The Nickel Week 14
What did we learn, that we didn't already know, from that 'Skins/Ravens game?
1. BOADU: I learned that Kirk Cousins has a price on his head. The other rookie quarterback in Washington is officially trade bait. Right now, Cousins is better than any quarterback coming out in the 2013 draft. My crystal football is telling me that Young KC will be the starting QB in KC next season.
TILLERY: I learned a rookie phenom QB, whom screams like a man, is smart enough to trust his team and more importantly, his backup quarterback when he knew he couldn't go. Most try to stick it out and make everything worse. When Cousins threw the TD to Garcon and ran for the subsequent two-point conversion, the Washington Redskins became a galvanized problem. Good luck NFL.
BRANDON: I learned that RG3 “screamed like a man” when he suffered a sprained knee on the Haloti Ngata hit. But what I suspected all along is that so far, the Redskins look ready and willing to ruin a good thing. Steve Young mentioned last week how this offense in D.C. is unsustainable. Don’t want to get lost in this excitement and forget Griffin isn’t a running back.
GAMBLE: I didn’t know playing QB for the Redskins automatically made you Joe Theismann. I didn’t know Kirk Cousins was still in the NFL. He’s Nicesty too. I didn’t know that being a QB guru means turning your top banana into scrambled eggs. I didn’t know Redman and Method Man were QBs for the Skins. How high must Shanahan be, after pulling this one out in O.T. with Mark Sanchez’s body double.
NUBYJAS: We learned just how much the Ravens defense misses Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. Ravens run defense has been getting gashed more than ever. We also learned the Skins don’t just believe in RG3, they believe in themselves. They could be a real threat.
The Steelers will still make the playoffs. Yes or NO?
GAMBLE: Mike Tomlin, the NFL’s Shaft, is too cool to panic. His team will follow suit, but with this loss they put themselves in an I-376 rush hour traffic jam. With Big Ben banged up and the receivers crapping out into a P funk, the Steelers must win out and hope the playoff dice roll trips, six, cee-lo.
BRANDON: Last week Pittsburgh looked like it was on the come-up. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers lost every game from here. If the only squad really holding them back is the Bengals, reputation says ride with the Steelers. But they’ve got Cincy and the Cowboys, both trying to stay alive, and the Browns who already beat them.
TILLERY: Yes, Pittsburgh still goes to the playoffs. The QB was coming off injury. Games like that happen. Tomlin will be a beast this week in practice and ensure everyone forgets about Charlie Batch (no diss) lifetime achievement award hugs. It's time to settle up shop and the Steelers will.
BOADU: Yes. Right now it’s a three-team playoff race between the Colts, Steelers and Bengals. The Colts still have to play the Texans twice and the Chiefs. The Bengals have to play the Eagles, Steelers and Ravens. The Steelers have to play the Cowboys, Bengals and Browns. Simple football logic tells you that Andrew’s Luck will run out and the Colts will be the odd man out.
NUBYJAS: Yes, but it’ll be in spite of themselves. Jets and Bengals are less trustworthy than a Bad Boy royalty check. I’d rather take my chances on not being the father on Maury than betting on either the Jets or Bengals to win big games. So therefore the Steelers will make it no matter how average they are.
The Bear's loss opens up things in the NFC Wild Card race. Who gets in?
NUBYJAS: The Redskins have shown some real resolve the past few weeks. Winning a game in which their star QB comes out in the middle of a game winning drive is major. If RG3 is healthy to finish out the season, we’ll see the 'Skins in the playoffs. If he isn't healthy then it’s anyone’s guess.
GAMBLE: That’s like asking for the winning Power Ball numbers. If anyone can predict that math then please fill out my next ticket. The eyes and heart don’t lie. Let’s eliminate the toy soldiers first (Minnesota, Tampa, and Dallas). Sorry Ponder, Freeman and Romeo, ain’t no future in yo frontin’. Seattle, Chi-Town and D.C. have the real deals at QB. I hate average QBs that’s my freaking problem.
BRANDON: Yeah, if it was easy enough to call we wouldn’t be asking the question. To think these lames in the NFC have the nerve to make this complicated. Is it the year of 9-7? Seattle should walk in. The rest of these cats don’t get predictions for gettin’ lucky.
TILLERY: DC gets in. Good teams are falling by the wayside when Chocolate City steps on the field. They believe. Even if RG3 is unable to go, I suspect this team will turn it up even higher and win out. Defeating the Ravens was the latest seminal Skins moment, strengthening...structuring. To DC, there is a feeling the regular season is the playoffs. Urgency is now.
BOADU: If the Bears can beat the Packers in two weeks, they’ll have a seat at the grown-ups table come January. With Ray Lewis being out and Brian Urlacher being out, we get to see which old geezer linebacker is more valuable to his team.
Seattle nearly hung a 60-piece on the Cardinals. What is their ceiling?
GAMBLE: Sky's the limit for any team with a turnover-machine D and a QB that gets it in. Wilson’s short in stature but plays like Mutumbo on stilts. In the NFL, snuffing teams 58-0 is as rare as Kim Kardashian dating a white dude. Carroll’s College Haze crew might not be the politically correct pick, but the campaign slogan is “Why not Wilson?”
NUBYJAS: Let’s be clear: The Arizona Cardinals are disgusting to watch right now. They’re ruining Larry Fitzgerald’s career by not finding a QB to throw to him. However hanging 58 is impressive no matter whom it’s against. The Seahawks have no ceiling as long as Marshawn Lynch can make plays like this.
BRANDON: In today’s NFC, all you have to do is keep your head above water, give yourself a chance. The Seahawks can just ask the New York Giants about that. I’m interested to see how long before Ken Whisenhunt is on the “potential candidate” lists of one of these obscure college coaching gigs, because he’s done at Arizona.
BOADU: We should get amped. With a rookie quarterback, the Seahawks beat another NFL team by 58 points and shut them out. This isn’t the Alabama Crimson Tide playing Popcorn State University, this is NFL team beating the dog sh*t out of another NFL team. The Cardinals suck, but they’re the same Cardinals that started the season 4-0. The Seahawks ceiling is the NFC Championship game.
TILLERY: Russell Wilson has one interception all year at home. Sickdiculous. Knocked the dust off Arizona. Seattle plays Buffalo in Toronto, battle up at home vs. San Francisco in the most important game since the Seahawks lost to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl, and finish up also at home vs. St. Louis. They win two with the obvious third shaping to be a classic I say they win.
The Falcons bandwagon didn't lose any seats did it?
GAMBLE: The Falcons have never won anything, so every shady loss is like a flashback. Really, the only cats on the Falcon’s bandwagon live in The Peach State. And their bandwagon butts have to hurt after getting spanked with Cam and the Misfits’ 2012 version of Whip It.
BRANDON: Raise your hand if you were sold on the Falcons even when they were still the only undefeated team in the league. This is the crowd that talked about the Dirty Birds’ unfit run defense, and how we’ll believe when we see it. I mean, I’ll cosign just so the homie Nubyjas ain’t over there on an island, dig?
BOADU: The Falcons have been the cute chick with too much makeup on all season. At first glance you don’t see their flaws, but get closer and you see through the bullsh*t. Last week, they intercepted Drew Brees five times which resulted in red flag 10-point win because they only scored 23 points. Five extra possessions against the Ain'ts defense and all you bring home is 23 points? The jig is up Atlanta.
TILLERY: I don't think there's any team in the NFL Cam Newton wants to defeat more than his hometown Falcons. He caught mad wreck for losing to ATL earlier this season and battled them close last year. He shut everyone up for a moment yesterday. Atlanta got caught on their Rip Van Winkle like Pac. Such a loss will help them get back on track mentally.
NUBYJAS: There will be plenty of twisted ankles and torn ACL’s from people jumping off the Falcons bandwagon. I want to believe this loss and subsequent clowning that came from the Panthers will spur the Falcons to a great December run that leads to January success. Next week versus the Giants will tell us a lot.