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Kibbles and Picks 2022 – Week 2

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Nothing like getting off to a lukewarm start, eh?

In a Week 1 packed with the unexpected, it probably shouldn’t be that surprising that both Stella and I struggled a little with our picks. We split the six games in which we were at odds, with the rest of the slate playing out in a similar fashion. The end result? Each of us finished about .500, but just barely – 8-7-1, thanks to the frankly ridiculous tie between the Colts and the Texans.

But hey – I’m not playing the scoreboard, I’m playing my opponent. And any week that doesn’t end with her having some kind of massive lead over me is a good week.

We’ve got a similar situation here in Week 2, but this time, we’re in disagreement on seven contests, which means that one way or another, one of us is almost certainly going to be in the lead come this time next week. And yes, I know that you have a strong suspicion about which one of us that will be – it’s the same suspicion I have … and it ain’t me.

First up is the Thursday night contest between the Chargers and the Chiefs. I’m going with the Chiefs to win at home. Patrick Mahomes looked dynamite in Week 1; he seemed unconcerned with the absence of the departed Tyreek Hill. I’m guessing we see something similar this week, with Mahomes spreading the ball around and making nigh-miraculous throws to guys like Travis Kelce. Stella likes what K.C. brings to the table, but she’s got a hunch about this Chargers squad. She thinks Justin Herbert and company are going to put together enough offense to keep pace with the explosive attack of the Chiefs, but she believes the game will ultimately be won by a big play or two from the Los Angeles defense. She’s not sure if it’ll be a pick or a sack or just a third-down stop, but she’s anticipating something special from the Chargers D.

Next, I’m taking a little bit of a swing by picking the Commanders to win on the road against the Lions. This isn’t to say that I think Washington is a good team – I don’t. And I honestly think that Detroit is a more talented overall squad. I just have a hunch that someone on that ‘Ders offense – Terry McLaurin, maybe? – is going to pull off a play or two that makes all the difference. Stella thinks I’m delusional; she watched what the Detroit offense pulled off in the ground game and doubts very much that Washington will have much luck against the likes of D’Andre Swift. One thing on which we very much agree – we won’t be watching this one.

From there, it’s off to New York – well, New Jersey anyway – where I have the Giants holding strong against the Carolina Panthers. After watching Saquon Barkley last week, it seems safe to go with the Giants (at least until he inevitably gets hurt again), so even though I have questions about their passing game, I’m picking the home team. Stella has a hunch about the Panthers this week. She anticipates Christian McCaffery having an even bigger game than Saquon, with that overperformance serving as the difference. She thinks Baker Mayfield will take care of the ball and that Carolina wins an ugly game.

After that, we get to this week’s spite pick, wherein Stella chooses the Steelers to beat my New England Patriots. I like the Pats to pull it together after last week’s struggles, largely because I think this Pittsburgh team is worse than the Dolphins. That’s especially true with the injury to T.J. Watt and the questionable health of Najee Harris. New England won’t be great, but Mac Jones and company will come up with enough offense to win it. Stella concedes the injury concerns and acknowledges that Mitch Trubisky isn’t necessarily a world-beater at QB. But she also has eyes, and that Patriots loss in Week 1 was not pretty. She expects a lot of field goals, with more of them coming off the foot of Chris Boswell.

In the Indianapolis/Jacksonville matchup, I’m going with the Colts. The tie against Houston last week remains troubling, but it’s tough to pick against a team that can hand the ball off to Jonathan Taylor 25 times. Jacksonville is going to struggle to keep Indy from moving the chains. Matt Ryan won’t blow the doors off throwing the ball, but he’s good enough to keep defenses honest. That should be a winning formula. Stella actually thinks there’s a chance this Jags team is sneaky good this year. She expects more growth from Trevor Lawrence and sees some friskiness on the defensive side of the ball. Don’t pencil them in for the playoffs, but Stella likes them to be a tough out. And she expects the Colts are going to learn that firsthand this week.

Next, I have Las Vegas winning at home against Arizona. This promises to be a massive year for Davante Adams catching the ball from old buddy Derek Carr – I think this is a game that will be an exemplar of that. Adams will catch a dozen balls and score a couple of times and the Raiders will run enough to keep things balanced, while the defense will push a reeling Cardinals offense into a mistake or two. That’ll do it. Stella thinks that Arizona – specifically, Kyler Murray – is just too talented to stay down. She anticipates a bounce-back from Murray and for the Cardinals defense to muster up what it takes to slow the Raiders sufficiently to squeak out a win. Either way, we both feel like this one has the potential to be a bit of a messy game.

Last but not least, I’m picking the Vikings to go into Philly and take down the Eagles. There’s a TON of talent on the offensive side for Minnesota. Guys like Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are elite – certainly good enough to elevate the adequate quarterbacking of Kirk Cousins. It’ll boil down to whether the defense can handle the run game of the Eagles, but if they score enough, Philly will have to throw. Stella thinks that may happen, and that it’ll be all right, because she’s counting on Jalen Hurts to have a bit of a breakthrough (as a Hurts owner in fantasy, I hope she’s right). She likes what she saw from him last week and is very excited to see what further possibilities are opened up by the presence of A.J. Brown’s wideout excellence. The Eagles will have to figure out how to handle Jefferson – and good luck – but Stella believes they’re ready to fly.

And there you have it. Seven games. And after one week, it’s all tied up. Tune in next week to see in which direction things have progressed. Cross your fingers for me. Stella, as always, remains unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, September 15

LA Chargers at KANSAS CITY

Sunday, September 18

NY Jets at CLEVELAND

WASHINGTON at Detroit

TAMPA BAY at New Orleans

Carolina at NY GIANTS

NEW ENGLAND at Pittsburgh

INDIANAPOLIS at Jacksonville

Miami at BALTIMORE

Atlanta at LA RAMS

Seattle at SAN FRANCISCO

CINCINNATI at Dallas

Houston at DENVER

Arizona at LAS VEGAS

Chicago at GREEN BAY

Monday, September 19

Tennessee at BUFFALO

MINNESOTA at Philadelphia

Week 1 record: 8-7-1

Season record: 8-7-1

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, September 15

LA CHARGERS at Kansas City

Sunday, September 18

NY Jets at CLEVELAND

Washington at DETROIT

TAMPA BAY at New Orleans

CAROLINA at NY Giants

New England at PITTSBURGH

Indianapolis at JACKSONVILLE

Miami at BALTIMORE

Atlanta at LA RAMS

Seattle at SAN FRANCISCO

CINCINNATI at Dallas

Houston at DENVER

ARIZONA at Las Vegas

Chicago at GREEN BAY

Monday, September 19

Tennessee at BUFFALO

Minnesota at PHILADELPHIA

Week 1 record: 8-7-1

Season record: 8-7-1

Last modified on Thursday, 15 September 2022 13:15

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