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Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 6

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Can we all agree to just sweep Week 5 under the rug and move on?

Neither Stella nor I had much luck in an up-and-down and unexpected week. However, Stella still managed to squeak out an 8-7 record for the week, while I was right on a mere six contests.

That means that my three-game lead has been reduced to a single game. We’ve moved past the quarter-point of the season, so I can only imagine that Stella, having given me a chance to feel at least kind of good about myself, has decided that enough is enough.

We’ll see if this is the week where she starts burying me – we’re at odds on eight of Week 6’s 14 games, so there’s plenty of room to make a move. Whether she (or I – it’s possible) can make a big jump depends on the outcomes of the following.

First up is this week’s London game – Carolina/Tampa Bay. I’m picking the Buccaneers to win this one; I don’t love the inconsistency that we’ve seen thus far from QB Jameis Winston, but this team has too many explosive playmakers to ignore. If wideout Mike Evans can get back on track, the Bucs should be able to outscore Carolina. Stella’s going with the Panthers; she’s not all that enthusiastic about their overall team makeup, but she’s got questions about Tampa Bay as well. So, she’s going with the best player on the field, and that’s clearly Panthers RB Christian McCaffery.

Next, I have the Seahawks going into Cleveland and taking down the reeling Browns. Russell Wilson continues to show why he deserves to be in the top tier of QBs, generating a ton of offense. Chris Carson needs to hold onto the ball; if he does, Seattle will have their way with Cleveland. Stella likes the Browns here; she thinks that Baker Mayfield is on the verge of locking in at quarterback and that Odell Beckham Jr. is long overdue for a breakout performance. She also expects big numbers from Nick Chubb. It’ll boil down to which of these talented, but uneven defenses steps up.

In what promises to be the worst NFL game in recent memory, Washington is going to Miami to play the Dolphins. These teams are 0-9 between them and no one cares. At all. The only significance of this contest is that it puts the loser in the driver’s seat for the number-one draft pick. I went with Washington, Stella went with Miami. It’s a coin flip. Whatever. The real losers will be the people who wind up watching this tire fire.

I’ve got Minnesota winning at home against the visiting Eagles. While Kirk Cousins is shaping up to be a bit of a whoopsie there in Minnesota, the Vikings still have a lot of skill position talent around him. Dalvin Cook is as good as it gets at RB; if he stays on the field, he’ll produce. And Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs haven’t stopped being good. The Vikings D will stuff the run and handle Philly. Stella’s going with Philadelphia on the road. She’s seen some things that she likes out of Carson Wentz and thinks that the offense is starting to cohere. It’s all about health with the Eagles and she thinks that they’re on the mend.

This next one is interesting: New Orleans at Jacksonville. I went with the Saints on the road, although I have to say that I’m not feeling tremendously confident. We’ll have to see how Teddy Bridgewater continues to handle the QB job as we await the return of Drew Brees, but it’s tough to argue against talent like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Stella thinks highly of the Jacksonville D’s potential and believes that they’ll step up to frustrate the Saints. She also has no problem picking Gardner Minshew as the better option in this battle of the backups. It’s all about taking care of the ball in this one – and Stella says the Jaguars do just that.

After that, we’re looking at the 49ers/Rams tilt. I like the Rams at home in this one. Yes, Jared Goff has looked a little shaky under center and RB Todd Gurley hasn’t looked like himself. But the receiving corps is phenomenal – Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks … heck, tight end Gerald Everett is getting in on the action. Stella’s going with San Francisco. She’s of the mind that the 49ers’ defense will better handle the Rams offense than vice versa. She expects Jimmy Garoppolo and company to score just enough to take down L.A. at home. We both think this one will be a relatively low-scoring affair.

The one game that had me scratching my head a bit is Atlanta/Arizona. I went with Atlanta here; it seemed like the logical choice. Sure, Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense have ebbed and flowed as far as productivity, but the Cardinals can’t stop anyone. It’ll come down to whether the Atlanta D can come up with some big plays. Stella has a feeling about the Cardinals this week. She recognizes the team’s faults on both sides of the ball, but her gut is telling her that Arizona QB Kyler Murray is going to have a really big game. This one has the chance to be both high-scoring and sloppy, so it might come down to a lucky bounce or two.

Finally, I’ve got the Titans going into Denver and beating the Broncos. While Tennessee hasn’t been wildly impressive, they’ve shown some signs. We’ll see how Marcus Mariota does against this banged-up Broncos defense; if he can manage the game and offer up a steady diet of Derrick Henry runs, the Titans should handle their business. Stella’s aware of how rough a season the Broncos are having, but she’s not a believer in Tennessee. It’ll come down to whether they can move the ball; expect plenty of touches for RB Phillip Lindsey. This is a game that will be decided on the ground; Stella feels like she’s picked the victor in that fight.

And there you have it. Eight games. It’s a chance for me to gain some breathing room or for Stella to put me in my place or – most likely – something in the middle. Who knows what’ll happen? That’s why they play the games.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 10

NY Giants at NEW ENGLAND

Sunday, Oct. 13

Carolina at TAMPA BAY

SEATTLE at Cleveland

Houston at KANSAS CITY

WASHINGTON at Miami

Philadelphia at MINNESOTA

NEW ORLEANS at Jacksonville

Cincinnati at BALTIMORE

San Francisco at LA RAMS

ATLANTA at Arizona

TENNESSEE at Denver

DALLAS at NY Jets

Pittsburgh at LA CHARGERS

Monday, Oct. 14

Detroit at GREEN BAY

Week 5 record: 6-9

Season record: 48-29-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Oct. 10

NY Giants at NEW ENGLAND

Sunday, Oct. 13

CAROLINA at Tampa Bay

Seattle at CLEVELAND

Houston at KANSAS CITY

Washington at MIAMI

PHILADELPHIA at Minnesota

New Orleans at JACKSONVILLE

Cincinnati at BALTIMORE

SAN FRANCISCO at LA Rams

Atlanta at ARIZONA

Tennessee at DENVER

DALLAS at NY Jets

Pittsburgh at LA CHARGERS

Monday, Oct. 14

Detroit at GREEN BAY

Week 5 record: 8-7

Season record: 47-30-1

Last modified on Thursday, 10 October 2019 10:11

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