The Nickel (Week 11)

Editor’s note: It’s Monday, which means it’s go time around these parts. We rounded up the best of the best from our roster (Michael Tillery, Nubyjas Wilborn, J.C. Gamble, Richard Boadu and Jamar Hudson) to talk about Sunday’s NFL games. Let's get it.


1. Matt Ryan threw five (5!) picks and the Falcons still won. In years past, this would have been a loss. Now, after this, are any of you ready to say that ATL is for real?

JAMAR: I'm still not ready to put both feet on the Falcons' bandwagon. However, against the reeling Cardinals, Atlanta did prove that when it's not at its best on offense, the team still can find ways to win, which is what championship-caliber teams (should) do. 

TILLERY: Until Atlanta gets out of the first round, no. When it gets cold, it seems things don't go so well for the Falcons. However, I agree with Jamar. Even with those picks, the Dirty Birds beat the Cardinals. An ugly regular season win is still a win.

GAMBLE: No, because Atlanta was stranded on a wack team’s Fantasy Island, where brain-frozen coaches like Ken Whisenhunt pull starting QBs with a 13-3 lead. Matt” The Rat” Ryan was trying to give it up, but the Cardinals chose to play an unreal game of “anything you can do (wrong) I can do better.”

NUBYJAS: A team hasn’t won a game where the quarterback threw 5 picks since Bart Starr did it for the 1967 Packers. The Packers won the Super Bowl that year. That’s a positive omen. More importantly, Roddy White and Matt Ryan both admitted to flawed performances and know they’ll have to be better in order to win playoff games.

BOADU: Who did they beat? The Cardinals, who were playing a third string quarterback. The Falcons can solve Biggie and Tupac’s murders this regular season and I still won’t be impressed. Only thing I’m impressed with in Atlanta is this. Atlanta won’t be for real until they win a playoff game.


 2. So three overtime games today? Be honest, the new OT rules are wack. Wasn't it better when the first team to score won? Even if it was a field goal?

JAMAR: The NFL doesn't know what it wants to do with OT. Sudden death maybe wasn't the best option, but it certainly beats the system in place now. It seems now that the players don't even fully grasp the rules and the celebration when the game actually is decided, seems delayed. Bring back sudden death. 

GAMBLER: It used to be, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Now, the NFL says, “we might as well break it and say we fixed it.” This gentleman-like idea of giving both squads chances to score points, is like robbing a bank, getting shot and then coming back to life because you didn’t get to lick back. Marinate on that for a minute.

NUBYJAS:  NFL really has to learn how to drive slowly and pump their brakes. It’s like when Frank Lucas told Nicky Barnes, “Blue Magic, that’s a brand name.” The NFL is the strongest brand around but they’re killing the golden goose with silly rules like the new OT. 

BOADU: I like the new overtime rules. With the old rules, teams that won the coin toss in OT won the game 59.8% of the time. The game should be won with a touchdown, not a field goal. Beating a team in sudden death overtime with a field goal kick is like being “paper” in a Greek organization, it just doesn’t feel right.

TILLERY: Doesn't matter. Folks will dig the new rules and folks will hate them. I considered the sudden death rule straight bogus. Seemed shady in itself to win on a coin toss. Giving both teams a shot to win is the way it should be done so no excuses exist.


3. The question with Andy Reid is not whether or not he'll be fired. The question is, whether he will survive the regular season. Considering his mostly successful career with the Eagles and the death of his son during the summer, wouldn't it be wrong to let him go now??

TILLERY: I've been very critical of Reid covering the team off and on. Changing the style a bit. He's rockin' with what he's got. The whole team quit on Reid. Has anyone played well besides LeSean McCoy and to a lesser extent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? More from me later on Reid.

JAMAR: Before Sunday's loss to the Redskins, I would've said there's no way Andy Reid would be gone before season's end. His stature and tenure with the team earned him the right to finish on his terms. But he's lost the team. There was no effort or intensity on the field. If the Eagles have another lifeless showing, he should be shown the door. 

GAMBLER: Andy Reid is old news. You’re not going to take out Ms. America 2013 in a 300,000–mileage whip you got in high school — no matter how dope it was. Reid’s current job security depends on Philly’s standards. If the Eagles want to be elite, then going any further with Reid — who has been good but never Tom Coughlin-Bill Belichick great – is dumb.

BOADU: No. The team has clearly quit on Coach Reid. The NFL is a business and winning is capital — Reid ain’t winning dogg. The Eagles organization owes Andy Reid nothing. Honestly, Reid owes Eagles some money back for this piss poor season the team is having under his watch.

NUBYJAS: Andy Reid is the best Eagles coach since Greasy Neale and Buck Shaw. Oh, you don’t know who they are? Of course you don’t because Neale coached championships in 1948, 1949 and Shaw won the last title in 1960. Reid has had more success than Dick Vermeil, Buddy Ryan and Ray Rhodes. Let’s make sure we show him some respect on his way out. 


4. Matt Schaub tied the record for second most passing yards in a game today with 527. A lot of people look as Schaub as a complimentary piece and not as a franchise guy. Have we at all underrated him?

TILLERY: Houston is 9-1. Stellar. Schaub has good career stats. 4,770 in '09. The #10 season all time. Scrutiny will fly his way fast if Houston doesn't get out of first round. Schaub mirrors Matt Ryan. Great stats, but no real playoff sample.  He's not underrated, but more what has he done lately?

JAMAR: Schaub isn't undervalued. He simply has "suffered" from playing in Houston. For most of Schaub's career, the Texans have been a middle-of-the-road team and the QB's stats have been all for naught. Now that Houston is a legit contender, Schaub should start to get the recognition he deserves. 

GAMBLE: I hear y'all talking, but the Lone Star State is shining on a new favorite son, who bangs in Houston like Scarface produced them. Schaub and the Texans are the Real Deal Holyfield’s, steadily improving each season. We need to stop frontin’ on those Texas Boys!

NUBYJAS:  A lot of us in the Atlanta sports media feared that one day Matt Schaub would “Brett Favre” the Falcons. Fortunately for the Falcons they have Matt Ryan instead of Chris “Chandelier” Chandler. Schaub is a player and I believe he’ll show it on the playoff stage. 

BOADU: The Texans’ offensive line, running back and defense are all top 3 in the NFL. Matt Schaub is only a top 10 quarterback. Backup QB, T.J. Yates stepped in for Schaub last season and won games. The Texans are a really nice luxury car and Schaub is the spoiler. You don’t really need the spoiler, because the car is going to run just fine with or without it.


5. The Saints are back at .500. The defense is still up and down and though the running game is improved, it's still not scaring anyone. However, the passing game is stellar as always. Are they the team that the other NFC leaders (GB, ATL, CHI, SF, NYG) hope misses out on the playoffs? Can you see the Saints sneaking into the postseason and upsetting a couple of teams?

TILLERY: Oh hell yeah. As long as that offense is on the field, nobody is safe. This team has mad shoulder chips and seem to be transforming every bit of outside heat into a streamlined Sunday inspiration. However, since home field advantage isn't happening, playoff games must be won on road.

JAMAR: Did we really think the Saints were going to go away that easily? Right now, they are one of the scariest teams in the NFL. And with Drew Brees, anything is possible. They have a tough schedule ahead, but don't be surprised to see New Orleans in the postseason. 

GAMBLER: It’s no mystery Drew and the Tardy Boys came out the gate like Carl Lewis against Ben Johnson in the ’88 Olympics.  When head coach Styles P went on suspension, NO forgot how to ball for a minute. It took them a sec to get back in the swing. The upswing Saints can drop 40 quicker than Lilo gets a new mega movie deal. Nobody wants to see them period.

NUBYJAS:  I improperly sounded the alarm on the Saints season earlier so now I have to eat some crow and give them their due. Drew Brees has the offense running like a sewing machine and the defense is doing just enough to not lose games. The Saints run is respectable but they waited too late. There are too many teams ahead of them now. 

BOADU: Hell. Yes. The Saints aren’t playing for pride. They are playing for Sean Payton and to piss off Roger Goodell. Their offense has always had the juice. The only team mentioned that can stop the Saints’ offense is the 49ers. Every other team mentioned is in trouble if the Saints electric slide into the playoffs. 


Back to top