The Nickel: Week 7

Editor’s note: It’s Monday, which means it’s rock and roll time. We rounded up the best of the best from our roster (Brandon Scott, Nubyjas Wilborn, J.R. Gamble, Vinnie Goodwill and newcomer Maurice Bobb) to talk about Sunday’s NFL games. What, you mad cuz we stylin’ on you???


Question 1: Houston 43, Baltimore 13 — Ravens being emotionally drained by the loss of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb? Or the Texans being pissed off after getting blown out last week?

J.R.: Either Ray Lewis is the Puppet Master, or his value to the B-more Birds has been understated — if that’s possible. Having him anchor your defense is a luxury like having permanent training wheels on your bike. Facing the Texans a week after losing Lewis and Webb, is akin to riding up Mount Ventoux in the Tour De France, a week after removing those wheels.

BRANDONAll the pieces matter. Texans were coming off a loss against a Packers team that just dropped one to the Colts, and that’s only a couple of weeks after The Replacements in Seattle. So everybody’s knuckin’ and buckin’ and ready to fight. But how was Ray supposed to save Joe Cool from the alpha defense of the AFC?

NUBYJAS: Houston is a legit prospect to win the AFC and Baltimore is a pretender like Stringer Bell trying to replace Avon Barksdale.  Forget the Ravens as a contender; they may not have enough players to fill a roster by the end of the season. 

MAURICE: The Ravens losing Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis was like Roc-A-Fella losing Jay and Kanye and still trying for the W.  Not. Gonna. Happen.  The Texans got mollywhopped at home last week by the Packers and were on a mission for their ‘Big Payback,'  revenge. Baltimore was just collateral damage.

VINNIE: If Hov’s claim that “jealousy is a weak emotion” is true then embarrassment is the perfect opposite. The Texans were rocked by Rodgers in their national TV litmus test and almost dismissed as frauds in the AFC, with ghosts of Christmas past looming. The Ravens had won their last two games, against the perpetually overrated Cowboys and woeful Browns, by a total of five points. This boot-to-butt was due.


Question 2: Yesterday Packers WR Jordy Nelson caught eight balls for 122 yards and 1 TD. That’s coming off of a 9, 121 and 3 performance last week. He has 19 TDs since the start of last season. He’s one of the best receivers in the game but is virtually unknown outside of Wisconsin. If he were black he’d be taken more seriously. True of False?

VINNIE: Yes but other factors are in place. First, he’s not even the leading the team in receiving touchdowns! That’s James Jones (league leader at 7) and entering last week, Nelson had one. Secondly, the WR spot is the diva position. Drawing attention to yourself is a prerequisite (like this, or this, or this), unless you’re Megatron or Fitz. Yes, he’s white but if he stood in front of us, would we recognize him?

MAURICE: Hold up, let’s not give Jordy reason to believe in his “smellf” just yet!  Nelson’s numbers are bloated because G-Money is DNP. And Jordy’s anonymity has nothing to do with his lack of melanin and everything to do with the fact that everyone’s got nuttin’ but love for teammate Aaron Rogers and his arm.

BRANDON: Nah, if dude was black he’d still have the overwhelmingly more visible star throwing him the ball. Between the system, and the fact that Aaron Rodgers is the league’s marquee figure, it’s easy to lose context and fail to give props to his playmakers. Jordy’s a baaad white boy, though.

NUBYJAS:  He’s not a one hit wonder like Vanilla Ice, but he’s not a dope once in a lifetime talent like Eminem, either.  I like Nelson’s game but he’s not enough of a factor to worry if he’s being discriminated against. 

J.R.: Yes but to his benefit, Jordan has the complexion for the neglectionWes Welker was halfway to 700 career receptions before the league caught on. Nelson was always overshadowed by the Jennings and the Jones’ and the Drivers. His skin color suggests he doesn’t run a 4.3 in the 40, but his skill color is money green. He hits pay-dirt.


Question 3. It needs to be asked. Defensively, the Bills stay giving up head-turning numbers. This time allowing Chris Johnson to rush for 100 yards and two TDs in the first half. Is there a single defense (and especially a defensive-line) you trust less than the Buffalo Bills? Are they a historically bad defense?

VINNIE: Chris Johnson was another 45-yard game from being on an episode of "Who he play for?" before breaking out. Yeah they allowed 52 to the Pats and 45 to the Niners in back-to-back weeks, but, 48 to the Jets, who don't have a No. 1 QB or No. 1 WR? Inexcusable, historically bad. They're new motto should be, "Play against us, get a new contract!"

MAURICE: Buffalo’s defense can’t stop teams from runnin’.  Their last four opponents cut up their D for 182 or more yards on the ground like the Crazy 88’s.  They’re not the worst to ever do it, but they sure as hell look like it.  Unsigned Bill > Buffalo Bills.

BRANDON: It’s crazy how you can sign a defensive end with Mario Williams’ creds, with at least some sort of expectation, but still be this bad on D. I’m laughin’ in Houston, I can’t lie. Hey, but y'all uncles never told y'all about the 1981 Baltimore Colts, though? That defense almost never showed up for work.

NUBYJAS:  This is one of those moments where I wish Charles Barkley was an analyst for the NFL. I’d love to hear him say how “Turrible” the Bills are on defense. I’d even take West VA’s defense over Buffalo right now. 

J.R.: The Bills are just historically bad. Not Michael Jackson bad. Lindsey Lohan-acting bad. They are even bad when they are good, as evidenced by losing four straight Super Bowls. Cornelius Bennett and Bruce Smith couldn't even stop the losing. Giving Mario Winans…err Williams all that cash to sing about the replacement refs is another example of moving to lose. I trust Buffalo's defense more than its ownership. 


Question 4: Comment on Cam Newton’s post-game press conference. Does complaining like this raise the level of seriousness and motivate teammates? Or does it show a lack of leadership and understanding, thus alienating his teammates? If you were his friend, how would you advise him?

J.R.: Cam Newton needs a baby bib, not a football. If he’s not feeling Carolina, tell Crying Cam to give back the 4-yr $22 million deal he signed and go drive buses in Alaska. I bet his frostbitten toes would be “feeling” a Southern relocation. Failure doesn’t build character, it reveals it. And Cam is butt-naked right now.

BRANDON: I thought Cam was GOLD at the press conference. Carolina: that’s your No.1 pick calling out the organization, saying something is going to have to change. Can’t say the young dude isn’t in a position to speak his mind. Cam wants better players around him, because this here ain’t Blinn JUCO or the SEC.

NUBYJAS:  Vinnie, Cam’s petulant diatribes are nothing like Tebow’s speech and I don’t even like Tim. Tebow’s speech took accountability and responsibility with a course of action to make a change. Newton’s press conference sounded more like “The Whiners” than a QB about to win a title.  He needs to “Cowboy Up” ASAP. 

VINNIE: I don't get what folks want. While I agree his body language should improve, is he supposed to be happy about losing close game after close game? Last three losses: two, four and five. Sounds like Bernie Mac's skit. Tim Tebow makes some speech after a loss in college, everyone applauds. Cam is pissed after one, we're mad. Maybe we gotta switch up our standards. If there's a QB who's happy after losing, he can't play for me.

MAURICE: Cam needs to man up and 86 the violin.  Own it.  Take responsibility.  People follow winners, not whiners.  Go back and peep Drew Brees’ pressers.  And before he brings in that suggestion box or approaches another post-game podium after an L, he needs to cue up ‘Follow the Leader’ on his Beats by Dre’s.


Question 5: The Vikings are 5-2. Are we buying or selling on this team? Keep in mind that they just won a game in which Christian Ponder threw for 58 yards (58 YARDS!!) How are they doing it? Is AP the MVP frontrunner? What the hell is going on in Minnesota?

J.R.: An NFL season has two halves. Some teams start quickly and hit the 8-game wall. Others need time to gel and then take off. It all shakes out in the end. When Minnesota's season is over, Christian Ponder will have lost more games for the Vikes, than a healthy AP has won for them. Still smells like 8-8.

BRANDON: Their defense has been pretty good, but you carry cats like AD and Percy Harvin and it can make up for where you’re weak in other places. Now we see why it was so important for Peterson to get back from the ACL injury. He’s gotta be worth two or three wins just dolo. 

NUBYJAS:  Vikes have a division road win at Detroit and beat the 49ers. They are in the playoff mix, but Ponder would have to reach at least Trent Dilfer level to win a ring and as Vince McMahon would say, there is no chance in hell of that happening.

MAURICE: Their offense is uglier than Precious, but all the Vikes seem to do is win, win, win, no matter what.  So I’m buying…for now.  AP’s not my MVP frontrunner, but with the way he’s beastin’— 652 yards rushing in seven games — he leaves nothing on the field and I can rock with that. 

VINNIE: A top-10 defense and Adrian Peterson looking like All Day? In a year of mediocrity (see the AFC East), anybody with a winning record is "for real". Ponder might not win the game but he damn sure won't lose it. They're for real but Green Bay is coming with the MVP (ARodg) and Chicago or Detroit won't be going anywhere. We'll know in mid-Nov when they play 4 in a row vs. division opponents.






Back to top