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Kibbles and Picks 2020 - Week 10

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And so the status quo has been maintained.

Both Stella and I had identical 9-5 records in Week 9, leaving me still behind by a whopping 10 games. Now that we’ve passed the halfway point, well … it’s starting to look a little bleak for yours truly. Not that I don’t have time to catch up, but considering how well Stella has performed thus far, it’s not going to be easy.

I have a chance to make a dent in Week 10, though; we’re at odds in a whopping eight of the 14 scheduled games. If I can pull out a big majority of those, I can reduce Stella’s lead significantly. Or she can continue to bury me. We’ll see how it plays out.

First up is the week’s first game, the Thursday night tilt between Indianapolis and Tennessee. I went with the road Colts here even though I like the Titans a little better; I have to start taking some shots if I want to catch Stella. Basically, I’m rooting for the solid Indy defense to find a way to shut down the Tennessee attack. Stella is pretty sure that’s wishful thinking; she’s anticipating that Derrick Henry will run rampant on the Colts, gaining chunks of yardage with every carry. She also likes the opportunistic Titans D to make a big play or two against Colts QB Philip Rivers.

Next up, I’m going with the Browns at home against the Texans. I feel like Cleveland is on the verge of breaking out. While QB Baker Mayfield has struggled with consistency, there’s just so much talent on this Browns team – I like them to put up some points against Houston. Stella’s convinced that much of Cleveland’s success this season is smoke and mirrors; while she’s not a huge fan of this Texans team, she thinks they’re going to have what it takes to shut down Mayfield. She’s also pretty sure this will be a breakout game for Deshawn Watson, but she says that a lot, so who knows?

In the matchup between Washington and Detroit, I’m going with the visiting Football Team. While I’m not super psyched to see Alex Smith assuming the starter’s role following Kyle Allen’s gruesome injury, there’s a good chance that a WFT skill player – maybe Terry McLaurin – will still manage to have a big day. Stella thinks that the Lions will be able to disrupt Washington’s offense and she’s very excited to see running back D’Andre Swift to bounce back from a down week. She’s not a fan of either team, but in this battle of mediocrity, she’s going with Detroit.

From there, we’re off to Miami, where I’m taking the home Dolphins to defeat the Chargers. I’m a Tua enthusiast – I think the young quarterback has a chance to be really good and this is a nice chance for him to put up a strong showing. This Miami squad has been a surprise – they’re ready to play and it shows. A feisty crew, they’ll handle L.A. Stella’s not disagreeing with that Miami outlook, but she thinks that they’re still a year away. She’s expecting more good work from rookie QB Justin Herbert and thinks that his performance will be enough to overcome the questionable state of the Chargers ground attack.

Buffalo/Arizona has a chance to be one of the best games of the week. I’m going with the road Bills – while I’m concerned about Josh Allen’s up-and-down work under center, he looks ready to blow up. Plus, the Bills defense has been stout all season; I think they can hang with the admittedly-strong Cardinals offense. Stella is a big proponent of Arizona this year. Specifically, she REALLY likes young QB Kyler Murray, who she thinks has a case as a dark horse candidate for MVP. With Murray running the show and an athletic defense, Stella expects that Arizona will handily handle the Bills.

Moving right along, I’ve got the Rams winning at home against the Seahawks. Now, do I think the Rams are a better team than the Seahawks? I do not. However, I think that Seattle is still reeling from last week’s lambasting by Buffalo. It’ll come down to the defense – specifically, I think the L.A. pass rush will be the defining unit of the game. Stella agrees with that last sentiment, only she believes that Russell Wilson will be able to handle his business and overcome the vicious Rams D-line. She’s expecting the Seahawks receiving corps to show up big time this week – she’s not sure which pass catcher will blow up, but she’s betting one of them does.

In the Sunday night matchup, I continue to go with my heart – however ill-advised that might be – and pick the Patriots, this time at home against the Baltimore Ravens. While there’s no doubt that the Ravens have the potential to have huge games at any time, they’ve looked sluggish to me in recent weeks. I think the Pats secondary will be able to keep Lamar Jackson’s passing in check; everything else will spin out from there. Stella thinks I’m a hapless homer; she recognizes Baltimore’s recent struggles, but she also thinks that the Ravens will outperform New England on both sides of the ball. She’s expecting Baltimore to run all over the Pats, to the tune of 200-plus yards; to her mind, it’s an easy Ravens win.

Finally, we have the Monday night game. I’m going with the road Vikings to go into Chicago and take down the Bears. My take is that Minnesota is in the process of turning their season around. Guys like Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson have looked really good; there’s no reason to expect anything different against an iffy Chicago squad. Stella’s playing a hunch here – there’s nothing sexy about the Bears, but she thinks that they’re going to cobble together enough performance to take down a Vikings squad that hasn’t been able to fire on all cylinders with any consistency.

And there we have it – eight out of 14. I need a LOT of these to go my way. Will they? Who knows? That’s why they play the games.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 12

INDIANAPOLIS at Tennessee

Sunday, Nov. 15

Houston at CLEVELAND

WASHINGTON at Detroit

Jacksonville at GREEN BAY

PHILADELPHIA at NY Giants

TAMPA BAY at Carolina

Denver at LAS VEGAS

LA Chargers at MIAMI

BUFFALO at Arizona

Seattle at LA RAMS

San Francisco at NEW ORLEANS

Cincinnati at PITTSBURGH

Baltimore at NEW ENGLAND

Monday, Nov. 16

MINNESOTA at Chicago

Week 9 record: 9-5

Season record: 79-53-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 12

Indianapolis at TENNESSEE

Sunday, Nov. 15

HOUSTON at Cleveland

Washington at DETROIT

Jacksonville at GREEN BAY

PHILADELPHIA at NY Giants

TAMPA BAY at Carolina

Denver at LAS VEGAS

LA CHARGERS at Miami

Buffalo at ARIZONA

SEATTLE at LA Rams

San Francisco at NEW ORLEANS

Cincinnati at PITTSBURGH

BALTIMORE at New England

Monday, Nov. 16

Minnesota at CHICAGO

Week 9 record: 9-5

Season record: 89-43-1

Last modified on Thursday, 12 November 2020 08:26

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