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Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 14

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And just as quickly as I took back the lead, I bid it farewell once again.

Week 13 was not kind to me; I managed a subpar 7-9 record on the week. Stella didn’t have her best showing either, but her 9-7 was enough to turn my one-game lead into a one-game deficit. She’s on top again … and I haven’t got much time left to rectify that.

Of course, weeks like Week 14 certainly help. We’re once again at odds on fully half of the slate; eight games on which we disagree. Hopefully, that will serve to help my case this time around; if not, I could be looking at a tough hill to climb in the season’s final stretch.

It seems like we’re at odds on the Thursday night game more often than not. It’s the case again this time; I’m going with the Bears at home to beat the Cowboys. Chicago has looked solid on offense in recent weeks, with QB Mitch Trubisky putting up surprising numbers, and their defense matches up well against Dallas. Stella disagrees; she actually thinks that the Bears will struggle to stop the Cowboys pass catchers; she likes Dak Prescott to have a big game under center. She’s not enamored of the Dallas D, but she thinks they’ll do enough to handle Chicago.

Next, I’m going with Atlanta to win at home against Carolina. While this is a lost season for the Falcons, recent weeks have shown that they can put up points in bunches. It’ll boil down to the health and effectiveness of Julio Jones and the rest of Atlanta’s receiving corps. Stella’s betting on Christian McCaffery to absolutely destroy Atlanta’s defense; she thinks he’ll gain yards with impunity against the Falcons. She’s less convinced regarding the D, but she’s figuring they’ll do enough to let McCaffery and company score their way to the win.

My first road pick is San Francisco against New Orleans. I’ve liked just about everything I’ve seen from the 49ers, aside from some consistency issues with QB Jimmy Garoppolo. The defense is amazing and they can run the ball as well as any team outside of Baltimore. They don’t need a hero at QB; all the other pieces are in place. Stella likes the Niners as well, but she thinks they’ll struggle against the Saints on their home turf. Drew Brees and Michael Thomas lead an excellent offense, while Alvin Kamara is the kind of back that could give San Francisco trouble. It’s strength against strength; we’ll see who wins out.

In the weekly shoulder shrug – Miami/NY Jets – I’ve got the Dolphins and Stella has the Jets … and that’s about it.

This next one could be fun. I’ve got Tampa Bay winning at home against Indianapolis. The Buccaneers are as fun a team as there is right now, with Jameis Winston throwing the ball all over the place to guys like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and … the other team. I think they’ll overcome the inevitable turnover(s) and score enough to take down the Colts. Stella likes Indy to pull off the road win, largely on the strength of taking advantage of the aforementioned inevitable turnovers. She thinks the Colts will manage clock and protect the ball and grind out the victory.

My biggest hunch pick of the week is Jacksonville over the Chargers. Mostly, I’m making the pick because the Jags are at home and it looks like they’ve given Gardner Minshew the keys for the rest of the season. The team is more dynamic with him under center; I think it’ll be enough to handle the Chargers. Stella disagrees; while she recognizes that Philip Rivers has struggled a bit, she also likes the running back tandem of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler to find a way into the end zone multiple times against Jacksonville’s inconsistent D.

From there, we go to Arizona. I’m picking the Steelers to beat the Cardinals for … reasons? I honestly can’t tell you why I like Pittsburgh here except that they just seem to keep finding ways to win. Who’s their QB? Who knows? Their defense has been opportunistic and the Cardinals are susceptible. Stella has a feeling that this could be a statement game of sorts for the Cardinals; there’s a lot of talent on the roster and she thinks that Kyler Murray might be getting ready to put forward a signature performance.

Finally, I have the Seahawks going into Los Angeles and beating the Rams. I’m just riding with Russell Wilson, who has been one of the best QBs in the league all season. Throw in the running of Chris Carson and Rashad Penny and an engaged defense that will hassle the turnover-prone Rams all night and you’ve got a win. Stella doesn’t quite see it that way; she thinks the Rams are turning it around and that the Seahawks will bear the brunt of that. She expects a big game from one of the Rams receivers – probably Kupp, but it could be any of them – and a strong outing from Todd Gurley. The Rams defense has some matchup advantages as well. This might be one of the week’s best.

And that’s that. Eight games. Think I can claw my way back into the lead? Or is this simply the beginning of the end? Only time will tell.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Dec. 5

Dallas at CHICAGO

Sunday, Dec. 9

Carolina at ATLANTA

BALTIMORE at Buffalo

Cincinnati at CLEVELAND

Washington at GREEN BAY

Detroit at MINNESOTA

SAN FRANCISCO at New Orleans

MIAMI at NY Jets

Indianapolis at TAMPA BAY

Denver at HOUSTON

LA Chargers at JACKSONVILLE

TENNESSEE at Oakland

Kansas City at NEW ENGLAND

PITTSBURGH at Arizona

SEATTLE at LA Rams

Monday, Dec. 10

NY Giants at PHILADELPHIA

Week 13 record: 7-9

Season record: 117-73-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Dec. 5

DALLAS at Chicago

Sunday, Dec. 9

CAROLINA at Atlanta

BALTIMORE at Buffalo

Cincinnati at CLEVELAND

Washington at GREEN BAY

Detroit at MINNESOTA

San Francisco at NEW ORLEANS

Miami at NY JETS

INDIANAPOLIS at Tampa Bay

Denver at HOUSTON

LA CHARGERS at Jacksonville

TENNESSEE at Oakland

Kansas City at NEW ENGLAND

Pittsburgh at ARIZONA

Seattle at LA RAMS

Monday, Dec. 10

NY Giants at PHILADELPHIA

Week 13 record: 9-7

Season record: 118-72-1

Last modified on Thursday, 05 December 2019 10:13

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