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Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 3

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So … that was unexpected. And awesome.

While Stella struggled to hit .500 with her picks last week, landing precisely at 8-8, I was having an excellent Week 2. My record of 12-4 for the week not only eliminated the two-win lead that Stella sported after the first week, but catapulted me to a similar cushion of my own.

Now, is this going to last? Of course not – I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this is nothing more than a momentary blip, a slight speed bump on Stella’s road to yet another K&P victory. But for now, I have every intention of enjoying this.

For this week, we’re at odds on seven contests. That’s more than enough for Stella to knock me down a peg and remind me who has held the title for the past four years straight. Here’s what we’ve got.

We’ll lead off with the Thursday night game. I’m picking Tennessee to win on the road against the Jaguars. The Titans offense looks surprisingly capable behind the running of Derrick Henry; the Jacksonville defense might struggle to keep Tennessee from controlling the ball. Stella likes the Jags defense to force a turnover or two out of Titans QB Marcus Mariota; she also is low-key enthusiastic about Jacksonville’s QB/budding folk hero Gardner Mishew. It’ll be a slog either way.

I like the Colts to handle their business at home against the Falcons. While Indy is still struggling a bit to establish an identity, I still like guys like Jacoby Brissett, Marlon Mack and T.Y. Hilton to handle their business and get things done. Stella thinks the Falcons right the ship this week, with Matt Ryan bouncing back from last week’s accuracy struggles; she’s not sure the Colts have anyone who can cover Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

In a bit of a gut pick, I’m going with the Lions to overcome the Eagles in Philadelphia. It’s not that I’m particularly fond of the Detroit offense – although Matthew Stafford will be slinging it as always – or that I’m confident in the defensive talent on the Lions. I just think that Philly’s many injuries will leave them too shorthanded. Stella doesn’t dispute the injury woes on the Eagles side, but she has big doubts about Matt Patricia leading the Lions to a road win in Philadelphia. She’s calling it: it might not be a pretty win for the Eagles, but it’ll be a win.

I’m cautiously bullish on the Chargers this season, enough to pick them to win a home game against the Texans. Philip Rivers still looks good. Austin Ekeler has made everyone forget about Melvin Gordon’s holdout. And they need a bounceback after last week’s struggles. I think they go hard in this one. Stella still likes Houston a lot – there’s too much talent in guys like Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins for her to pick against them here. She is concerned about the Texans O-line, but she thinks they’ll keep Watson safe enough to get the job done.

Another gut pick for me here, as I go with the Steelers to get the win on the road against a thus-far effective 49ers team. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season with an elbow injury. Yes, Mason Rudolph is unproven. But there’s a little tickle telling me to take the swing. So I am. Stella thinks I’m jumping the gun; she’s not anti-Rudolph, but she thinks he’ll struggle to beat Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. She likes the Niners to win a low-scoring contest.

While I’m at it, why not pick another team with an injured all-timer of a QB to win on the road. I’ve got New Orleans taking down the Seahawks. Teddy Bridgewater is capable enough and Taysom Hill is a legitimate wild card. Plus, they’ve still got Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Tough to argue with the talent. Stella understands that the Seattle defense isn’t the elite unit it once was, but she’s sure that it has more than enough juice to handle either Saints backup. Russell Wilson will manage things from under center, they’ll pound the ball with Chris Carson and Rashad Penny and that’ll be that.

Finally, I’ve got the Rams winning on the road in Cleveland. Don’t get me wrong – I like this Browns team and won’t be at all shocked if they win here. I just think the Rams are going to be tough to stop; there are four or five elite pass-catchers at work for L.A. I just don’t know if the Cleveland D can keep up. Stella thinks I’m underselling the Browns, both in terms of their defensive talent and their ability to hang with a high-scoring offense. She thinks both wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Nick Chubb are going to go off big-time, with Baker Mayfield running the show. We’re looking for fireworks.

And there we have it. Seven games. Let’s hope I can continue to build on my lead, because it would be really nice to win one of these things. Cross your fingers for me.

As for Stella, she quietly continues her drive for five.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Sept. 19

TENNESSEE at Jacksonville

Sunday, Sept. 22

Cincinnati at BUFFALO

Miami at DALLAS

Denver at GREEN BAY

Atlanta at INDIANAPOLIS

Baltimore at KANSAS CITY

Oakland at MINNESOTA

NY Jets at NEW ENGLAND

DETROIT at Philadelphia

Carolina at ARIZONA

NY Giants at TAMPA BAY

Houston at LA CHARGERS

PITTSBURGH at San Francisco

NEW ORLEANS at Seattle

LA RAMS at Cleveland

Monday, Sept. 23

CHICAGO at Washington

Week 2 record: 12-4

Season record: 22-9-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Sept. 19

Tennessee at JACKSONVILLE

Sunday, Sept. 22

Cincinnati at BUFFALO

Miami at DALLAS

Denver at GREEN BAY

ATLANTA at Indianapolis

Baltimore at KANSAS CITY

Oakland at MINNESOTA

NY Jets at NEW ENGLAND

Detroit at PHILADELPHIA

CAROLINA at Arizona

NY Giants at TAMPA BAY

HOUSTON at LA Chargers

Pittsburgh at SAN FRANCISCO

New Orleans at SEATTLE

LA Rams at CLEVELAND

Monday, Sept. 23

CHICAGO at Washington

Week 2 record: 8-8

Season record: 20-11-1

Last modified on Thursday, 19 September 2019 09:07

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