Contract years seem to bring out the best in players nowadays. The motivation to get paid is strong and we often see them rise to the occasion. It’s become both sad and comical to see players reach their full potential just in time to make the big bucks and then coast along at half-speed after they’ve signed on the dotted line. It doesn’t always happen like that but it certainly happens a lot. At least we don’t need to worry about it happening with Hakeem Nicks though, because the wide receiver is playing some of the worst football of his career as he nears the end of his current contract.
Just a few seasons ago, Nicks looked like one of the brightest young stars in the league, brimming with potential. Unfortunately, he’s suffered injury after injury to the point where, according to anyone who’s been watching him; he looks like nothing but a shell of his former self. His numbers will confirm that — he’s only caught 27 of the 52 passes thrown his way for a not-so-grand total of 470 yards and no touchdowns. Even coach Tom Coughlin admitted recently that Nicks just hasn’t been reliable like he used to be.
Sometimes players in a rut just need something to help break them out of it. For Nicks, that something could be a date with the league’s worst secondary. This week, the New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the second time this season. Can you guess which team Nicks had his best game against this season? You guessed it, The Philadelphia Eagles. He had nine catches for 142 yards when the two teams met in Week 5. Not much has changed since then, considering it was just three weeks ago and the Eagles’ secondary still sucks, so if he’s going to get himself back on track this is the best opportunity he’ll have to do it.
Perhaps all the talk of his poor efforts and how he’s not the same player will finally add some much needed fuel to Nicks’ tank and he’ll take off this week. His Fantasy owners are no doubt hoping for some sort of miracle at this point and I believe that if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen against the Eagles. If it doesn’t, though, Nicks’ owners are going to have to deal with the reality that the big performance might never come. This is a make-or-break game for the wideout.