The Schectman Report, NFL Week 4: Picks with a Hint of… Is That Clove?

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So Week Three was a little bonkers. I’ve seen a lot of Lions losses, but that one impressed even me. A field goal kicked from Kalamazoo that bounces high off the crossbar as it gleefully sails through? It actually looked like the football was giving the Detroit fans the middle finger as it slowly and gracefully doinked dead center between the goalposts. I saw a fan (for lack of a better word) reaction on TikTok with the caption, “I watched my husband’s soul die during the Lions game”.

He must be new here. I hope he saved those tears to show his grandchildren someday. Along with the reaction video, obviously.

Meanwhile, what’s the over/under on how many seconds you can leave Aaron Rodgers? Is it single digits? It takes longer for me to sneeze than for him to get in field goal range. Did you know it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open? I wonder if that’s to stop your eyeballs from doing this:

It feels like that’s the reason.

On to Week Four!

JAGUARS (+7.5) AT BENGALS

The Bengals beat up the Steelers in Pittsburgh. A week after losing to the Bears. It just makes sense. It’s like when a girl tells you she’s not ready to date anyone right now and three days later you see her out with another guy. It feels like that. That’s what we’re dealing with here.

The Jaguars are moving into Charlie Brown territory. And every other team is Lucy holding the ball. It’s still parity though. All the other teams are equally better than Jacksonville.

Don’t get too cocky on the Bengals. Normally that would be a joke, now it’s just a sign of the apocalypse. But I still take them here. When the Jags stop losing by double digits we’ll talk. About them losing by single digits.

Jacksonville has three Hooters. Maybe the rest of us are judging the city by the wrong standards.

FOOTBALL TEAM (-1.5) AT FALCONS

I gave Washington too much credit. Maybe you can’t win in the NFL without an actual nickname after all. And everywhere else in the world thinks football means soccer. Shouldn’t WE be calling football “soccer”, and soccer “football”? No wonder everyone hates us. I vote we change this to Washington Soccer Team immediately. Who’s with me?

The Falcons got a win over the Giants. Yeah. A deep playoff run is coming, no doubt. Matt Ryan reminds me of Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. They both had a moment and then disappeared faster than 28-3.

This feels like a game where you’re embarrassed to admit it’s what you’re watching when someone asks. Like porn. Or a Will Ferrell movie.

I go Soccer Team here.

TEXANS (+16.5) AT BILLS

Look, if Soccer Team couldn’t cover this kind of spread, how the hell will the depleted Texans? Does the mercy rule kick in at 99-0? Houston needs Tyrod Taylor. He’s everything you always wanted in a beer. And less. Like these guys!

Do you think “Flo” and those Progressive Insurance ads need to stop? Miller beat this campaign to death for like ten years. And former athletes had to participate. There was literally nothing else for them to do before social media for arthritis money. They shot this commercial themselves, Miller didn’t even ask for it.

Taylor would fit right in.

Yes, take Buffalo. And don’t admit you watched this game either.

LIONS (+3) AT BEARS

We’re getting to the good games, I swear.

Detroit fans were so happy, they were so sure they had that game. I mean, they just want one win so they don’t have to think about 0-16 again (or 0-17 now, for a new challenge). One win is a decent season for them. By the way, the NFL admitted the refs hosed them, but even Lions fans can’t bring themselves to point the finger there.

The Bears need Andy Dalton back like the Texans need Tyrod Taylor. I see a new Miller Lite ad taking shape.

The Lions may very well stay safely tucked in the fetal position the rest of the year. Like people who sit through a Will Ferrell movie. But isn’t it the worst case for Detroit to lose again on a last-second field goal? And that’s covered. So Lions are the pick here.

PANTHERS (+4.5) AT COWBOYS

See, I told you! This one should be fun. I might have to stop making fun of Sam Darnold. Maybe the Jets really were the problem in his case. Or any case. He’s been looking pretty good, even though he’s been beating up on kids half his size. I was sure this would be the game Carolina gets exposed for being middling at best. But now I’m only pretty sure.

Dallas is rolling. And while they also are due for a punch in the mouth, I don’t think it’ll come from the Panthers. It’s just the unearned swagger that always bothers me with Dallas.

The Raiders are like that too, except this year the Raiders have actually earned their swagger. It’s the most likable Raider team in my lifetime. I’m gonna go throw up now.

As for Dallas/Carolina, I see a lot of similarities. I see a good game. I see the Cowboys acting like Will Ferrell for another week.

Cowboys win this one.

COLTS (+1.5) AT DOLPHINS

This is a tough game to call.

Or watch.

Despite outward appearances, I’m starting to think neither of these teams is very good. On the plus side, fans have a song that sums up their feelings. See?

It was written by a Jets fan. But still.

Speaking of real songs from fake bands, remember when Spinal Tap put out the album “Break Like The Wind”? Good times.

I’m going Colts here only because if they tie you still win that way. I think. I mean, aside from everyone involved feeling unsatisfied. Like safe sex. Or any sex after marriage.

BROWNS (-2) AT VIKINGS

This has all the makings of a fun game to watch, even though one of the teams is Cleveland. I’m fairly sure Kirk Cousins reads this column, because ever since I made an inbreeding joke about marrying your Cousins he’s been looking like an MVP candidate. To be fair, the joke was more aimed at Minnesotans. You had to be there.

With the Bengals looking halfway decent though, that opening day Viking loss seems more forgivable. Also, the Browns are the only team so far who couldn’t even beat the Chiefs.

This game comes down to whether or not you trust Kirk Cousins. I do not. BUT, I’m tired of him making me look like Will Ferrell, so I’m going Minnesota here. Bring it, Cousins! Or else get ready for a lot of “Cousins’ parents turn out to be cousins” jokes.

Also, the Browns are due for a letdown. You’ll see. You’ll all see.

GIANTS (+7.5) AT SAINTS

The Giants could easily be 3-0 if not for a couple of end-of-game failures (and an old-fashioned punking from Denver). But have you seen their upcoming schedule? They don’t have another winnable game until January. That’s next year. It’s like fighting Thanos every week with just Hawkeye. Have fun with that.

Why does his chin look like a can of sardines? Is that ever explained? Does he shave with a rake or something?

The Saints looked pretty good in beating the life out of the hapless Pats. Look, Jameis wouldn’t be “Win Some” Winston if he didn’t win some. But some of those throws? How often is your coach justifiably mad after a TD throw?

But New Orleans finally gets a home game, and they have momentum again. This doesn’t end well for New York. Does anything?

Saints here.

TITANS (-7.5) AT JETS

So the Titans get an early bye week here. Are we really gonna make them play the actual game? Can’t we just simulate it on Madden? Or let them flip a coin and if it lands on its edge standing upright, a Notre Dame student gets laid and the Jets get credited with a win. Crazy anomalies.

Do you know who’s excited about a 17-game season this year? The Jets. An extra game to shine!

I’m not excited about the Titans yet. But I am this week unless the spread moves to 15.

Hey, remember that time Rex Ryan coached the Jets and showed the team a map of the parade route for when they won the Super Bowl? Good times.

CHIEFS (-7) AT EAGLES

The Eagles don’t seem as boisterous as they were after winning big in Week One. Where’s all the flexing? Oh, right.

On the plus side for them, the Chiefs appear to be suffering from a classic Super Bowl loser hangover. They should be 0-3 and would be if not for, you know, the Browns being all Brown-y.

Meanwhile, KC is adding Josh Gordon. Mahomes to Gordon will be fun for the eight minutes we get before he gets suspended again. Sadly, he’s not the first to be tormented by his demons.

Kansas City is going to break out of their funk at some point, with or without Cookie Monster.

I go with the last-place Chiefs here.

CARDINALS (+5) AT RAMS

I like this game a lot. Yes, the Cards have looked iffy along the way, and nothing good ever happens to them. Still, they are 3-0 and catching the Rams at the perfect time. I expect LA to have some semblance of an emotional let-down after thumping Tampa Bay last week. They just won’t be quite so amped up for Arizona.

Yes, the Rams are the better team. Yes, the Rams will likely win the game. Maybe. But I like the Cardinals with the points this week.

And not just because Kyler is a real name now.

I guarantee at least one of his cakes looked like this:

And then his parents had to artfully turn the T into a K.

We’ve all done it. No shame.

Also, I have no idea what creature that is on that cake, but I’m pretty sure the birthday boy still has nightmares. I know I will.

SEAHAWKS (+2.5) AT 49ERS

Well at this point I’m starting to have my doubts about Pete Carroll, who normally inspires so much confidence as a coach. On the other hand, the Niners have looked wobbly to me all season as well. If one of these teams had won last week it would be easy to pick the other. But they both lost. And now both have to claw to keep pace with the Rams and Cardinals.

Poor Jimmy Garoppolo. He had that big superhero moment, throwing the go-ahead TD with just 37 seconds left against Green Bay. He looked so happy. For about 31 of those seconds.

I have no idea what’s wrong with the Seahawks. Wait, yes I do. Their coach is Pete Carroll. Now, you can’t blame all the Seattle woes on the coach. But it’s pretty fun if you do.

Russell Wilson can’t always bail him out anymore.

49ers are the pick.

RAVENS (+1) AT BRONCOS

Could the Broncos have had an easier schedule so far? Giants, Jaguars, Jets, and now a Ravens club that should be just as winless as the others? I mean, Baltimore was right there in all three games, but they should have lost them all. They literally needed divine intervention to beat the LIONS.

It makes it hard to go against Denver. Even if you don’t believe in Denver. And I think John Denver has a better shot at playing the Super Bowl this year than the Broncos.

But I have to go with the Broncos here. They just don’t know how bad they are yet.

Or what’s in the coffee.

STEELERS (+6.5) AT PACKERS

It’s a bad, bad sign when the Steelers lose at home like that to the Bengals. As far as signs go.

This one’s not ideal either:

Yeah. Pretty sure that’s a one-truck operation.

This is a game of two teams going in opposite directions. And one of them only needs 37 seconds to win. I think things get worse for Pittsburgh before they get better.

That said, did you notice how Green Bay was cruising against San Fran, up 17-0? Then they gave away the momentum with one lapse on special teams (allowing a 68-yard kick return that led to a TD). It was a dogfight the rest of the way.

The lesson, as always, stop doing stupid things.

Green Bay is the pick. If they don’t get stupid.

BUCCANEERS (-6.5) AT PATRIOTS

This game would be fantastic no matter how good each team was. Brady v Belichick, quite possibly the only time. I love everything about this game. I want this one story to be dragged out for ten hours instead of three. Someone call Netflix.

Brady’s team has all the talent. The Pats have the better coach. One who knows Brady better than anyone, I might add. There’s so much on the line for both men, and neither will ever admit it. This is a mini-Super Bowl. Or angry ex-LTR sex.

I love Belichick. Greatest coach ever. If anyone could pull off the upset, it’s him.

But Brady is the GOAT. And talent usually wins out. Bucs win. Bill will have a great plan, he just won’t have the horses to execute it. Either way, I doubt we’ll see this kind of emotion from him:

Unless he wins:

RAIDERS (+3.5) AT CHARGERS

Another good one. And you never know when the Chargers are gonna press the agonizer button. It usually only works when they’re on the verge of victory. So it works a lot.

The Raiders have been the most fun team to watch through three games. Living on the edge. Still mad about the tuck rule. They’re kinda like that former girlfriend who still to this day thinks you cheated on her. Just because that one time you cheated on her.

The likeliest scenario here is a Charger win.

Which is why I’m going with the Raiders. Vegas, baby!


And there you have it, Week Four is here! Thoughts and prayers to the Lions.

As always, thanks for playing!

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