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Kibbles and Picks 2022 – Week 13

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Could it be? Do I actually have a shot at this?

Another strong showing from both of us, but my 11-5 week was one game better than Stella’s 10-6, which helps me to double the size of my lead for the season to a whopping two games. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’ve spent a decade being dominated, any whiff of hope is welcome.

Of course, it could well be that Stella is simply toying with me before laying down the hammer in the season’s final month and once again wiping the floor with me. We’ll have to wait and see.

There’s a chance for some real movement this week, with the two of us at odds on almost half of the Week 13 slate – seven games out of 15. A big performance by either one of us could potentially lead to the season essentially being sewn up. Will one of us go 7-0 or 6-1 in these games? Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

We’ll start on Thursday night, where I continue to pick with my heart against my head’s better judgment. I’ve got the Patriots winning at home over the visiting Buffalo Bills. While I’ll concede that the Bills are a better team, I like the energy we’ve gotten from this Pats team. I’m crossing my fingers that a big day from Rhamondre Stevenson, some solid game management from QB Mac Jones and a standout performance from the stout defense will be enough to shut down this very good Buffalo team. Stella will occasionally pick against the Patriots to troll me, but not this week – she really likes this Buffalo team and thinks that they’ve got the weapons to do a number on New England. She’s expecting a little less running from QB Josh Allen, but anticipates that he’ll go hard to guys like Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis to make up the difference. And don’t sleep on the Bills running backs either – there’s real talent there. She’s expecting that Buffalo walks out of Gillette with a win and a stranglehold on the division’s top spot.

Next, we’re off to the ATL, where I’m picking the Steelers to knock off the Falcons. It’s a bit of a gamble on my part – running back Najee Harris is pretty dinged up – but I’ve also liked the recent developments in the relationship between QB Kenny Pickett and wideout George Pickens. If they keep it up, they could be one dynamic duo … or at least, dynamic enough to beat the Falcons. Stella likes Atlanta to hold serve at home. There’s no one guy on the roster that really stands out to her. She recognizes that the loss of tight end Kyle Pitts is really going to undermine the offense. And yet … she has a feeling. Thing is, her feelings tend to be right.

In one of our standard “no one should watch this game” games, I’ve got Detroit winning at home over Jacksonville. Basically, I picked them because they’re at home and the Jags aren’t good. Stella picked the Jaguars because, while she agrees that they’re bad, she believes them to be significantly less bad than the Lions. Neither of us will know how this turns out until the CBS/FOX ticker or the internet tells us – and that’s as it should be.

In the Commanders/Giants tilt, I’m going with the Giants. I know that Saquon Barkley is going to shatter eventually, but he hasn’t yet. And I refuse to believe that Washington is anywhere near as good as their record indicates. Sure, the Giants are also a bit of smoke and mirrors, but nothing like the ‘Ders. Stella is picking Washington because, while she also lacks belief that they are for real, she expects that they’ve got a little bit more luck heading their way because, hey – they’re playing the Giants. A game that will be wildly interesting to two specific fanbases (and maybe some other NFC East watchers) and ho-hum to the rest of us.

Next, in what’s probably a tiny bit of a reach, I’m picking the Dolphins to win on the road against the 49ers. There’s something about this Miami team; it looks like Tua has finally figured it out under center, while there are some legit scary dudes catching his passes – expect another big one from Jaylen Waddle. The defense has shown signs as well. Stella is a bit baffled by my continued refusal to believe in the Niners; she actually thinks they might be good enough to make legitimate postseason noise, assuming Jimmy G can keep it together and midseason acquisition Christian McCaffery’s legs remain properly attached to his body. The San Francisco defense is strong as well. She thinks they’ll handle the Dolphins, though she will concede that Miami is good.

From there, we jet off to Sin City, where I have the Raiders winning at home against the visiting Chargers. Obviously, we’re not going to see anything like the game that Josh Jacobs put up last week, but if he’s even half as productive, the Chargers are going to have a hell of a time winning this game. Stella would like to gently remind me that the Raiders are actually kind of bad, and while the Chargers have been inconsistent, they still have a wealth of skill position talent. She’s looking for running back Austin Ekeler to go off – both running and receiving – and doing more than enough to take down this Vegas team.

Lastly, on Monday night, I’m reaching again, picking the Saints to win on the road against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Is it a smart pick? Probably not. But I’m here to make moves, and I wouldn’t be at all shocked if New Orleans finds a way to take down the Bucs and their middle-aged QB. How, you ask? Hell, I don’t know – I just pick them. Stella is happy to go with the Buccaneers here; even if Brady isn’t quite up to snuff, she sure does like young running back Rachaad White to do some damage on the ground against a potentially soft Saints run D. She gets why I’m reaching, but she ultimately believes it to be an ill-chosen move.

And there we are. Seven contests. A chance for me to expand my lead or for Stella to wrest back control. In the end, it’ll probably break down 4-3, maybe 5-2, but you never know. That’s why the play the games.

Stella, as always, remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, December 1

Buffalo at NEW ENGLAND

Sunday, December 4

PITTSBURGH at Atlanta

GREEN BAY at Chicago

Jacksonville at DETROIT

NY Jets at MINNESOTA

Washington at NY GIANTS

Tennessee at PHILADELPHIA

Denver at BALTIMORE

CLEVELAND at Houston

SEATTLE at LA Rams

MIAMI at San Francisco

KANSAS CITY at Cincinnati

LA Chargers at LAS VEGAS

Indianapolis at DALLAS

Monday, December 5

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Bay

Week 12 record: 11-5

Season record: 106-71-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, December 1

BUFFALO at New England

Sunday, December 4

PITTSBURGH at Atlanta

GREEN BAY at Chicago

JACKSONVILLE at Detroit

NY Jets at MINNESOTA

WASHINGTON at NY Giants

Tennessee at PHILADELPHIA

Denver at BALTIMORE

CLEVELAND at Houston

SEATTLE at LA Rams

Miami at SAN FRANCISCO

KANSAS CITY at Cincinnati

LA CHARGERS at Las Vegas

Indianapolis at DALLAS

Monday, December 5

New Orleans at TAMPA BAY

Week 12 record: 10-6

Season record: 104-73-1

Last modified on Thursday, 01 December 2022 10:13

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