Getting you ready for Week 18 in Cincinnati and whatever happens next for Ravens

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Screen Shot 2022 10 07 at 12.29.14 PM
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Luke Jones tells Dennis Koulatsos the realities of Ravens situation headed to Cincinnati – perhaps twice this week. And when is Lamar Jackson really coming back to play again?


ravens, game, talking, nfl, play, lamar jackson, team, players, bengals, week, rested, playoffs, chance, baltimore, terms, bills, wildcard, dennis, steelers, sunday

Dennis Koulatsos  00:02

Welcome back. My next guest has our very own loop challenge. Oh, he’s doing great things to Baltimore positive wn St. 1570. am Luke, welcome in?

Luke Jones  00:10

Dennis, how are you my friend? Happy New Year to you.

Dennis Koulatsos  00:13

I’m doing well, my friend Happy New Year to you, you and yours as well. Lots of talk about of course beginning with with the unfortunate incident between the Bengals in the bills up Monday night.

Luke Jones  00:25

Yeah, I mean, just even a few that few days later. It’s one of those things where I think it’s still difficult to process it. I mean, we’re getting back into talking about the games that kind of we knew we would and, and that’s okay. But this is still, you know, the situation with Tamar Hanlon still in critical condition. You know, the indications are he’s making improvements. So you love seeing that you continue to pray for him and his loved ones. But, you know, in the meantime, it’s led to this very strange situation for the NFL, and again, his health and what happened there remains paramount here. We can’t say that enough. And we’ll continue to say that. But in terms of trying to sort out what week 18 Looks like what it means specifically for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens, as they meet on Sunday at one o’clock, as we did get the official word on what the kickoff time would be, after that was even in flux for the last day or so after what had happened Monday night. But no, not really knowing what exactly is at stake here. I think, you know, based on the indications as of late Wednesday night, it sounds like the bills, Bengals game isn’t going to be replayed. And the league is going to just try to go off of win percentage. So I think if you’re any team involved here, whether you’re going to benefit or you’re going to be I don’t I don’t want to say gypped because again, let’s keep in mind what the big picture here is. But if you’re going to be on the short end of the stick in terms of playoff ramifications and all that, in the case of the ravens, that would be their officially eliminated from AFC, north, you know, the AFC North championship picture. You know, I think everyone needs to have as much grace as possible here. I think it’s very easy to beat up the NFL for a lot of reasons. And rightfully so a lot of reasons. And I’ve been, I’ve been someone who’s done that for a lot of things. But this is such an unprecedented situation. And I get it. This, you know, the tragedy struck the NFL 50 years ago and a game but I mean, it’s an entirely different sport operation business than it was in the early 1970s. But I just keep coming back to you just have to you deal with whatever comes your way. And I think Coleus Campbell and John Harbaugh said this on Wednesday, you know, in terms of not knowing if they still have a path to the AFC North championship, they just kind of said, you know, we’d like to know one way or the other. But we’ll we’ll deal with it any way we can. And, you know, I’ll keep coming back to look, if it comes down to it. The Bengals play one last game. And you can say, well, what if they had lost to the bills on Monday night in the Ravens would have a chance on Sunday. But I don’t know Dennis, we’re talking about a team that’s 10 and six and had five different games in which they lead in the second half that they lost. I mean, even go as recently as Sunday night against the Steelers, and what happened there. I just have a tough time feeling too sorry for the Ravens. Again, when you recognize the big picture here and understand what caused this predicament. You know this. We talked about this, even with COVID, the last couple years with some of the weird things that had to happen. My goodness, the Ravens were right in the middle of getting ready to have a Thursday night game. And they had a COVID breakout that forced it to be pushed to a Wednesday afternoon. We talked about it through that. And this is even even more dire and serious than that was in terms of what how the NFL is directly impacted, but Tamara Hamlin here, so I think you just have to accept whatever the NFL decides here and you move forward, you know, you’re gonna be in the playoffs. And I think as we’re seeing Lamar Jackson not be on the practice field at the beginning of the practice week. And again, we’ll see if anything changes on that front, but doesn’t feel great as far as his status for week 18. Anyway, I think you’d really come back to probably what the Ravens need to do what’s best for them in terms of giving themselves the absolute best chance in the first round of the playoffs is probably to rest some of your key guys and try to keep as many of your key players as healthy as possible. And hope Lamar Jackson’s out there, wildcard weekend. I don’t know that, like anyone else, the longer this goes on the clock ticks louder in terms of how much time he has to get ready. He’s now been out more than a month. So you know, I think we all need to be realistic on that front. But it for me any arguments about well, you know, you’d rather have the five seed than the six seed or you’d like to build some momentum, if Lamar Jackson is not out there for Sunday’s game, then you know, I think those arguments to me they don’t carry as much water. And especially if you’re talking about not having any mathematical path to the AFC north on top of that, I think probably what I would do is kind of shut things down a little bit in that way, get some of my young guys some play, some play, I might even, I might even play Anthony Brown considering Tyler Huntleys banged up. And if Tyler Huntley is going to have to be the guy for the wildcard, wildcard weekend, you’d like his arm to be as fresh as possible, because we know he’s been dealing with that shoulder. So just a very strange set of circumstances, Dennis, but again, it’s to come back to recognizing what happened with Mr. Hamlin, a young man fighting for his life. Still, as you and I are talking and understanding the big picture here. And I think everyone, even teams that are getting the short end of the stick of you know, from a football standpoint, you know, from a seeding standpoint, that’s a try to have as much grace as possible here and understand that there’s bigger things going on in football right now.

Dennis Koulatsos  06:04

Yeah, look, I heard an interview that Joe Berg gave the other day. And he said that he’s ready to play, but not all of his teammates are. And I think that’s another important piece. And I would think Josh Allen to the build would probably would make the same similar commentary that these two teams that want to feel that night were greatly affected, and not all players from those teams that were actually there their head, you’re going to be right this weekend.

Luke Jones  06:30

Yeah. And that’s where I struggle with notions of potentially making that game up. Even if you push back the playoffs a week. I think it’s such a difficult dynamic for these two teams specific, more specifically, the bills, but even the bangles that you’re going to reconvene in week 19. You know, let’s just say hypothetically, that’s what the league would decide to do. And that’s going to be on national television. And it’s going to be the same field. Same. I mean, so much of that is just so raw and so fresh right now, that I think that’s a lot to put those players in that position strictly in, in the name of oh, well, we’ve got to maintain the sanctity of the schedule, right? I mean, do we really need to, in this circumstance, that’s where I kind of struggle with that. I mean, if these teams ended up meeting in the divisional round, or the AFC Championship, and that’s just how football plays out. That’s how the playoffs play out. That’s a different animal. But, you know, to put these guys under the microscope so quickly, after what transpired on Monday night, you know, to do that, what would it be two weeks later, less than two weeks later? And for that to be the what the entire country? You know, even parts of the world are watching in the aftermath of what happened? Yeah, that’s where I kind of look at and say, you know, do we absolutely have to make up that game? I mean, and that’s where, again, I get it. And it’s not just the Ravens with the AFC north, I mean, bills, Bengals, the chiefs, I mean, they’re all they were all jockeying for the number one seed, but again, we keep coming back to understanding the circumstances at work here. And whatever you decide, there’s not going to be a perfect solution. People have talked about starting the NFC wildcard round a week earlier and bumping back the AFC wildcard round. And, you know, I think it’s a creative idea. But then you get to the end of the playoffs, and you say, well, the NFC team is going to have an extra week off compared to the AFC team for the Superbowl. And I kind of look at that. And I say, Well, if there’s gonna be a disadvantage, I don’t know if I want it for the Superbowl as much as maybe the wildcard round for, you know, or one or two teams get gypped out of seeding, whatever. So, again, that’s just just so much at work here. As you just mentioned me, Joe burrow made those comments. And, you know, I think ultimately, I think these teams that appears that they’re gonna play, you know, in terms of week 18, I mean, I know the league has not completely dismissed the notion of the bills game being postponed if it had to come to that, but it sounds like they’re practicing. It sounds like tomorrow, Hammonds father, Wednesday, was able to Tuesday or Wednesday was able to speak to the bill’s team via via zoom or a Skype or whatever it was, and I think that probably helped those guys a lot. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s very raw. And look, I think, one thing we talk about a lot, and it’s really, you know, it’s both a credit and a curse to players and coaches is they are creatures of habit, I think, so many of them are just programmed to move on to the next play, move on to the next game, move on to the next practice, move on to the next meeting, because that’s what they do. Look, they all signed up for it and they’re all compensated very handsomely for that. We understand that but at the end of the day, they’re still human beings and to witness what we all witnessed and for them to be there firsthand. You know, those guys that were on the field, you know, I mean, look at someone like T Higgins who delivered the hit to Hamlins cesta. I mean, a hit that we see dozens of times every NFL Sunday and we don’t think twice about it. You know, it wasn’t anything malicious or anything that looked overly, you know, over the top violin or anything dirty or anything like that. I mean, it, but it’s you know that that’s very raw and I think it’s something that these guys will get through, you know, and, and it’s a few players decided at some point that they don’t want to play anymore as a result and I know no class Campbell was just asked about this in the locker room he said he’d respect anyone in the same way we’ve seen players retire early because of concerns about head injuries, things of that nature, it’s brutal game, we understand that, you know, this is a very extreme example of that, that we haven’t seen. And when the NFL in a very, very long time, you know, to this degree, so, you know, there’s all of that at work, but you just said it, I mean, Bengals will, they’ll show up and they’ll play on Sunday, you know, barring something unforeseen at this point in time and again, tomorrow, Hammonds health remains paramount here. But yeah, I can’t imagine these guys at least that first play when they go out there. Or maybe that first play that we see on Saturday, with the two games on Saturday, the first game on Saturday, late afternoon. I can’t imagine that there aren’t gonna be some people kind of holding their breath a little bit to make sure that okay, everything seems okay in a tackles made blokes are made hits are made and, and then guys get up and they’re okay. And they go back to the huddle. That’s not to be insensitive to tomorrow, Hamlin whatsoever. It’s just, you know, to kind of see that. Yeah, it’s still it’s still football and guys are still going to play and they are going to move on as best they can. So you know, from that standpoint, yeah. I mean, I just, I, that’s what I keep coming back to in terms of then, you know, that any plans to make up the bills Bengals game where, you know, that would be the only show in town, right. And that would just feel like a lot to put those guys through. Again, if they end up meeting in the divisional round, they end up meeting in the AFC Championship. And that’s how the playoffs played out. And that will obviously, it’s going to be a huge story for especially the bills, but even the Bengals to a lesser degree for the rest of this season. And who knows how long after that. But I think, again, the NFL is trying to decide the path of least resistance. And, you know, it’s appears that it’s going to be that they don’t replay that game. And they’re just going to kind of let the schedule fall as it may, with some teams having played 17 games and some play teams having, you know, two teams having played 16 games, and I think everyone will just have to live with that. And again, as I said, I think as much grace as possible needs to be shown here for for all parties because you know, this is something that no one could predict. And the only thing I would say is, thank goodness, say what you want about the league’s timing of postponing the game and whether they were going to planning to resume or not, there’s been lots of discourse there. But thank goodness, the protocols in place for the medical personnel to respond in the way that they did. I mean, that’s, they’re the ones we should really be focusing on in terms of, you know, not so much criticizing other parties, but really praising those individuals and crediting the NFL for having that kind of personnel ready and prepared to act at a moment’s notice. In a way that almost certainly saved Mr. Hamlins life.

Dennis Koulatsos  13:13

You know, look, I flashback to how to be I don’t know, August maybe of 7879 was 1415 years old. preseason game Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots Terrell sting the 26 year old wide receiver stretch that four pass. Oakland had a pair of hard hitting safeties, Jack Tatum, George Atkinson and Tatum just lay them out and stinking just lay there on the turf never moved. And of course, we see that we see that some frequency in the NFL, but we see the players the other, they’ve been moving their hands or feet. So it’s not as traumatic. But that was probably the last time I saw something as bad as this and I were driving home, I was listening to the game on the radio, and I just turned it on. And when I heard that both medical staffs had rushed to the player, immediately I thought this is not normal. This is not something that’s typical. You hear one medical staff, not both. So I said what they had happened. So when I got home, I actually saw the the hit. And it was one of those things that you’ll never forget. Let’s stay with it stays with us as fans and analysts. And I imagine stand up for the players that were there. And of all the people that were involved with even that much more dramatic.

Luke Jones  14:24

Yeah, yeah, no question about it. I mean, the only thing that I could recall recently that it reminded me of and this was something that I just happened to come across by chance. It was Christian Eriksen, the Danish soccer player who was playing in the Euros last summer, summer of 2021. Because it was you know, it had been postponed because of COVID. And I’m not a big soccer guy. I wasn’t even watching the game. I was just flipping through channels. And I came to it and you could just see I think they were I think at the studio, they were talking to the talking heads in the studio at the time, and you could just there was just a somber look to eat To them, and I’m like what happened and they were talking about and Christian Erikson has since recovered and even returned to playing but he had to be assassinated. I mean, he was in a similar way, you know, had to be, it was administered CPR and shocked and all that with his cardiac arrest. And that was about the only thing that came to mind for me that, you know, in recent history, you know, I mean, Dennis, you and I talked about pro wrestling a lot. I mean, I had memories of, you know, Owen Hart, and I mean, WWF. At the time, you know, Vince McMahon at the time, they continued the show, which I think of all of Vince McMahon’s transgressions. And I say this as a lifelong pro wrestling fan, that’s at the top of the list, as far as not canceling that show, at that moment in time, you know, with with Owen Hart, who, you know, tragically fell to the ring, you know, with was was for people who aren’t familiar was up in the rafters of the rain, I believe it was in Kansas City, I want to say, I think it was Kansas City, and it was a blue blazer and was, you know, to be lowered, you know, with a harness, you know, as part of an entrance, you know, a stone, you know, and it went horribly wrong, obviously. So, you know, I thought, I thought I just thought of that, in terms of Sure. When something like this happens, not, you know, not to make any assumptions, as far as, you know, Damar Hamlins, fate or anything like that, but just the other at the end of the day. They’re all entertainers. I mean, that’s what it is. I mean, we talk about this all the time, if no one wants to pay to watch or to go to games, or sponsors don’t want to pay to, you know, to have advertising on the games, there’s no value to what any of those guys are doing from, you know, just playing a game, you know, they could be doing it in front of nobody, and there would be no value to it. They’re entertainers. So that’s where it’s important to have the proper perspective of when something like this happens, where some a man’s mortality is in question, you know, life or death is in question here. Now, you mentioned Darrell Stingley, or I think Mike got later, I think of Dennis Byrd, or Ryan shazier. More more recently, you know, what, these are all situations where players and teammates are shaken up enough under those circumstances and are asked to continue. But in those cases, you at least know that the individual is alert and alive. And you know, they’ve given a thumbs up or some kind of signal that, you know, their vitals are at least stable. You know, when this happens, you know, it’s impossible to think about the game. And that’s where I really credit the two head coaches, Sean McDermott and Zack Taylor, where, you know, it’s very clear that regardless of any directives from the league or not, I think there’s been a lot of conjecture and assumptions made as far as what exactly happened there. And I’m not gonna absolve the league entirely either. But I’m just saying I don’t, I don’t know if any of us truly know enough just yet to make that judgment. But those head coaches, they were leaders of men in that moment. And let’s just like I talked about the emergency responders and the medical staffs of both teams and the part they played in saving tomorrow Hammonds life, and at least given him a chance to survive here. But you know, those coaches, I think you really saw why they were leaders of men and in how they handled themselves and talk to each other and supported each other and the players supported each other. I mean, you know, that’s, that’s what I hope will take away from this more so than, you know, what it meant for the AFC playoff picture, really, at the end of the day.

Dennis Koulatsos  18:26

Now, 100% Look, looking back at the Ravens Sunday night game against the Steelers. Great atmosphere, I thought the stadium, the fans were into it and hard hitting game where we come to expect between two teams, to organizations and then each other very well. And a lot of our fans are upset about the loss and rightfully so. But if if rope wants Smith makes a play on that ball, that can he pick it through to Nagi Harris, and they stop them. It may be a different narrative. But it was disappointing for the ravens, particularly after the 56 yard kickoff return by Justin Hill not to be able to get positive yards and have a chance to not put the game away but at least at least give himself a better chance of staving off the Steelers at the end. Yeah,

Luke Jones  19:11

I mean, think about it, you return a kick to the 40. And how many yards do you need for Justin Tucker to have? I’m not I’m not attempting a 60 yard field goal. But him attempting a 53 yard field goal. I mean, you don’t need much there, you know, even if likely makes the catch on third down to which wouldn’t have been a first down but at least makes it you know a case where he’s probably trying to 52 yard or something like that, which is very mapable under those circumstances. I mean, it’s just in Tucker, for goodness sake. But not only did they not do that they move backwards two yards, you know, they they had the punt from the 42 You know, so on fourth down there, you’re you’re looking at a 60 yard field goal which you know, I wouldn’t have tried it in that case either. You know, just given the score the game and you know, the potential Given the Steelers, the Baltimore field I mean, so yeah, I mean, it’s just, it comes down to this. I think it really, both sides of the ball failed at some pretty critical times. You know, I mean the offense. From the time that JK Dobbins keep in mind, they came out in the second half, had to drive kick the field goal. Get the ball back, JK Dobbins. He reels off the 22 yard run. And then from that moment, until Mark Andrews catches the pass on the final drive and gives himself up that they got a first down there. They ran 14 plays for 32 yards and committed a turnover. And one first down. Yeah, I mean,

Dennis Koulatsos  20:40

you’re not gonna win much with that kind of a you have

Luke Jones  20:42

that fence. Right. Right. You have that. And then the defense gave up points on three of the last four drives and the defense. While I certainly look at the offense and say, My goodness, I mean, you got to do least get a few first downs on those last couple drives, you know, before Pittsburgh, touchdown drive, but the defense, now they got beat up, you know, that they ran all over. You know, I mean, that was the most rushing yardage, the Ravens have allowed since Derrick Henry and in the 2000 and the titans in the 2019 playoff loss. So, yeah, I mean, we can kind of divvy up which what percentage of blame dessert, you know, goes to offense, defense coaching, whatever? Yeah, the answer is kind of Yes. Right. I mean, there, every party kind of played a part, I guess, you know, the, the special teams for the most part, you know, we didn’t see a meltdown there. Although Jordan Stanton had a touch back at one point, that would have been nice to pin on deep, but, you know, I mean, that’s it happens. But that’s where I keep coming back to, you know, if the ravens, you know, indeed don’t have a chance to play for the AFC north, it’s like, you know, you had your division rival on the, you know, all you had to do is make one stop or get a few first downs on the in the fourth quarter, and they didn’t do it. So that’s where I just look at it and say, I get it. I understand I, you know, it’d be, I’m sure the now it’d be great to see this game before the AFC north. But again, they would have been eliminated if the Bengals won last Monday night. So and we don’t, we never know what what would have happened in that game. So kind of is what it is. And we’ve been talking about this a lot. I mean, this this is, unfortunately, it’s been one of the very best 45 minute teams in the NFL, and they’ve been a pretty lousy fourth quarter team this year. That’s, that’s just the that’s just the truth of it. You know, the fourth quarter team, they have their defensive efficiency in the fourth quarter has been pretty lousy. You know, they’re the fourth quarter offense, you know, at times has been okay. And other times, it’s kind of been what we saw on Sunday night. And it’s Well, I look at this team right now. And, you know, regardless of whether Lamar Jackson makes a return or not, and I have no idea at this point, Dennis, I’d like to tell you that I have this great insight information as someone who prides himself being around the team, but it’s just not, it’s been that weird. Rich. Eisen even talked about it this week, you know, going back to the Browns game, which was now going on three weeks ago, saying that, you know, the, presumably John Harbaugh, or someone in the organization told him that, you know, Lamar is, you know, he probably could have played this week. I mean, three weeks later, he’s still not practicing. So there’s clearly a disconnect here. I, you know, the Ravens can try to hide it as much as they want. Lamar can say nothing, you know, as much as he wants, but it’s clear that they’re not on the same page. Now. Does that mean, he’s going to show up over the next couple days and start practicing and playing wild in the wild card game? Maybe? Or maybe we’ve seen the last of Lamar Jackson this season, which begs the question of what happens after that, but, you know, it really just comes back to, you know, at this point, just, you know, I mean, try to try to get yourself in position to be as healthy as possible for the wildcard round and will, the chips will fall where they may, for Sunday’s game, but you know, if they’re not playing for the division, which it’s looking like, it’s going to be that way. And that’s where I kind of just come back to, is the juice really worth the squeeze of risking, you know, a substantial injury or to to some guys that are really important to you, if Lamar Jackson is not even going to be out there playing giving you the best chance to win against the Bengals on Sunday. Anyway.

Dennis Koulatsos  24:10

No question about that. Luke, the Lamar Jackson situation continues to burn and when you there’s going to be an issue all season long. When you have a quarterback that’s not under contract. It’s it’s that cloud in the sky, right? It’s a constant reminder, he’s not under contract. And does he make a business decision? I mean, and I’m not saying it in the sense of contractually speaking, but maybe that’s what I’m saying. If he’s 80%, or 85%, does he risk further injury to his knee? In the postseason? And does does he in his own mindset want to be 100%? But who knows that the silence has been deafening from both sides. We see him wearing his Oakleys on the sideline, at least, I’m encouraged. At least he’s with a team he’s visible, right. So for the people that say well, he’s checked out well, no, he’s still part of the team. I don’t buy that. I do think is a fierce competitor and I think if anywhere near close to 100 for Sand Hill playing that well, that said, I was encouraged to see clay as Campbell lists was questionable means he’s getting better. Marcus Peters was out. And you said it a couple of times today that do the rest your players and get them ready for the playoff game, particularly if they have to play the Bengals two times in a row.

Luke Jones  25:17

Yeah. And that’s that’s another interesting wrinkle to this, right. I mean, if you’re playing the Bengals and again, we don’t know that we don’t know how it’s all gonna play out. I mean, there’s still, you know, Bengals or what happens with the bills against the Patriots? I mean, it’s still you know, I mean, what I, I assume if we’re working on the the assumption that they don’t replay the postpone game, I guess the Chiefs can conceal the top seed with a win on Saturday. So, you know, you assume that happens? I guess you never know for sure. I mean, it’s the NFL. But, yeah, I mean, that’s another layer to this. That’s really interesting. I mean, you mentioned the Bengals and, you know, Joe burrows comments, how much are they going to going to be into it? How much are they going to play? In terms of, you know, the idea of, you know, if they can’t get the number one seed is being the two versus the three that worth all that much to them. Right. I mean, same with the ravens, you know, how much is being the five versus the six worth to them, knowing that it’s dependent on the Chargers outcome? So, yeah, there’s just a lot to it. But you just said it. I mean, there’s there’s very much a very distinct possibility. I mean, if not, the more most likely outcome is going to Cincinnati for the wildcard round. So from that standpoint, does any team does either team want to show anything of meaning there? I mean, as much as I don’t have a lot of faith in Greg roamans vault at this point in time, based on what we’ve seen with this offense, you know, really going back to coming out of the bye week, you know, so it’s been a long time even before Lamar Jackson got hurt, but you know, whatever ideas you might have, you certainly don’t want to give those away and the regular season finale and get Cincinnati a chance to adjust to that. So I think if nothing else, the Ravens need to figure out a way to adjust against that bear front that Pittsburgh was showing them that six man front that I mean, my goodness, Dennis, they were the Steelers were begging the ravens to throw the ball against them. And

Dennis Koulatsos  27:10

if you simple math, you got six, you got six down linemen two linebackers, right, three defensive backs, I would think that all the receivers had single coverage, including Mark Andrews, I would think,

Luke Jones  27:20

yeah, well, we saw Mark Andrews do what he did, but no one else did anything else, I mean, likely caught the touchdown. But we also saw him have a pretty critical dropped and the wide receivers had what two catches between all of them. So I mean, it’s just, I mean, we’ve talked about it. It’s a broken passing game. It’s broken. I mean, there’s, I’m, I don’t think Lamar Jackson coming back is going to, quote, fix it. Can it be better? Sure. Do I think it’s gonna be good enough for this team to make a real run? Not at this point. I’m not believing that. I mean, you never know. But it’s funny. I actually went back and found the article that I wrote after the Ravens rested their starters against the Bengals in the 2012 finale. Remember Joe Flacco and Ray Rice I think they they played one or two series in that game and then you know, they rested they rested. bunch of guys were deactivated. You know, Ray Lewis wasn’t back, of course yet. Coming off IR and they rested. Nada, they rested. Suggs, and, you know, it was funny to read that, you know, knowing what was going to lie ahead over the next five or six weeks for the Ravens. But no, I kind of set at the at that point, the only variables that can really control in that moment. And that week 17 game because they had clinched against the Giants the week before. Keep in mind, this is a team that had lost three out of the four going into that game, but they had had a great performance against the Giants. I mean, they scored points, score touchdowns that kind of demolished the Giants. Remember, the Giants were the defending Super Bowl champs who had not had a great year and they came out and they had that statement when I think that made it a lot easier to kind of shut it down for week 17 Then because it was a similar situation, they couldn’t get a buy. But they could have been the three seed rather than the four but you just kind of look at it and say is this really worth it if we get Flacco hurt, or we get Ray Rice hurt or we get Ed Reed hurt or you know someone, any other notable players that point in time. And it was funny just to hear my tone in that was not overly optimistic about the team’s outlook in the playoffs because hey, that was their fourth loss and five games to finish the season even if that last game didn’t mean anything. So that’s where I kind of look back at it and and I was kind of on the fence. You know, if you would ask me this a day ago, I might have said I think they need to play but as I started thinking about it more it’s like if Lamar is not out there and he’s the key to this thing anyway. Doesn’t matter. Are you really building here? I mean, we kind of know what this team is they can run the ball really well. Even not quite as well against the Steelers but it’s still wasn’t wasn’t a poor day at the office in that way. And their and our defense is I don’t think it’s special. I don’t think it’s great, but it’s good. We know those things. Nothing about Sunday’s outcome meaning this Sunday not talking wildcard round is going to change your eyes The entity in that way so that’s where I kind of look at this thing and say, you know, if indeed there is no path to a division title and a play a home playoff game, then I just I don’t really see that there’s nearly enough juice there to to really put your guys at risk and keep in mind you can’t rest everyone in the NFL. I mean, did you have a you have 48 guys you can play with on game day. So you know, that means you’re resting a row Quan Smith you’re you’re resting a Ronnie Stanley, you know, you’re resting a Kevin Zeitler you’re resting those types of you’re resting a JK Dobbins almost certainly I would, you know, especially playing on turf. So, you know, I think that’s what it looks at that what, how, for me it shapes up to be and it’s where I would even take a long look at Anthony Brown. And hey, there’s even another element to this. That gives you a chance to evaluate him because let’s face it, I mean, it hasn’t gone well. But Tyler Huntley and, you know, not to say that, you know, putting aside what happens with Lamar Jackson, but let’s just say Lamar is back, and you’re even talking in terms of a backup quarterback. Let me see what Anthony Brown looks like in a albeit not high stakes setting, but in a real NFL game. And, you know, maybe there’s a competition there to be had, you know, regardless of how it all shakes out with number eight, but yeah, I mean, I think there’s a lot going on here, and certainly some circumstances that no one could have foreseen even on Monday afternoon, but going into that bill’s Bengals game,

Dennis Koulatsos  31:32

a lot to unpack there for sure. Luke, please tell our listeners where they can find you on wn St. Baltimore positive all your great social media presences as well as your blog.

Luke Jones  31:41

absolutely encourage everyone to follow us on Twitter at wn S T can follow me personally at Baltimore, Luke, check out my blog at Baltimore positive sponsored by coons for the Baltimore latest 12 ravens thoughts injury report. I’ll have my predictions for Sunday have postgame reaction, any updates in terms of whether we know for for certain if the ravens are going to be playing for the division or if we find out that it’s just preceding any of that you can check out at Baltimore You want to be on the wn St. Baltimore positive tech service sponsored by coons for a Baltimore any ravens in tangible direct injury updates injury report final injury report, Game Day in actives any significant local sports news sent directly to your mobile device for you the wn S T Baltimore positive tech service sponsored by coons for to Baltimore. And of course, anything throughout the week on am 1570 with Nestor, any ravens players and coaches interviews from Owings Mills, checkout all of that at Baltimore

Dennis Koulatsos  32:39

All right, my friend, I was a pleasure and privilege having you want to appreciate your insight and your commentary and will allow I’m sure we’ll have more storyline to talk about a week from now. Hey, keep

Luke Jones  32:49

in mind regardless of what happens on Sunday, we’ll be talking about a playoff game, you know, as as lousy as it feels in so many ways, and I and I get it to a point but I also know everything that happened Monday night with Mr. Hamlin, let’s also remember, this is a game and it’s entertainment. And hey, it can be a lot worse. You know, even looking from a football lens. The ravens are gonna be playing a playoff game here. Don’t take that for granted. I’m not anticipating it being a magical 2012 or 2000 like run but really no. And you know, we’ll see how it plays out and roll the ball out and let’s enjoy because, you know, we may be down to our last two ravens games of the year and it’s a long offseason I know you love the draft. Hey, I like college basketball. I love basketball. But hey, it’s a long offseason. Let’s not wish this away just because there is some understandable frustrations with the current state of the football team.

Dennis Koulatsos  33:42

And you never know what’s going to happen. Again. I appreciate it. Look, keep doing great things. We’ll take a quick break and be back right after this.

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