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Kibbles and Picks 2020 - Week 6

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That certainly was a week.

Neither Stella nor myself were particularly prescient in Week 5 – I blame the fact that we made our picks while at camp and were distracted; Stella is of the mind that we should accept full responsibility for our picks regardless of situation – but I managed to be just a teensy bit better, pulling an 8-6 record in the 14 games played, while Stella landed at 7-7.

I gained a game! Granted, there aren’t going to be many weeks when she only manages .500 – if I’m only able to cut her lead by one in those circumstances, it’s going to be a long season.

There’s a chance of a big swing this week – we are at odds in eight of the 14 scheduled contests (though we’ll see if all of them actually get played). As always, this presents an opportunity for either a) me to eliminate her lead, or b) her to significantly extend it. We’ll have to see how it goes.

(Note: I know we’re late in dropping this week’s edition, but we figured that with no Thursday night game, we could delay in an effort to have a better sense of how the schedule would actually shake out.)

First out of the gate, we have the Atlanta/Minnesota matchup – a game that is ostensibly still going to happen as of this writing, but it won’t be a huge surprise to see it get postponed. Anyway, I’ve got the Vikings winning this one, thanks to the surprisingly solid work of Kirk Cousins in the passing game and the even more surprisingly small dropoff from RB Dalvin Cook’s absence. Stella had good luck with the “fired coach wakeup call” pick last week, so she’s going for it again, picking the Falcons after the firing of their coach. She also thinks Julio Jones will be ready for a bounceback game, meaning that Matt Ryan has a plethora of offensive weapons to choose amongst. She’s calling for ATtlanta’s first W in 2020.

Next, in a game that no one should care about, I have the Giants winning at home over Washington. I have no reason for that other than they are at home. Stella has chosen Washington because … well, she just didn’t want to pick the Giants. This game will be bad and everyone who watches it should feel bad.

In one of Week 6’s marquee games, I’m picking the Browns to go into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers. This Cleveland squad has looked really good thus far, with Baker Mayfield appearing to figure things out under center. The Nick Chubb injury isn’t great, but Kareem Hunt should have no problem carrying the load. The Browns D looks ready to harness its talent as well. Stella likes the Browns, but she has a good feeling about what Pittsburgh is bringing to the table for this one. She really likes Ben Roethlisberger to have a big game passing the ball; she’s guessing he’ll handle whatever Cleveland throws at him. They’re also terrific at rushing the passer; Stella’s expecting them to have Mayfield running scared.

We’ve got yet another coin flip game in the Bears/Panthers tilt. I’m going with Chicago on the road, though I can’t for the life of me articulate precisely why. Stella’s got the Panthers winning at home, though she’s equally unable to explain her choice. Whoever controls the clock will control this one – we’re both anticipating a close game.

I’ve got Jacksonville winning at home against Detroit. While the Jaguars haven’t been spectacular, they’ve displayed a somewhat surprising level of competence thus far. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Gardner Minshew at quarterback and their skill guys are solid, albeit lacking in flash. It won’t be an exciting game, but it will be a Jags win. Stella disagrees; she acknowledges the organizational turmoil in Detroit, but she’s also of the mind that the Lions might still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Really, it boils down to whether the youngsters can step up and give Matthew Stafford the necessary support to pull out the W. She believes that they will.

Bay of Pigs matchup alert! I’m picking the Packers to go into Tampa and take down the Buccaneers. I love what I’ve seen from Aaron Rodgers so far this year – he’s playing at a level reminiscent of his peak – and the rest of the squad has been strong as well. Aaron Jones has been great running the ball and the defense has looked pretty good. Stella likes the Bucs here because she feels like they’re finally starting to put it all together. If wideout Chris Godwin returns as expected, the whole Tampa Bay offense opens up for Tom Brady in a way that it hasn’t since the season’s start. One thing we both agree on – there are going to be a lot of points score in this one. Expect a shootout, regardless of who wins.

I like the Rams to beat the 49ers in San Francisco. While the running game has looked a little disjointed, it’s tough to deny that Jared Goff is finding his groove. If he can keep throwing the ball like he has – and if DT Aaron Donald and the rest of the D can keep doing what they do – Los Angeles should have little problem holding off the slumping 49ers. Stella expects that the Niners are going to haul themselves out of said slump. She likes QB Jimmy Garoppolo to step up after another week of healing for his high-ankle sprain and for the Niners defense to handle the iffy Rams running game. She’s betting that the San Francisco secondary can take advantage of Goff and land a big turnover or two.

Last but not least, I’m picking the Cardinals to go into Dallas and take down the Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys offense makes me nervous, but the Arizona attack – led by Kyler Murray – is nothing to sneeze at. Guys like DeAndre Hopkins and Kenyan Drake could have big games, while the Cardinals defense has shown a propensity for big plays. And with the loss of Dak Prescott, Dallas is reeling. Stella views it a different way, expecting the Cowboys to rally behind backup QB Andy Dalton and pull off the win. She’s anticipating a lot of action for Ezekiel Elliott, and with that still-formidable Dallas O-line, she thinks he’ll have room to run. Add a couple of big plays from Cowboys receivers and it’s a big W for big D.

And that’s that. Week 6 picks in the books. Here’s hoping that I can turn this season around before it all gets out of hand.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Sunday, Oct. 18

Houston at TENNESSEE

Cincinnati at INDIANAPOLIS

Atlanta at MINNESOTA

Denver at NEW ENGLAND

Washington at NY GIANTS

BALTIMORE at Philadelphia

CLEVELAND at Pittsburgh

CHICAGO at Carolina

Detroit at JACKSONVILLE

NY Jets at MIAMI

GREEN BAY at Tampa Bay

LA RAMS at San Francisco

Monday, Oct. 19

KANSAS CITY at Buffalo

ARIZONA at Dallas

Week 5 record: 8-6

Season record: 46-30-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Sunday, Oct. 18

Houston at TENNESSEE

Cincinnati at INDIANAPOLIS

ATLANTA at Minnesota

Denver at NEW ENGLAND

WASHINGTON at NY Giants

BALTIMORE at Philadelphia

Cleveland at PITTSBURGH

Chicago at CAROLINA

DETROIT at Jacksonville

NY Jets at MIAMI

Green Bay at TAMPA BAY

LA Rams at SAN FRANCISCO

Monday, Oct. 19

KANSAS CITY at Buffalo

Arizona at DALLAS

Week 5 record: 7-7

Season record: 50-26-1

Last modified on Saturday, 17 October 2020 10:33

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