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Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 11

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Well ... it was fun while it lasted.

I had my worst week of the season, going sub-.500 after hitting on just six winners. Stella’s 8-5-1 isn’t her best work, but it’s good enough to turn my one-game lead into hers. I can only imagine that this is the beginning of the end – this week will have a lot to say about that.

Stella and I are at odds on six of this week’s contests. We’ve had more contentious weeks, but this still leaves room for some significant movement if one of us hits (if you were going to bet on which of us that would be, I’d say Stella by a mile. Also, please don’t bet on this).

Our first disputed matchup is Green Bay at Minnesota. I’ve got Minnesota handling their business at home against the Packers. Look for Dalvin Cook to have a big game on the ground, allowing the Vikings to control the clock and opening things up for Kirk Cousins and the passing game. It’ll all come down to their ability to minimize big play opportunities. Stella agrees that that may be the Minnesota game plan – she just doesn’t think it’ll work. She doesn’t expect the Packers to skip a beat with RB A.J. Dillon stepping in for an injured Aaron Jones and thinks big things will happen for the Aaron Rodgers/Davante Adams connection. She’s calling for the Packers to win big.

Next is Dolphins/Jets. I picked Miami. Stella picked New York. Neither of us cares about this game (and neither should you).

From there, we’re off to Philadelphia, where I have the visiting Saints taking down the Eagles. I recognize the quarterback concerns for New Orleans, but I’m banking on a return to form for Alvin Kamara – he’s got a shot at a big game against this particular defense. The Saints D won’t be able to fully stop the Philly rushing attack, but they’ve got a good shot at slowing it down. Maybe not a lot, but enough. Stella has really taken a shine to Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, even as he struggles to find consistency. She thinks this will be a good one for him, both through the air and on the ground – she’s looking for some big numbers. The rest of the Eagles ground attack should continue to move the ball and control the clock. She also expects the Philadelphia defense to hassle the Saints into a couple of turnovers.

To Sin City we go, where I have the home Raiders defeating the visiting Bengals. I recognize that the Raiders are a disaster right now, but I think they’ve got a real shot against a reeling Cincinnati team. I think we’re going to see a lot of tight end Dustin Waller – more than usual, even; he could see 15 targets here. Derek Carr will get it done through the air even with a stagnant rush. And I think the Raiders D-line will be able to get to Joe Burrow. Stella won’t be surprised to see a lot of points on the board for the Raiders – she just thinks the Bengals will have more. She’s got both running back Joe Mixon and rookie wideout sensation Ja’Marr Chase marked down for big performances (Mixon in particular, considering the Raiders’ futility against the run). We’re both considering this one a potential barnburner.

Next, I’ve got the Cowboys going into Kansas City and knocking off the Chiefs. I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from the Dallas offense thus far; Dak Prescott is going to have little trouble picking apart the ineffective Chiefs defense. Zeke Elliott looks poised to make some noise alongside the Cowboys receiver corps. They’re going to score a ton. And yes, they’re going to struggle to stop the Chiefs, but I think they win in a shootout. Stella also expects a shootout, just one with a different victor. She thinks that Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense have put their struggles behind them and are ready to start firing away again. Tyreek Hill is overdue for one of his absolutely ridiculous performances and Stella thinks the conditions are right this week. She’s got little confidence in the shaky KC defense, but she thinks the offense scores enough to overcome it.

Lastly, I’ve got Seattle winning at home against the Cardinals. I don’t love the pick, particularly when I’m not sure which of Arizona’s skill players will be on the field, but I’ve got a gut feeling about this one. The Seahawks aren’t great, but I do think that Russell Wilson has one of those Russell Wilson games on tap. Relying on Wilson’s playmaking for a pick is risky, but as I said – I’ve got a hunch. Stella appreciates my willingness to go with my instincts even when those instincts are, to her mind, clearly wrong. Granted, she’s optimistic about Kyler Murray taking the field, which certainly helps in her conviction. As for the rest of the team’s rather extensive injury woes, she recognizes their impact, but thinks that they still have enough to take down a spiraling Seahawks team.

And there we have it. I have relinquished my lead – will I regain it? Or is this simply the start of a slow, steady surge as Stella pushes further and further ahead? I have my guess, but your mileage may vary. Wish me luck – I’m thinking I’ll need it.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 18

NEW ENGLAND at Atlanta

Sunday, Nov. 21

Indianapolis at BUFFALO

BALTIMORE at Chicago

Detroit at CLEVELAND

Houston at TENNESSEE

Green Bay at MINNESOTA

MIAMI at NY Jets

NEW ORLEANS at Philadelphia

Washington at CAROLINA

SAN FRANCISCO at Jacksonville

Cincinnati at LAS VEGAS

DALLAS at Kansas City

Arizona at SEATTLE

Pittsburgh at LA CHARGERS

Monday, Nov. 22

NY Giants at TAMPA BAY

Week 10 record: 6-7-1

Season record: 90-59-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 18

NEW ENGLAND at Atlanta

Sunday, Nov. 21

Indianapolis at BUFFALO

BALTIMORE at Chicago

Detroit at CLEVELAND

Houston at TENNESSEE

GREEN BAY at Minnesota

Miami at NY JETS

New Orleans at PHILADELPHIA

Washington at CAROLINA

SAN FRANCISCO at Jacksonville

CINCINNATI at Las Vegas

Dallas at KANSAS CITY

ARIZONA at Seattle

Pittsburgh at LA CHARGERS

Monday, Nov. 22

NY Giants at TAMPA BAY

Week 10 record: 8-5-1

Season record: 91-58-1

Last modified on Thursday, 18 November 2021 09:06

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