With just one game between now and December 10th, the Baltimore Ravens have a rare opportunity to get rested for a trip to Los Angeles on Thanksgiving weekend and a bye to get re-organized in prime position to host playoff games in January. Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the defensive effort against Bengals and down time for key veterans.
defense, ravens, sacks, crab cake, week, played, ball, good, team, talked, game, win, point, ronnie stanley, big, burrow, quarterback, mark andrews, joe, bk
Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio
Nestor J. Aparicio 00:01
Welcome back at W N S, T, Towson, Baltimore. And Baltimore positive we’re positively getting into the Thanksgiving week, which is also crabcake weeks great week, the ship crabcakes many of our sponsors, they all do it, they all make it affordable. It’s all delicious. They give you directions on how to get them. We’re gonna be a Papist on Tuesday we’re gonna be doing the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery I had I had a $2 winner the other day over cost this I had a gentleman who was a veteran older gentleman came up thank me for the ticket. He didn’t even when he said it was just thought they counted and I thought, Well, that’s nice. So remember that for the rest of the holiday season. Everyone went at 866 90 nation your bike dude you get through free 0% financing. That’s for five years. If you buy now through the holidays and Jiffy Lube, multi care, putting us on the road. So let me give you the crabcakes schedule and then Luke and I go toxin defense. We’re gonna talk about habits of downtime. You’re going out to LA? We’re Pappus in Parkville on Thursday, and then after Thanksgiving, no leftovers from me. I’m going fresh man. Wednesday. We’re going to be a Coco’s I might even have a burger. That’s the 29th Thursday the 13th we’re going to be a gertrudes I’m definitely having the crab cake there over to BMA with Dan Rodricks. That’s going to be a big day of debt. Ramos Councilwoman is going to join us on Friday December the first we’re going to be in Perry Ville up at the Hollywood casino from from like one until five gonna get there early. Tom Kelso is going to do a stadium information for dummies. Former Maryland stadium authority chairman who was no dummy, eight years of running it. And John Angelos is trying to have it done away with the oversight of the stadiums done away with for John angelos, and another three $400 million in money. So it’s crazy. It’s all coming down the pike. I don’t want to say that Governor Westmore is running for me but he’s not running toward me right now to discuss this. So we’re going to be into December as well. So December 5, we’re going to be state fair. Late December we’re going to be fade these and on the 15th We’re gonna be over at the foreign daughter curio I toured the cannabis facility production soup to nuts were a gummy comes from how it helps you the science, the plant all of that I did all of that. We’re with our friends at curio, we’re going on the 15th We’re gonna have a crab cake. It’s a mystery crab cake. Because I got to check back with one of my favorite crab cakes that I ever had that I only had once and it’s not a sponsor. It was a little joint. I did it two and a half years ago some trying to bring back the really good crab cakes because guys like local say, hey, where do I get a good crab cake and I’m like, Hey, Tuesday, you got the week off? Come on over to Pappas and Parkville. This is a good good time for rest. Forgetting right, we’ve discussed Mark Andrews, we’ve discussed the Mars ankle. We haven’t talked a lot about the defense and I guess on the backside of Joe burrow going out. And we learned to Jake Browning was I thought it was funny that his name is browning. And Browning is the verb we use anytime Cleveland shows up. Right? Right. So I thought that was I didn’t even make a joke about that. And then I put the wrong meme up for Nick Nulty instead of Kris Kristofferson. I kind of screwed that up, but that wide receiver from the Bengals with the long hair. Shaggy look into it. He really did remind me of North Dallas, 14 Semi tough but the defense, you know, brought enough of a lunch pail, you know, against the backup quarterback that the defense is still the big story that not everybody I will say we don’t talk about it. We talk about it a lot. And we’re talking about it last this week after the Andrews injury. And they put 34 points up and Lamar and Lamar and who’s ODell and all of that. But the defense is still if they go to the Super Bowl, we’ll talk about Mark Andrews and Isaiah likely it’s going to be because of the defense and the defense is going to take the ball away at some point. Well, Lamar
Luke Jones 03:46
Jackson is also an MVP candidate, but I agree with you. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the defensive performance. I I’d love to sit here and give them their flag. I mean, they face Jake Browning. For me, I look at the four drives that Joe burrow played. Field goal, three and out. missed field goal. And then of course the 82 yard touchdown drive that finished with burrow thrown the touchdown to Joe Mixon and you could see that he was the wrist was bad. I’ll say this much. And look, this is outstanding defense. I want to be very clear about that. I think the last two weeks, we’ve pumped the brakes a little bit on some of the historical comparisons to 2000. And you know that Ray Lewis Ed Reed Terrell Suggs go back to even rod Woodson, you know, that era of raiders
Nestor J. Aparicio 04:32
play two division games in four days too, right? Like and a lot of that a whole lot of snaps on the road because they stayed on the field too long last week. Sure.
Luke Jones 04:40
And look, I’m just saying, you know, we just pumped the brakes on that part of it. It’s still very well could be the best defense in the NFL. You know, when it’s all said and done. You know, they did exactly what I would expect them to do when Jake Browning comes into the game. You know, you met you made mention to the brand According to his credit, you know, he wasn’t reckless with the football. He didn’t turn the ball over all of that. But he was very limited. They were very limited in what they could do. You know, if Joe burrow never leaves the game, what happens? I have no idea, you know, but they were able to move the ball on this ravens defense. And I will say this, and I won’t hedge on this. I mean, because you know, the Joe burrow thing. It’s an unknown, we have no idea. Ravens might have shut them down from that point on for all we know. But they do need to clean up the run defense a little bit. You’ve talked a lot about the running game, the rush offense. I want to talk a little bit about the run defense that to me if there’s an element to this ravens defense that has not been as dominant as getting to the quarterback, bringing quarterbacks down how they played on the back end of the defense, even with Marlon Humphrey missing time and Marcus Williams missing time. And we’ve talked about Geno stone and what he’s done from an interception standpoint, they need to tighten up the run defensive a little bit because Joe burrow was able to have Joe burrow, Joe Mixon was able to run the ball against them. Now, second half, that changed because obviously you’re going to adjust how you’re playing defense when Jake Browning is the quarterback compared to Joe burrow. So but if there’s something about the defense that I think and look, the players know this too, you know, they they they’re not thrilled by this either. They want to tighten up the screws on the run defense a little bit. I thought it was interesting last in everything that happened. And I’m not saying this, this is a major headline. But how about the fact that Broderick Washington who they give a contract extension to back in August, and he was coming off of a really rock solid 2022 season? He was a healthy scratch on Thursday night? I think one I think that did have something to do with the matchup and what kind of game the Ravens thought it was going to be probably thinking the ball is going to be in jobos hands a lot. But Broderick Washington has not had a great year, it’s been very quiet, especially for someone who gave a contract extension to so that that was interesting to see that. So if there’s again, this is relative, they don’t
Nestor J. Aparicio 07:12
even appeared on Thursday night, we saw we called his name at one point, right or Sure. I
Luke Jones 07:17
mean, Kyle Hamilton plays is playing at a Pro Bowl level. I mean, he’s been fantastic. You know, maybe wasn’t the best of games, you know, for their inside linebackers, especially early on. But, you know, if there’s a relative, I don’t want to say it’s a weakness, because it’s not a bad run defense by any stretch of the imagination. You know, that would be hyperbole. But if there’s something that I would like to see them tighten up a little bit, it would be the run defense last couple of weeks. But as you pointed out, you know, it’s a division opponent short week, they played a lot, you know, played a lot of snaps against since or against Cleveland on Sunday. So, you know, I’ll totally buy that being a factor, but it is something in their losses, you know, at times where their defense hasn’t played as well, even the Arizona game where, you know, they gave up, you know, they obviously, they gave up some points in the fourth quarter and made that game interesting. Arizona was able to run the ball on that on them. So that is something that I think they do want to get a little better with, you know, as they get deeper in the season. In the same way, we talked about the importance of the Ravens run game, the importance of stopping the run, as the elements get worse late in the season, it gets cold and the weather is not as cooperative and conducive to passing game. So, you know, that’s, that’s really all I have in terms of a you know, looking at it from a global standpoint, as far as individual performances, I’d be remiss and I mentioned this while on Twitter, and I mentioned this, you know, even cited next gen stats haven’t been off AOA, you know, another sack, he’s had a sack and four of his five games since coming back. I mean, going into the season. It was premature to label him a bust but it would be hard to not look at him as a first round pick two years in and not have some concerns about where he was from a development standpoint. He gets hurt in week two missed about a month and since coming back I mean, we’ve talked plenty about clowny and Kyle van Noy and a huge impact that they’ve made and how huge it was for them to add those guys considering the injuries to Oh weigh in a Jabo but always played really well since coming back and think he was credited with six or seven pressures by next gen stats mean he was very disruptive in the pocket so when you kind of look at how their pass rush is shaping up we’ve talked about the collective effort and all this the simulated pressures and stunts and blitzing and all the different things that Mike McDonald does from a schematic standpoint but when you look at their top three edge guys with clowny then boy oh boy and then obviously Justin Mata BK with another sack on Thursday night yeah, that’s that’s a pretty good for some their real production
Nestor J. Aparicio 09:48
it Yeah, it is. Yeah. So it’s not one guy. It’s not JJ Watt or, you know, he’s got 18 sacks and nobody else has for it’s coming from all levels and to your point when they’re gonna blitz stone or they’re gonna blitz Hamilton or they’re gonna Blitz, Humphrey, whoever it is. The whole golf bags involved, right literally the whole tool chest.
Luke Jones 10:11
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, they’ve had good individual efforts. I mean, clowny is easily playing his best football in a few years at the very least, Kyle van Noy, a little bit of a renaissance here from a pass rushing standpoint, as I mentioned, oh, a really looks like he’s taken a big step forward. You know, now that he’s back healthy and, and contributing, but man, I mean, that’d be good. He’s got like nine and a half sacks now. I mean, I was thinking about this.
Nestor J. Aparicio 10:35
You said 80 to $80 million football player, right, like literally right.
Luke Jones 10:39
I mean, you think about it, Nestor. I mean, who have the Ravens had that lined up inside consistently Trevor price was an outside inside kind of guy. And obviously he had a huge first year with the Ravens when they signed him in oh six, you know, coming over from Denver. But who has been that guy that’s been an interior pass rusher for them. That’s put up these kind of numbers and been as disruptive as Mata BK has been I mean, it’s tough when you Sam
Nestor J. Aparicio 11:04
Adams goose back in the day, but this has been even more so.
Luke Jones 11:08
But they weren’t they weren’t getting sacks, though. You know what I mean? Like they didn’t meet you. And that’s what but they were different types of players, right? I mean, they were space occupiers to clear the way for Ray Lewis to make tackles and Jamie sharper to make tackles. So different mindset. But you look at what not to BK is done. And I think for as much as we’ve talked about the collective effort, I do think the impact of matter became I’ll also throw Michael Pearson there, he doesn’t have these big sack totals. But he has been very disruptive from a pressure standpoint when they’ve asked him to rush the passer which he’s done a little bit more of that than he’s had in the past. But when you’re getting interior pressure, in this day and age, we talk so much, whether we’re talking about burrow, you know, we talked about this for years with Tom Brady, the ball comes out so quick, you know, so many of the top quarterbacks, they get rid of the ball very quickly. So even if you have really good edge rushers, there are times where they’re not going to get there because the ball is coming out. So when you have someone that can pressure and move a quarterbacks feet from the interior, the way that matter BK, and to a lesser degree, but also Michael Pierce has done for them of lining up at the defensive tackle spots. That’s a different element to their past, to their past defense and their pass rush that they just, they have not had very often. I mean, you know, hello Dnata had a couple years where, you know, what, five sacks maybe, you know, something along those lines. I mean, you know, they’ve had a few guys here and there that were okay doing that, but what they’re getting from that a BK and then couple that with what they’re getting from their edge players, I mean, some really, really formidable pass rush, and I will give them full credit, because it wasn’t just you and me everyone was talking about where’s the pass rush gonna come from? I mean, that was a significant question for this team. And if someone had told you before the season that a Java would get hurt and would be a total nonfactor, and oh, boy, we’ve missed a month now always played really well, when he’s been out there. But he Tyus Bowser, throw him in there, too. Right?
Nestor J. Aparicio 13:09
He was another name we talked about right?
Luke Jones 13:14
And another guy you’re not not not a big. I’m not a huge patch Ross guy, but certainly a guy who’s gotten some sacks for them the last couple years when he’s been on the field. Yeah, if someone had told you that, you’re probably thinking this pass rush is a liability. And instead, it’s been a massive strength. I mean, he lead the NFL in sacks. I mean, what what else is there to say about that? So it’s really been big for them. Like I said, if I have one, I don’t even know if I’d say concern. It’s more constructive criticism of the defense. Do you think they need to tighten up their run defense a little bit, but beyond that, I mean, you feel really good about this group. The good news was you know the initial scare with Marlon on pretty last Sunday. There might be an Achilles it’s a calf. You know, even if he misses the Chargers game, I don’t expect him to miss much time beyond that and around I don’t think it’s something that he’s going to be out long term, but even without him, you know, and we even saw it on Thursday night, they had to pivot a little bit rocky scene struggled, a bad pass interference penalty. So But Ronald Darby we saw him make some nice plays. And he hadn’t even been playing in recent weeks in played at all on defense, the last few games, so he played well, and they even got a Jalen Arbor Davis in the mix. And kudos to Brandon Stevens, he gave up the Garbage Time touchdown at the very end. But he was he was tasked with traveling for good stretches of that game with Jamar Chase. I mean, he wasn’t on him exclusively, but he he was on chase a lot. And even with Yes, Jake Browning a quarterback tomorrow Chase is still capable of wrecking a game and Brandon Stevens. Again, another one of those stories for this defense. I mean, could talk about the high price guys, you can talk about the high profile guys, but they have just had so many guys step up on the defensive side of the football And it really is one of those groups where, okay, Ro Quan Smith, you know, $20 million inside linebacker Pro Bowl player, Marlon Humphrey $20 million cornerback Pro Bowl player, you know, Marcus Williams high profile free agent, you know, even though he’s missed a lot of time, but go down the list of the number of guys that we weren’t even talking about during training camp who have made such meaningful contributions for their defense, and not even talking Thursday night just in general, what they’ve gotten and you look at their defense, I mean, it runs 17 1819, deep in terms of guys that you get out there. And they’re not just part of the rotation, you feel good about them playing, you feel good about them being out on the field, when they’re called upon. And, you know, even some of their best defenses, you know, whether you’re talking about the wink years or DNPS, or go back to Rex Ryan, you know, more all the way back to the days of Marvin Lewis, there were guys that you had to put on the field that you’d be a little nervous about, you know, at least a couple. But you look at this defense, like I said, other than maybe Broderick, Washington who was a healthy scratch on Thursday night, we’ll see how that plays out here moving forward. I don’t expect him to be buried. But you know, other than Him, who would you really look at on this defense and say, hasn’t had a good year? I mean, yeah, other than guys have been injured and just haven’t been out there. It really has been just such an impressive effort collectively. And it’s a credit to the coaching credit to the front office, and very much a credit to these players for everyone playing such good team defense and selfless defense. As we’ve talked about, specifically with that pass rush,
Nestor J. Aparicio 16:33
you mentioned all the money, but they use the first round pick on Patrick queen and had to go out and sort of replace him. And he’s playing to the value of first round pick now as best he can, you know, at the position he’s at Kyle Hamilton as well. And you mentioned Matt, a PK and you know, how they drafted and how they’ve gotten guys on the field. And even when a Bowser doesn’t work out, or Anna Jabo who they use the real draft pick on him as well when believing that by now he would be healthy and performing. I mean, so much so that Kyle van Noy, kind of as a result of him not being that right. Yeah, at this point. They they’ve they’ve seen contributions in a lot of different ways. Look, Joe Joe is here he’s Baltimore Luke, He will be out No, he’s Mills when they give him an opportunity next week to take his time off going out to LA this part of the schedule and the one thing about stacks I want to go back to that because I want to be interrupted but you mentioned leading the league in sacks the one way you lead the league in sacks is being up 24 to three in the fourth quarter. And the other team having to throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, you want to get to three four sacks late in the game because the team’s coming back. Burying teams early was a theme and 19 and doing all that they have a lot of time off here. This Andrews thing is going to be in everybody’s head until it’s not right and so likely Kohler till they go out and win without him and show productivity in the passing game to show up for whatever he would be there for which is pretty much every third down every every third down at nine is the first guy you’re looking for and if they if they make anything happen with flowers because at nines get double team so that won’t be the case anymore. So it’d be interesting to see where defenses put that thing for them. But this time off it’s something we’re gonna have plenty of time to talk about it. But this time off the harp on new all of this all along. They got Lamar up right. It’s not dreamy, right? I mean with Humphrey and certainly with Andrews now and Ronnie Stanley, the the problems that they’ve had to their eight and three, nobody’s coming to catch him. We’re watching the Steelers Browns game on Sunday now and like I you know, I don’t think either one of them is very good that that’s not saying the Browns did beat the ravens and Steelers can beat the Ravens in a month. But I don’t think they’re that those teams are counting to 11 or 12 to where the ravens are already at eight, right? So it’s this is really about adding up whether they’re going to be 1112 13 wins, where they’re going to be in seeding, but they have a favorable schedule because they play tough games. But they they have this is doable from a from a scheduling standpoint. Now that you’ve been through these two, Thursday’s, you’ve been to London, you’ve had your awful injury. Now you’re you got time you got health. You know, you got buffalo fading at Cincinnati faded. Maybe less of that, who are we going to play in January? And how are we going to beat three of them? The Chiefs don’t even look that great. I mean, like I I don’t look at any of these teams and say the ravens, Stanford, Cisco in any given week, Philadelphia in any given week, we’ll see Philadelphia, Kansas City play this week as well. And that’s all power ranking nonsense. I’m looking at this globally and saying where are they going to be on January 10? And how are they going to get there? And what are they what kind of position are they going to be in? They’re not going to have Mark Andrews and they’re not going to have an elite version of Ronnie Stanley even if they have such a thing.
Luke Jones 19:55
You know, I mean, they have they have some question marks I mean every team To the point that you just made, every team does, I mean, look, Kansas City’s gonna be the team to beat until someone beats. I mean, that’s just how it is, when you’ve won two Super Bowls over the last four years, you know, you’ve you’ve earned that, you know, you’ve earned that title. And, you know, they, while I would agree with you, their offense hasn’t looked as good. And specifically, they’ve had their issues a wide receiver. That’s a better Kansas City defense than they’ve had at any point during this Patrick mahomes era. So acknowledging that you look at the rest of this field, at this point in time, are the bills gonna get off the mat and even make the playoffs or the Bengals gonna get off the mat and even make the playoffs? You know, Jacksonville, I think people were starting to feel them until they got blown out by San Francisco this past week. So you know, jaguars are an interesting team, but certainly not a team that the Ravens or Kansas City are fearing at this point in time. So it is wide open. And the Ravens should feel really good about this. Now, one point I want to make, because I brought this up talking about this with Dennis, you know, leading into Thursday night’s game, and maybe even a little bit of evidence of that early in the game, you know, before burrow went out. But I think it’s gonna be important for this team to get some rest. I mean, they had the London trip. They’ve had, you know, they’re gonna have another West Coast trip here before the buy. I thought what we saw on Sunday against Cleveland, especially late in the game, with the Miss tackling, which was not something that they’ve done a whole lot of this year. To me, that was some evidence of a team that thinks showing some fatigue. I do think this is a tired football team right now. And that’s a credit to how they played well, on Thursday night getting the win even with that, you know, so I think these next three weeks for a Davey on clowny for a Kyle van Noy for someone like Marcus Williams, who has been playing with a peck injury. We’ve talked a lot about his tackling. But he made some plays as you bet
Nestor J. Aparicio 21:47
Seidler and some of these guys that have been on the line they Oh, I mean, Morgan, Moses, trying to Sure, sure.
Luke Jones 21:52
I mean, I was focusing on the defense. But you’re right. I mean, it applies to both sides of the ball, especially for these veteran players, or anyone that’s been battling through an injury. I think this is going to be such a big time for them to rest up. I mean, Andrews has done, right, Dobbins has done, who knows what’s gonna happen with with Tyus Bowser, you know, we’ll see what Ronnie Stanley looks but like, whenever he gets back on the field, which I expect
Nestor J. Aparicio 22:15
him look like a $16 million wide receiver for Coleman and he looked more heat
Luke Jones 22:19
the last couple of weeks, he has looked more like that. So the challenge is keeping him looking like that. And again, this these next three weeks where, hey, you got to take care of business against the chargers, you know, that’s got a heck of a quarterback and Justin Herbert and that’s an offense that at times, you know, they’ve really put up some points although they’ve been typical chargers inconsistent, they look good one week, and they look terrible the next week, that’s kind of that’s been their MO for years now. But this is really a golden opportunity for them to get right. Get some rest get themselves refreshed. Because as you pointed out, I mean, it is a difficult final putt, they come out play the Rams, great you know, playing at home, you know that that game you you feel great, really good about. But after that, I mean, let’s Final Four games, I mean that that’s no joke at Jacksonville for Sunday night football, you know, that crowd is going to be as amped up as a Jacksonville crowd can be. And then at San Francisco, you know, the 40 Niners some people were a little too quick to talk about their demise, you know, when they were banged up here in recent weeks, and then home against Miami home against Pittsburgh, I mean, that’s, you know, they better be ready because that’s going to be a very difficult Final Four games. And I don’t think that those final four games are going to be pivotal to their playoff chances chances as much as trying to see if you can be the number one seat you know to see if you can be that team that gets that first round by and if they do that they’re gonna have to win because Kansas City’s remaining schedule compared to the Ravens remaining schedule, you know, it’s a little more favorable even even with the the Chiefs plan the Eagles, you know, for this, you know, this Monday Night Football clash, so you know, that they’re gonna have to keep winning, and I think they think they have the horses to do it, you know, even with acknowledging how wrong it is to lose Mark Andrews and how big that is to lose him. But they still have a lot of talented football players. And there’s still so many things to like about this football team. So a lot of work left to do. But you look at this division now. No Deshaun Watson, who knows what’s going to happen with Joe burrow, and the Bengals are five and five as it is, and the Steelers. I mean, credit that they keep winning, you know, I mean, credit Mike Tomlin I mean, they’re getting the absolute most that they can out of whatever they are offensively. I bet they beat the Browns Sunday. Yeah, they have they have run the ball much better the last couple of weeks, which I think is critical for them because I don’t trust Kenny Pickett other than I guess Kenny pickets pretty good in the fourth quarter. I mean, he’s kind of like the anti ravens in that way. I guess. You know, he’s, he’s bad for three quarters and then plays well in the fourth quarter, the Ravens when they have had their issues, it’s been the opposite so, but I’m not a believer in Pittsburgh being a team that’s going to win that many games. So to win the division, so I feel very confident about the Ravens winning this division at this point in time given the circumstances of some of the other teams and where they are, but they have bigger goals in mind here as they should, you know, given the state of the AFC overall at this point in time so we’ll see exactly how they can take advantage of these next three weeks or so with with with a lot of rest and then get themselves ready for the final stretch. As we sit on
Nestor J. Aparicio 25:36
a Friday that feels like a Monday on a weekend. It feels a little spring ish to some degree. And we have time off here and we’re doing figgy pudding and Thanksgiving, Lucas I tricked my royal farms coffee out of my coal roofing mug, I must say the next time you and I get together I will have spent quality time with Geddy Lee. So I just want to let you know that things are gonna change around here for the holidays. Once I get together with Getty I’m sure my Mojo is gonna change here for Thanksgiving. You’re gonna find Luke at Baltimore, Baltimore, Luke, you can find both of us out of Baltimore positive. All of the work we do is is up on YouTube. It’s out on Instagram. It’s out on LinkedIn. Connect with us say hello to us. And we we appreciate all the new subscribers to our YouTube channel and all the madness out on our Facebook wn st page as well. You can always email me Ness at Baltimore. positive.com crabcake tours out on the road presented by the Maryland lottery conjunction with win donation and Jiffy Lube multi care Tuesday we are at Pappas and make sure you’re thinking about holiday gifts. Use one of our sponsors pick your favorite crab cake and ship some crab cakes to somebody you love that that will make them happy because they can’t get them wherever they are. Sucks for them. It’s good for you. Make your hero for the holidays. We are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore. And we never stopped talking ravens football. Baltimore positive stay with us.