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Kibbles and Picks 2022 - Week 17 Featured

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Hubris (noun): Exaggerated pride or self-confidence

God damn it.

Obviously, I knew deep down that this was how it was going to play out. After a mediocre showing from me – 8-8 – and another killer week from Stella – 11-5 – I have relinquished my lead. The three-game swing has her back on top by a game, with just two weeks remaining. Yes, there is time for me to take it back. Will I?

We all know the answer to that.

It won’t keep me from trying, of course. Once again, we are at odds in seven of the week’s contests. That means plenty of room for me to take the power back, although considering last week’s debacle, it seems … let’s just say unlikely.

We lead things off with one of our usual “no one cares” games between Arizona and Atlanta. I’ve got the Falcons winning at home, because, I don’t know, they’re at home? Stella’s got the Cardinals eking out the road win, mostly because she wanted some action, I think. Don’t watch this game.

Next, I once again succumbed to my inherent homerism and picked the Patriots to win at home against the Dolphins. Do I believe that New England is the better team? Reader, I do not. But I’ve picked with my heart this whole season and I’m not about to stop now. And hey – the Dolphins are facing some injury adversity, so who knows? Maybe the weather will suck and I’ll get lucky. Stella thinks that that is a bunch of nonsense and that Miami will beat this New England team regardless of who’s under center; she recognizes that they’ll miss Tua, but she’s of a mind that the talent on this Dolphins team will win out. She’s probably right, but I regret nothing.

From there, it’s on to Tampa Bay, where I have Carolina nabbing the road win against the Buccaneers. I’ll be honest – this is mostly because I can’t really get a bead on this Panthers squad and I’m feeling the need to take some swings here. Stella’s going with the Bucs because she’s pretty sure this Carolina team is all smoke and mirrors and expects that Tom Brady and company are going to play well enough down the stretch to sneak into the playoffs. If they’re going to do that, they really need a win here – and she thinks they get it without too much trouble. I think they fall short, but again – what do I know?

In our second “who gives a crap?” game, I’ve got the Commanders winning at home against the visiting Browns. Obviously, Carson Wentz is no longer a good quarterback, but we’ve apparently decided to start him over Taylor Heineke, so we’ll see what happens. Still, Washington’s got a real chance to handle their business against a reeling Cleveland team. Stella thinks that Deshaun Watson is a garbage human being and has been thus far a garbage quarterback, but she thinks he’s got at least one good performance in him for this season and the ‘Ders D gives him an opportunity to put one of those out there (it’s worth noting that she’s actually hoping she’s wrong about this one, due to the aforementioned garbage human being thing).

Off the Pacific Northwest, where I have the Seahawks winning against the visiting Jets. I’ve actually really liked what I’ve seen from Geno Smith; as someone who definitely thought he was going to be so-so at best, I can admit when I’m wrong. He’s been very good – good enough to do some damage against a pretty good Jets defense. Stella believes that that very same defense will be the difference-maker; she’s expecting a couple of big plays from the likes of DROY frontrunner Sauce Gardner, among others. She’s less of a fan of the anemic Jets offense, but she likes them in what she anticipates will be a very low-scoring affair.

After that, I have Minnesota going into Green Bay and pulling out a win. I’m not sure what’s going to happen to this Vikings squad come playoff time, but the reality is that they have a ton of talent on offense. Justin Jefferson might be the best wideout in the NFL and Dalvin Cook is a threat every time he touches the ball. Plus, Kirk Cousins is actually kind of good. They’ve traditionally struggled in Green Bay this time of year, but I like them to change that this time around. Stella likes the Vikes too, but she’s expecting a strong showing from the Packers offense here. She’s got a hunch that some combination of WR/RB for Green Bay will show out, though she’s not sure just who (fingers crossed it’s Christian Watson/Aaron Jones – I’ve got my third-place fantasy football matchup this weekend). She also thinks that the weather might be a factor against dome team Minnesota.

Lastly, in what could be the game of the week, we have Buffalo/Cincinnati. I’m going with the visiting Bills; I just like this offense so much. And with Josh Allen potentially playing in not a blizzard, I have to expect he’ll perform well. Look for a good game out of Stephon Diggs as well, after a quiet Week 16. I think the Buffalo D could potentially wreak some havoc as well. Stella is expecting a shootout, but thinks that the Bengals are poised to bounce back after last weekend’s iffy second half performance against the Patriots. She’s betting that Joe Burrow is back to slinging it, with the Bengals wideout corps proving too much for the Bills secondary to handle. Basically, so long as the Cincy O-line can keep Burrow more or less upright, she’s figuring on a win.

And there it is. I must once again play from behind in the final weeks. I’m doing my best to pull something out here, but the truth is that we’re seeing a very familiar pattern playing out once again. I’ll take my shots, but you better believe that Stella remains completely and utterly unconcerned.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, December 29

DALLAS at Tennessee

Sunday, January 1

Arizona at ATLANTA

Chicago at DETROIT

Denver at KANSAS CITY

Miami at NEW ENGLAND

Indianapolis at NY GIANTS

New Orleans at PHILADELPHIA

CAROLINA at Tampa Bay

Cleveland at WASHINGTON

JACKSONVILLE at Houston

SAN FRANCISCO at Las Vegas

NY Jets at SEATTLE

MINNESOTA at Green Bay

LA Rams at LA CHARGERS

Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE

Monday, January 2

BUFFALO at Cincinnati

Week 16 record: 8-8

Season record: 143-93-2

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, December 29

DALLAS at Tennessee

Sunday, January 1

ARIZONA at Atlanta

Chicago at DETROIT

Denver at KANSAS CITY

MIAMI at New England

Indianapolis at NY GIANTS

New Orleans at PHILADELPHIA

Carolina at TAMPA BAY

CLEVELAND at Washington

JACKSONVILLE at Houston

SAN FRANCISCO at Las Vegas

NY JETS at Seattle

Minnesota at GREEN BAY

LA Rams at LA CHARGERS

Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE

Monday, January 2

Buffalo at CINCINNATI

Week 16 record: 11-5

Season record: 144-92-2

Last modified on Thursday, 29 December 2022 09:50

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