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Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 9

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And after all that … nothing changes.

Stella and I put up identical 9-6 records last week, leaving us tied for another week. Honestly, we’re both feeling pretty good about our performance – it was a weird week all around, so considering that, 9-6 feels solid.

The close race probably isn’t going to change much one way or the other after Week 9, as Stella and I differ on just five of the week’s contests. Sure, one of us could conceivably manage a big move, but it seems unlikely that either of us will put any distance on the other.

First up, we’ve got the Cleveland/Cincinnati matchup. I’m taking the Bengals at home here, figuring that Cincy will be looking to put the embarrassment of losing to the Jets behind them. Look for Joe Burrow to target Ja’Marr Chase even more than usual, with a healthy helping of Joe Mixon to go along with it. Cincy’s defense should be more than good enough to handle the hobbled Browns. Stella’s going with her gut on this one – she acknowledges that things are not great in Cleveland right now, for many reasons. However, she believes that the must-win nature of the game for the Browns will push them; she’s counting on a big game from both the (hopefully) Nick Chubb-led rushing attack and the Cleveland defense. In that kind of slugfest, she thinks that the Browns can grind out a win against the Bengals.

From there, we’re off to Miami for an absolute trashbag of a game with the Dolphins playing host to the Texans. I’m the one reaching here, taking the Texans to win against a heavily-favored Miami team. I’m counting on the return of Tyrod Taylor to open up the passing game; ironically, it’ll be because of Taylor’s mobility. I’m guessing that Brandin Cooks will be a frequent target, and he’s due for a big game. Stella’s going with the Dolphins here, since she believes them to be the far superior squad top to bottom. Again, she’s no fan of Miami’s talent, but when compared to Houston’s, it’s no contest. She’s keeping an eye on Mike Geisicki, expecting the running back to go wild against the Texans front. One thing on which we do agree? This game is going to be terrible.

Next, I’ve got the Falcons going into New Orleans and upsetting the Saints. Yes, there’s some turmoil in Atlanta right now, with wideout Calvin Ridley stepping away from football for the moment. But I still like them to take a shot here. The Matt Ryan/Kyle Pitts connection will be in full effect, though don’t be surprised at a healthy dose of Cordarelle Patterson. That – combined with an Atlanta defense facing a backup QB – should do it. Stella thinks that the Saints will have little trouble with the Falcons, backup QB or no. How they do it will depend on whether it is Taysom Hill or Trevor Siemian under center, but either way, Alvin Kamara is going to go off. She thinks the Saints will be able to shut down a team lacking such a key receiver without much trouble.

In a move that feels very much like she’s trolling me, Stella has once more gone against her homer dad. I’ve got New England going into Carolina and beating the Panthers. I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve seen from the Patriots over the past couple of weeks and I think they’ll continue that trend here. Mac Jones will be solid, spreading short passes around. The running game will be on point behind Damien Harris and company. And the Pats D is not scared of the Carolina offense at all. Stella has gone with the Panthers to hurt me. She claims it is because she anticipates regression from the Patriots, saying that this is a good Carolina secondary that could cause real problems for New England. She also likes the potential for one of the skill position players for the Panthers to really break out – she’s looking at D.J. Moore or Chuba Hubbard. Or so she says – I think we all know that she’s trying to teach me some sort of lesson.

Lastly, I’ve got the Chargers going to Philadelphia and beating the Eagles. The Chargers will be looking to get back on track after their tough loss to New England last week and the Eagles D is a good one to get right against. Justin Herbert is due to remind folks just how good he is – Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will be the likely beneficiaries. And the Chargers defensive front will have Eagles QB Jalen Hurts on the run all day. Stella likes the Eagles to be buoyed by their shellacking of the Lions, leaning into the ground game and turning the contest into a ball-control situation. Hurts will likely keep it short, with a few deep efforts to keep the defense honest. And while she has some doubts about the Eagles D, she also thinks that they can rattle Herbert enough to keep the Chargers from executing explosively.

And that’s that. Just five this week. Here’s hoping that next time, I’m picking from first place. As for Stella? She continues to live in my head (and house) rent-free.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 4

NY Jets at INDIANAPOLIS

Sunday, Nov. 7

Cleveland at CINCINNATI

Denver at DALLAS

HOUSTON at Miami

ATLANTA at New Orleans

LAS VEGAS at NY Giants

NEW ENGLAND at Carolina

BUFFALO at Jacksonville

Minnesota at BALTIMORE

LA CHARGERS at Philadelphia

Green Bay at KANSAS CITY

ARIZONA at San Francisco

Tennessee at LA RAMS

Monday, Nov. 8

Chicago at PITTSBURGH

Week 8 record: 9-6

Season record: 76-46

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Nov. 4

NY Jets at INDIANAPOLIS

Sunday, Nov. 7

CLEVELAND at Cincinnati

Denver at DALLAS

Houston at MIAMI

Atlanta at NEW ORLEANS

LAS VEGAS at NY Giants

New England at CAROLINA

BUFFALO at Jacksonville

Minnesota at BALTIMORE

LA Chargers at PHILADELPHIA

Green Bay at KANSAS CITY

Arizona at SAN FRANCISCO

Tennessee at LA RAMS

Monday, Nov. 8

Chicago at PITTSBURGH

Week 8 record: 9-6

Season record: 76-46

Last modified on Thursday, 04 November 2021 10:02

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