Plenty of work to be done by Ravens offense after win over Titans in London

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It was a strange, morning game of short field goals and quick sand at the goal line for the Ravens offense. The men of John Harbaugh fared much better this time in London but it was far from a perfect performance as Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the purple escape from London with win over the Tennessee Titans.


game, play, ravens, penalty, thought, teams, baltimore, week, hit, ball, offense, rich gannon, win, talk, nfl, point, field, luke, ejected, football


Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

What about w n? S? T, Towson? Baltimore? Baltimore positive we’re positively into a a fresh week. We haven’t we have a home game this week. I didn’t know the Ravens play home games this week but the Maryland crab cake tour, no longer on hiatus. The Orioles are done. I’m putting together some crab cake tour stops. You got one in Hollywood Casino. We got one coming up at Coco’s pub. We’re gonna be over Costas. We’re gonna be back at Pappas up in Hunt Valley as well. All of that brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery, I’ll have these ravens scratch offs to give away, we’ll have a full schedule out. It was my birthday over the weekend, still, still sort of telling off after the Orioles experience when we had the whole calendar together, we would have had very chilly al ces game on Sunday night here. And instead, we had a very early wake up call. We were up in Hollywood casino in Perryville. Had a phenomenal time, we had about 100 people out we had prizes, we had fun. The game wasn’t as compelling. I guess it was compelling in that. And look, I gotta bring you in on this. There was a point. And I’m not kidding you. There was a point in the third quarter of the game, where I literally went on my phone looking for out of town scores. And I’m like, Dude, it’s 11 o’clock in the morning. There’s no other games. You know? So I there was a point where I’m in a casino. And I’m like, Oh, what are the other games? You know, but the whole 930 In the morning thing, the strangest thing for me and you we were at the London game. Last time we go to most of the games had gone to all the games, watching on TV at 930 in the morning. It was a little strange. And they played like it was a little strange. I thought,

Luke Jones  01:33

yeah, it definitely was strange. And I think anytime you have a team going to London and maybe the Jaguars are the example to this, because they’ve gone so frequently, and they just played black back to back Games in London, even. You’re wondering how a team’s gonna respond. There’s so much debate as far as how you approach it. I mean, the Ravens this time around went on Monday, they flew out to London and spent the entire week there allowed the body clocks to adjust and then get proper sleep and get acclimated, give players a little bit of time to do a little bit of sightseeing. Maybe not too much of that. And then there’s the

Nestor Aparicio  02:08

Churchill bunker, because that’s the only thing that matters there. But nonetheless, yes,

Luke Jones  02:12

but but then there’s the opposite approach where you do what the Tennessee Titans don’t or what the Ravens did last time around. And that’s not flying until Thursday. It’s fascinating when we talk about this all the time, and and I think it’s been mentioned a whole lot with turf and grass and that whole debate with quality of fields or lack thereof. But I think when you see it play out the way that it did Sunday, and I’m with you. I mean, it wasn’t this impressive performance from the ravens, but I think certainly compared to six years ago, they handled themselves far better. From a football standpoint,

Nestor Aparicio  02:48


the only impressive thing in London is to get on the plane you won. Right? You come home, right? That’s that’s the only thing that can be. I thought the game was. I mean, most of the game’s over. They’re very disjointed. Right? I mean, they’ll play great football when they go over there. It’s not It’s like Thursday night football. It’s not great football. It’s not designed to be right. It

Luke Jones  03:03

typically you’re right, right. I mean, there have been a couple of good games in London over the years. But for the most part and full disclosure, I haven’t watched too many. Some of them are on ESPN plus a lot of them. I’ve been in church, quite frankly, you know if it happens to be a Sunday where I’m not covering the Ravens in person,

Nestor Aparicio  03:19

Deacon Jones a sack in the altar, not. Exactly, exactly. So so.

Luke Jones  03:23

So what is different? And so from that standpoint, that’s where I look at this when I look at this game is just kind of a checkoff game. I think the one thing that I wrote it Baltimore, when you get to the point of the storm of adversity they faced in that third quarter, and the defense was reminded by NFL officiating that it’s not 1999 anymore, or it’s not 2012 anymore. They handled that better than they certainly did against Pittsburgh. Last week. They handled it better than they did against Indianapolis a few weeks ago. So it’s a step in the right direction in that regard. In terms of perception of the victory, I mean, I already looking early Monday morning for the Albert brewers of the world. There wasn’t a whole lot said about this game. Part of it is the 930 start, I think that’s just reality. But I think a big part of it is I think most people don’t regard the Tennessee Titans is a very good football team. So a win is a win.

Nestor Aparicio  04:23

I especially gets their backup quarterback at the end, right? You knock their quarterback out, and Kyle Hamilton hit like, oh, you know that the game itself and then the goal line stuff. I mean, the real lead story here is not being able to punch the ball when it kicking too many field goals, and whether that’s good or bad, and then the fact that if Ryan Tannehill had been on the field absolutely might have lost. I mean, he was he was kind of fearless and standing in the park and deliver on the ball like like a veteran would be. I saw him at the beginning of the game. It’s like he didn’t even see the pass rush. And then he got killed because of it, obviously right. But I thought like they’re really lucky they got away with what they got. way with I felt like they got away with one they got lucky.

Luke Jones  05:04

I’m not gonna go as far as lucky right Ryan Tannehill wasn’t good in that game either. I they have a better chance. Certainly. I mean, well, that

Nestor Aparicio  05:10

kid had no chance. Yeah, they bring. I mean, we’ve seen that for six weeks now five and six weeks you see backup quarterbacks and we see what the other teams Tyler Huntley what what your odds are of winning with Gardner Minshew, or I shouldn’t say that but but when you have these backup quarterbacks and you get them into the game, and the third quarter, it’s back to the rich Gannon Bobby hoeing days. And I saw the same thing with the Raiders they brought the other they brought whole year instead of whole Yang in this. It’s just when I put the games on at four o’clock and there’s backup quarterbacks or targets to him when you’re starting quarterback. But if you’re running around out there was some guy I’ve never heard of. Forget it. You can’t win.

Luke Jones  05:49


Yeah, they’re very, very few backups in this league where you where you feel like you have much of a chance. But and look, I I agree with your general point. Malik Willis was very reminiscent of what we saw when the Browns put out a fifth fifth round rookie start. And you saw the Browns go with PJ Walker this week. And they fared a little bit better still, mainly because of their defense. But yeah, this was a game that I think if you’re the ravens, you’re happy to come home with the victory. The defense played well. The offense move well between the 20s which by the way, was something they did a lot under Greg Roman a year ago. And the issue was they could not score touchdowns inside the red zone. And we saw this red zone offense gotta get off to a great start. I mean, they score touchdowns on 80% of their trips inside the red zone in their first four games and the last two weeks that’s gone sideways. So it’s just the latest issue with this offense, that’s kind of keeping it back, holding it back from being really good or great. You know it we see the potential, but the consistency wasn’t there. They couldn’t run the ball inside the 20. whatsoever. No, I think they’re a week ago. The question was, why didn’t Todd Monken run the ball more inside the 20s? Or inside the 20? I should say specifically, and a week later, they did that? They didn’t run it effectively. So the question is, why didn’t they throw it a little bit more? So I think for him, I’ve seen some instances where he’s struggling with the feel of the game. I think players are certainly struggling to execute in some key spots. But where I do credit this football team, and as I wrote it, Baltimore When you look at how that third quarter was playing out the Michael Pearce penalty, what happened right after that, the Kyle Hamilton penalty, which was a penalty, the ejection which, you know, that’s certainly up for debate, you know, him being ejected, and that, by the way, let

Nestor Aparicio  07:40

me let me bring that up. You hit a guy in the head on the crown of the head, and he’s in the tent on the other side, you should probably go to the shower. I mean, that’s, to me, that should be the spirit of the rule. You hurt somebody with your head, you’re out of the game that way, maybe you’ll think twice before you leave with your head and you hit on the crown of the head. And I don’t you don’t have time to think twice. The game’s too fast. I hear all of that. But I don’t really have a problem with that. I didn’t have a problem with Kyle Hamilton walking off the field and shame after putting a guy into shock trauma. You know what I mean? Like so there’s part of that for that’s the way the game should be adjudicated. You’re Michael Pierce. You want to land on the quarterback. You want to play Tony Siragusa? 2001 go home, think about it, we’ll send you a bill a bill for 25 grand or whatever the league’s gonna find you for doing whatever you’re doing to hurt a quarterback. I don’t have any complaint with that. I really don’t. And I feel like if you’re gonna take out the other teams player, you get you get to watch the game too. And I think that’s, that’s in the spirit of Little League rolls. It should be in a spirit of the NFL if you hurt somebody in that way. And it looks like I don’t say intentional, but you could have done not not a leg injury. Not any, but landing on God. I mean, I thought it was a little dirty. I mean, I don’t know the Ravens have any reputation for that. But I thought, you know, in a in a vacuum for a game. That was I thought they did some dirty stuff. And I thought that that they paid for it. I mean, the penalties speak to the fact that they were breaking the rules.

Luke Jones  09:08

We’re gonna have to disagree on some of that. Okay, that the Hamilton it was a penalty. There’s no question about that 1,000% of penalty. What you’re suggesting is a suggestion of what you think it should be compared to what? What’s the actual rule? Because I see hits like that in the NFL every week that are penalized, rightfully penalized, but

Nestor Aparicio  09:28

for what takes you out of the game? What does right and this is where


Luke Jones  09:31

and this is where we start? You know, we started approaching the territory that we see in college football on a weekly basis now with the targeting rule that it’s a specific rule in place, regardless of intent that if it’s targeting you’re rejected, you know, if the NFL wants to go in that direction, I mean, I will hear that I suppose. I will say that I hate the targeting rule on college football and I think it’s overly you know, overly, you know, By penalizing to incidental contact at times. So it’s a fast game loop. There’s no question. And that’s really where I get into this semester. And even with Michael Pierce, I mean, this wasn’t. Look, I see why they called what they did do I think he went down with his 100% of his body weight, no, not even close. This wasn’t even close to the Tony Siragusa driving rich Gannon to the ground. But I see why they called that I can live with that one. I certainly agree with Hamilton being penalized him being ejected. That’s where I struggle with that a little bit more, you know that. I don’t think that was him going for a kill shot as much as it was a high pass, he was going to play the ball. And he was going to make a hit to try to knock the ball out. And he hit the hit Chris Moore, former Raven and the helmet 1,000% a penalty. 1,000% going to be a fine for him. The ejection that’s where I just struggle, because then, you know, for me, we’re getting into territory of how do you judge intent? You know, well, the other

Nestor Aparicio  11:00

part of it, and this is if I still had access to John Harbaugh, Chad Steele and take it away, Shawn would say, Well, how do you want me to teach it? How do you want me to teach? Right? How could he do it differently, so he wouldn’t get a jacket and he wouldn’t get a penalty. And that’s really where you know, where they all earn their money on a whim, as well as the officials, as well as author this to Roger Goodell and the people that are concerned that if Mr. Hamlin situation actually happened, I can almost died on the field. Last year, I had been predicting that for you know, a tweet since the team got here, and 96 as well as people dying in the upper deck from fights, because that’s the way this goes when you gather 80,000 people on a Sunday. But I would say in the spirit of the rules and what they’re trying to do to make the game safer. You know, I looked at it, I looked at it twice and thought like, well teach it differently, Coach it differently, play it differently. And don’t hit the guy with your head. I mean, we’ve been saying that for 20 years, don’t it the guy with your head. Yeah,

Luke Jones  11:59

and like I said, it was a penalty I’m not at all saying it was not a penalty and even even with the reality of the last 10 to 15 years where helmet to helmet even if it’s a situation where a wide receiver ducts quite frankly and a defensive back is actually trying to hit him in say the chest or the stomach in the receiver ducts. And then you hit him in the head you know,

Nestor Aparicio  12:21


or you hit your teammate in the head we’ve seen a friendly for sure so,

Luke Jones  12:25

but on the flip side, you know to what you just said if you’re John Harbaugh if you’re the coaching staff, how do you teach that? Unfortunately, a lot of it is well guys are gonna make catches downfield guys are gonna make plays over the middle. Tom Brady famously talked about this a couple years ago about how there is no penalty whatsoever within the context of the game itself. Like it was 20 years ago for a wide receiver to go over the middle. You know, wide receivers can be much more fearless now going over the middle than was the case 20 years ago, certainly 30 or 40 years ago with how the game works. But going back to the point I was making at the time of that this was very clearly a point in the game where things were going sideways for this football team with the penalties. You saw Derrick Henry break off his two longest runs of the ballgame. Immediately after those two penalties on back to back drives those two penalties and then those two runs right after those penalties. led to 10 tightens points that took a 15 point halftime lead down to a one score game. And on the other side of the ball. Lamar Jackson throws the pick, they go three and out what is everyone in Baltimore as they’re having their morning coffee or maybe a morning beverage. Thinking right at that moment seeing this. Go again, I’m there and then Gino stone comes away with to me the turning point play the football game where Tennessee was starting to get the running game going a little bit not just with Derrick Henry, but also with the rookie spears. And starting to 10 Tannehill throws deep he makes a really good play on the ball. And keep in mind, Geno stone was in the game for Kyle Hamilton, because he had been ejected, of course, and he comes away with a big interception. Similar to what we saw in Cincinnati back in week two. And that was the turning point. From that point on. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Let’s be clear, but the offense at least sustained a couple drives, chewed What 11 and a half minutes off the clock and those two drives that followed that interception. They got a couple field goals. And they put themselves in a position where at that point, Malik Willis was in the game, Tennessee, you know they were meandering their way down the field. You know, they get the big plate of spears but at that point as assuming the Ravens were going to recover the onside kick, it still didn’t really feel like the outcome was in doubt at that point in time. So big play for Geno stone, someone who is has a pit of mised the idea of taking advantage of your opportunities when you get on the field make some plays. And he’s done that for them. He’s been big for that defense with Marcus Williams being on and off the field through the first six weeks of the season. So in that regard, I was glad to see them finish. It wasn’t an emphatic finish by any stretch of the imagination. But they at least weathered the storm of adversity in that third quarter and did enough to win the football game. Was that a performance that was going to be really good teams or great teams around the NFL? Probably not. But at the same time, that’s when you remind yourself, take a look around the rest of the league. Kansas City choppy effort on Thursday night bills, very choppy effort on Sunday night against the bad giants team. San Francisco lost Philadelphia last he did. That’s this league is you know, there are some teams I think that we believe are going to be great. But I’m not sure that there are too many teams that truly are great at this point in the NFL season, which I feel like we say every October now we say every time every year right around this time, but just get

Nestor Aparicio  15:58

the Jets some time they’re rounding into things the Jets are getting better.

Luke Jones  16:01

The defense is good. I’ll say this while we say what you want about these bad teams

Nestor Aparicio  16:05

to your point. I mean, we think of as they can’t win, and the best teams this week, all scuffled and we’re in the middle of the season there’s no undefeated teams, all of a sudden we’re not even through the ALCS yet, right. And so And on any given week, I would agree with you I just have this expectation of the offseason of Odell Beckham of Todd Monken of the offense of all these number one draft picks we’re gonna throw throw throw throw throw, we’re going to run run run run run we’re afraid to run Lamar now we’re afraid the run Lamar at the at the goal line and you and I’ll do a whole segment on goal line offense and what’s going on on that. And like we’ll see the lions this week. Are they good? Or are they not? The chargers? We’re gonna see them in a couple of weeks. I don’t know what they are. I thought Arizona might be more competitive. I watched him play four o’clock Sunday they stake I mean, better take care of business with that two weeks from now. And now we have these three NFC games in a row. They haven’t played at home in a month. The baseball teams overweight so we have no oxygen. We’re not sitting here talking about you know what Ryan mountcastle did last night or whether Adley rutschman is gonna call a game tonight or not. That’s all over what’s what’s the full focus for us. Lucas here. We’re taking the Maryland crabcakes we’re back out on the road. I’m putting some dates together. We had 25th anniversary stuff that I’m going to be getting out to the website. I thought I was traveling I thought we were going to be in Houston or Minnesota or Texas or Bemidji i i thought i was going to be a Camden Yards this week for something other than a football game but lions in town this week Luke can be found at Baltimore, Luke, things have settled down now there’s no more batting cages. There’s no more clubhouse badges. There’s no more worried about are we playing Atlanta or Philadelphia or Los Angeles and the app tickets for games all that’s over with it’s football and all football here Terps lost on Sunday as well. We’ll talk some more about that. As we go through all of this and that was a terrible loss for the Terps this weekend to Illinois. Luke can be found at Baltimore, Luke I can be found anywhere the internet travels, Luke and Luke and I get in the same room together we we were to same room together twice in the same week. Last week. We went to Texas together and then we went to drug city together at the fountain on Friday and I had some proper milkshakes celebrating my birthday my son came by Chuck came by Luke came by my dear science teacher friend George shoaling came by so if you hear any of that during the course of the week, in addition to all the other stuff and Andy Summers and all the other stuff we’ll be doing around here John Mayer week here I just I should just take the week off. He’s Luke on Nesta back for more we get a lot of football around here. So baseball residue as well. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore. Positive

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