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Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 9

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Things are getting serious.

No change in the overall picture – I maintain my three-game cushion – but that’s only because Stella and I matching killer weeks, with each of us going 12-3. I can only hope I won’t need to maintain this pace, because I don’t believe I have it in me.

Week 9 is another slate where we don’t disagree all that much. We’re at odds in just six of the 14 contests; not a lot. Still, if one of us happens to hit, we could nevertheless make a move.

First up, we’ve got the London game – Houston “at” Jacksonville. I’m going with the Texans here; I really like what I’ve seen from Deshaun Watson and think he’ll be able to make some things happen against the Jags secondary. Stella’s going with Jacksonville; she thinks that Leonard Fournette is going to thrive against the depleted Texans defensive front. She expects Gardner Minshew to protect the ball. We both think that this will be a close one.

I don’t feel as confident with my pick in the next game. I’ve got Minnesota going into Kansas City and beating the Chiefs. Kirk Cousins has looked good throwing the ball and running back Dalvin Cook has been explosive and exciting. This offense is clicking right now and the K.C. defense has been soft, particularly against the run. Stella’s pretty sure that Cousins comes back to Earth this week, even with the suspect Chiefs D. She understands that the QB situation is unsettled, but she likes the Chiefs no matter who winds up under center. She expects a big performance out of Travis Kelce, in particular. This could be the game of the week.

Next, we’ve got Indianapolis/Pittsburgh. I’m going with the Colts on the road here. I’ve liked what I’ve seen when Indy feeds Marlon Mack the ball; if they stick to the ground game and keep QB Jacoby Brissett from taking too many chances through the air, they should have no problem managing the somewhat-creaky Steelers. Stella’s not thrilled with what Pittsburgh’s currently bringing to the table – on either side of the ball – but she has a hunch that the Colts are due for a game where they struggle. Indy has seen a lot of lucky bounces; Stella thinks that stops this weekend.

This week’s “does anybody really care?” game is Tennessee/Carolina. I’m going with the home Panthers here, largely because when I such little interest in a matchup, it’s easiest to just go with the team that puts the best player on the field. The best player here is Christian McCaffrey, who will probably go off against the Titans. Stella’s taking a swing with the Titans, gambling that the energy of the quarterback change to Ryan Tannehill will give Tennessee the boost necessary to knock off Carolina. The difference in this one will come down to a couple of big plays on either side.

Following that, we have a weirdly intriguing matchup between the Lions and the Raiders. I’ve got the Lions winning on the road in Oakland. I think the Raiders defense will struggle to keep up with Matthew Stafford’s arm; he’s going to throw the ball A LOT. And I figure the Detroit D will force a turnover or two. Stella’s pick here is all about the run game. She likes rookie Josh Jacobs to have a big game carrying the ball, while also having real doubts about the effectiveness of a Lions team that will be down to a third-string running back. Whichever team wins, it’ll be because they controlled the clock and protected the ball.

Finally, we’ve got Cleveland/Denver. I’m picking the Browns, even though they haven’t looked all that great in recent weeks. I just have to believe that a team with this much talent will figure it out – especially against a team as suspect as the Broncos – even if Baker Mayfield is maybe a little too online these days. Stella agrees with me on the talent level of the Browns, but she thinks Denver will be able to take advantage of the current Cleveland chaos. She also thinks the Broncos will be able to move the ball on the ground against the Browns without too much trouble.

And there we have it. Six games. In the lead at the halfway mark – not sure how to feel about it. That three-game cushion can go away awfully quickly. But for now, I’m just going to try to enjoy it.

Stella is unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, October 31

SAN FRANCISCO at Arizona

Sunday, November 3

HOUSTON at Jacksonville

Washington at BUFFALO

MINNESOTA at Kansas City

NY JETS at Miami

Chicago at PHILADELPHIA

INDIANAPOLIS at Pittsburgh

Tennessee at CAROLINA

DETROIT at Oakland

Tampa Bay at SEATTLE

CLEVELAND at Denver

GREEN BAY at LA Chargers

NEW ENGLAND at Baltimore

Monday, November 4

DALLAS at NY Giants

Week 8 record: 12-3

Season record: 78-41-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, October 31

SAN FRANCISCO at Arizona

Sunday, November 3

Houston at JACKSONVILLE

Washington at BUFFALO

Minnesota at KANSAS CITY

NY JETS at Miami

Chicago at PHILADELPHIA

Indianapolis at PITTSBURGH

TENNESSEE at Carolina

Detroit at OAKLAND

Tampa Bay at SEATTLE

Cleveland at DENVER

GREEN BAY at LA Chargers

NEW ENGLAND at Baltimore

Monday, November 4

DALLAS at NY Giants

Week 8 record: 12-3

Season record: 75-44-1

Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2019 10:12

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