. Stella doesn’t understand why I consistently underrate this Washington team. She’s of the mind that the Alex Smith-led offense – boring though it may be – will outperform the flashier Atlanta attack; she also thinks the Washington defense is sneaky good.

Steelers/Ravens has all the makings of a good one. I’m going with the Ravens on their home field. They’ve got a consistently effective defense that helps prop up an unexciting offensive attack. Still, in a game like this one, give me the defensive standout. There’s bad blood here; the chippiness that will almost certainly ensue will play into Baltimore’s hands. Stella just can’t see past the excellence of Pittsburgh’s skill position players – Antonio Brown is otherworldly and James Connor has been outstanding. The Steelers can score points in bunches; Stella thinks it’ll be a big enough bunch to beat Baltimore. We both agree that this game could be the highlight of the week.

I’m a little leery of this next one. I’m going with the Broncos at home over the Texans. I basically talked myself into this one so that I could try and gain another game on Stella – she picked the Texans and didn’t even think twice about it. If Von Miller and the Denver defense can swing a couple of big plays and the offense can maintain, the Broncos will be able to hang. If not, it’ll be a long night. Stella thinks not – she likes this Houston offense, even with the loss of wideout Will Fuller. And the Texans pass rush will chase Case Keenum all over creation. I think she might be right, but I have to take my shots.

I like Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers to go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks. No one cares about the Chargers, and yet they’ve quietly put together a solid start. Rivers has looked good and running back Melvin Gordon has looked great; they’re a pretty talented bunch, though they don’t get a ton of credit as such. Stella recognizes that Seattle is sinking a bit, but she also thinks that it’s dangerous to count out Russell Wilson. She expects the San Diego defense to struggle a bit against Wilson and company and that the Seahawks will be able to slow Rivers down.

Finally, in the Monday night game, we get a pick that puzzled me a bit. I went with the Cowboys to win at home against the Titans. Seemed pretty straightforward to me – Dallas should be able to handle this Tennessee squad easily, particularly on their home turf. Sure, they’ve been up and down, but they can handle the Titans. Stella sees it differently, picking Tennessee to win for no reason other than going with her gut. This one feels like the easiest win for me, which means that the Titans are probably going to win by 20.

And that’s that – seven games. At the very least, we’re guaranteed not to have another tie – cross your fingers that I wind up on the positive end of things.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 1

OAKLAND at San Francisco

Sunday, Nov. 4

CHICAGO at Buffalo

KANSAS CITY at Cleveland

NY JETS at Miami

Detroit at MINNESOTA

ATLANTA at Washington

Tampa Bay at CAROLINA

Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE

Houston at DENVER

LA CHARGERS at Seattle

LA RAMS at New Orleans

Green Bay at NEW ENGLAND

Monday, Nov. 5

Tennessee at DALLAS

Week 8 record: 10-4

Season record: 73-46-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 1

Oakland at SAN FRANCISCO

Sunday, Nov. 4

CHICAGO at Buffalo

KANSAS CITY at Cleveland

NY Jets at MIAMI

Detroit at MINNESOTA

Atlanta at WASHINGTON

Tampa Bay at CAROLINA

PITTSBURGH at Baltimore

HOUSTON at Denver

LA Chargers at SEATTLE

LA RAMS at New Orleans

Green Bay at NEW ENGLAND

Monday, Nov. 5

TENNESSEE at Dallas

 

Week 8 record: 10-4

Season record: 78-41-2

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 15:54

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