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Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 5

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Another week, another game gained.

Neither Stella nor I had a particularly great week last week, but mine was just a little bit better – 9-6 to her 8-7. This means that I add another game to my lead, now up to three on the season.

Obviously, I know that this is all an illusion and that Stella will almost certainly rise up and crush me. I imagine her eventual victory may be rendered all the sweeter by the fact that she allowed me to have some modicum of hope before my ultimate demolition.

Will this be the week that she takes the power back? She certainly has the opportunity; the two of us are in disagreement on eight games this week – more than half the slate. It’s certainly enough for someone to make a big move; we’ll just have to see if that’s the case.

First up is the first game. The Thursday night game has the Rams going to Seattle to face off against the Seahawks. I’m going with the road team here – I know that the Rams had some issues last week, but I think they’re poised to bounce back. I’m bullish on the L.A. passing attack – there are just too many weapons there for them to continue struggling. Stella thinks the Seattle defense will be up to the task of slowing down the Rams; she’s also saying that you shouldn’t sleep on the Seahawks offense. Stella’s calling for big games from Russell Wilson and running back Chris Carson – big enough to win the game on their home field.

In the Buffalo/Tennessee tilt, I’ve got the Titans winning at home against the Bills. The Titans have been sneaky good this season; if Marcus Mariota can manage the game and RB Derrick Henry can go off, the defense is solid enough to give the team a chance to win. Stella thinks that that’s an apt analysis, but that Buffalo’s defense is considerably stronger. She doesn’t have a ton of faith in Bills QB Josh Allen, but she thinks he can generate sufficient offense to lead his team to a win in what promises to be a fairly low-scoring game.

I like the Buccaneers to go into New Orleans and beat the Saints this week. It’s not that I have tremendous faith in Tampa Bay’s offense; we’re going to see some pretty bad passes courtesy of Jameis Winston, but the Mike Evans/Chris Godwin receiving duo will do some work as well. I’m also still not sold on the New Orleans offense without Drew Brees. Stella thinks that the Saints defense will take advantage of a few bad decisions by Winston, giving their QB (whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill) enough breathing room to get it done. She’s expecting to see a lot of Alvin Kamara in a Saints W.

In a pick that made a world of sense to me, I went with the Vikings against the Giants. Sure, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins has thrown like a limp and confused noodle, but the rest of the skill position players – RB Dalvin Cook and wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs – are just too talented to not produce against the questionable New York defense. Stella concedes the questionable defense, but she’s a big believer in rookie QB Daniel Jones. She thinks that Wayne Gallman is a fine replacement for Saquon Barkley (though she’s heard rumblings that Barkley may be back this week). It won’t necessarily be pretty, but she’s calling a Giants win.

Backup QBs face off in the Jacksonville/Carolina contest. I’m going with the home Panthers, assuming that Kyle Allen will be able to get by courtesy of 25-30 touches for Christian McCaffery. She’s not expecting a great passing performance, but she also thinks that there are some gamebreaking potential on the part of McCaffery and others. Stella’s not necessarily buying into the Gardner Minshew hype, but she has liked what she’s seen from the rookie. She’s also noted the gradual bounceback from RB Leonard Fournette and the performance of WR D.J. Chark. She also thinks the Jags defense is due for a big game.

This next one is probably my biggest roll of the dice this week. I’m going with the Falcons to win on the road against the Texans in Houston. It’s pretty much a hunch, but I feel like Matt Ryan has so many pass catching weapons – Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Austin Hooper – that the Falcons have to blow up at some point. Plus, they need this win. Stella’s picking up what the Texans are putting down; she’s a big fan of Deshaun Watson and looks forward to seeing who his favorite targets are this week. But it’s the defense that she’s really jazzed about – she’s expecting plenty of QB pressure and a couple of big turnovers.

Flipping the script, I’m making what I think to be an easy call in picking the Cowboys to win at home against the Packers. Dallas looks pretty locked in across the board, even taking into account their struggles last week. The odds of Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, Amari Cooper and company fizzling like that two weeks in a row seem slim, particularly against a banged-up Green Bay team. Stella acknowledges that picking the Packers might be a stretch, particularly with the injury to star wideout Davante Adams. She’s unmoved, however, believing that last week exposed some issued in Dallas that Green Bay’s defense will be able to exploit.

Finally, in the Monday night game, I’m going with the 49ers to win at home against the Browns. Sure, the Niners haven’t looked all that impressive thus far, but they’re 3-0 and coming off a bye. They won’t bring a ton of firepower to the table, but with Cleveland in disarray, San Francisco should be able to eke out a win. Stella’s not buying it; she thinks that the 49ers are little more than fools’ gold. She thinks that Cleveland is poised to put it all together and anticipates a massive performance from numerous Browns players – she likes another big game from RB Nick Chubb in particular. And to her mind, the Browns defense is too talented to not handle the mediocre Niners D.

And there we have it – eight games. A big streak by me builds a significant lead, one that might even keep me on top until the end. A big week from her means that it’s all falling apart for me again and I should resign myself to the grim reality that is knowing less about football than a dog.

Stella, as is her wont, remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 3

LA RAMS at Seattle

Sunday, Oct. 6

Arizona at CINCINNATI

Buffalo at TENNESSEE

CHICAGO at Oakland

TAMPA BAY at New Orleans

MINNESOTA at NY Giants

NY Jets at PHILADELPHIA

BALTIMORE at Pittsburgh

NEW ENGLAND at Washington

Jacksonville at CAROLINA

ATLANTA at Houston

Denver at LA CHARGERS

Green Bay at DALLAS

Indianapolis at KANSAS CITY

Monday, Oct. 7

Cleveland at SAN FRANCISCO

Week 4 record: 9-6

Season record: 42-20-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 3

LA Rams at SEATTLE

Sunday, Oct. 6

Arizona at CINCINNATI

BUFFALO at Tennessee

CHICAGO at Oakland

Tampa Bay at NEW ORLEANS

Minnesota at NY GIANTS

NY Jets at PHILADELPHIA

BALTIMORE at Pittsburgh

NEW ENGLAND at Washington

JACKSONVILLE at Carolina

Atlanta at HOUSTON

Denver at LA CHARGERS

GREEN BAY at Dallas

Indianapolis at KANSAS CITY

Monday, Oct. 7

CLEVELAND at San Francisco

Week 4 record: 8-7

Season record: 39-23-1

Last modified on Thursday, 03 October 2019 08:01

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