Ravens show AFC North dominance in win over Bengals

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It was a night for a big victory – and a major loss. Luke Jones and Nestor discuss Lamar Jackson and offensive performance against Cincinnati and how the team will adjust moving forward without All Pro tight tight end Mark Andrews.


running, play, lamar jackson, ravens, game, lamar, thursday night, bengals, week, mark andrews, talked, year, ronnie stanley, football, feel, stadium, offensive line, baltimore, jake browning, defense


Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back wn S T, Towson Baltimore. And Baltimore positive.com. Happy weekend to everybody out there celebrating a weekend maybe on the couch watching the browns in the and the Steelers play football as well as some other teams out there. Of course the Ravens victorious on Thursday night we’re going to take the Maryland crabcake tour on the road. All month long. Happy Thanksgiving everybody out there hope you have safe travels over the river and through the woods and eat some figgy pudding and do all that stuff. Tuesday. We’re going to kick it off at Pappus in Parkville first ever crabcake tour stop there we’ve been to the other Pappas locations looking forward to that. So I brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery I have Raven scratch off to give away at least this week. We’re gonna have some sent it tickets. As we get into the following week. We’re gonna be Coco’s on the 29th and Laura Ville we are going to be at the BMA and the Walters or excuse me, the PMA not the Walters at gertrudes on the 30th with Dan Rogers, also on the first of December, that is a Friday we’re gonna be up at Hollywood casino in Perry Ville, the the Terps play Indiana on that Friday. I got a great guest and Tom Cal so we are trying to educate folks about the Maryland stadium authorities role, why John Angelos would want to get rid of it, where all of your money is going and Tom Kelsey is going to be joining us again, this week before Thanksgiving to sort of whet the appetite for a full stadium for Dummies series that we’re gonna be doing on December the first it’s also brought to you by our friends at Windsor nation 866 90 nation you buy till you get to free 0% financing for five years through the holidays. And last but never least Jiffy Lube, multi care taking care of my vehicle getting us the most oil in the car over and Dundalk and we were in Dundalk last week at Costas, we were at fade these we’re going to be back and fate leads later on in late December. We’re going to be at state fair on December the fifth just booked some guests for that as well. And we’re going to be at the foreign daughter in Timonium importing a crab cake of course, I have my macarius shirt on. I’m going to get the purple one here soon. I also have I’m a blunt person shirt, which I’ll wear that for Luke because he knows I’m a blunt person. Luke, we gave a lot of oxygen to mark Andrews and we’re going to do that next week. And we’ll do that by week when they don’t even play we’re gonna be talking about how they’re going to eventually win without him. Seeing Lamarck MP seeing Lamar go into the tent. That was a different level of what happens to the season. Think he’s okay, he came back out perform pretty well. I mean, in general lost in this, Mark Andrews and Burro didn’t play and they played a pretty good game on Thursday night for four days rest and didn’t turn the ball over wasn’t sloppy. Game was in hand felt in hand, especially with the backup quarter. They didn’t let the backup quarterback come out and scare them. You know. So all that being said, you know, by marks on beating the division opponent at home by two touchdowns on short rest.

Luke Jones  02:50

Yeah, I mean, and again, it is what it is no Joe burrow. But as I pointed out in our previous conversation, no, Lamar Jackson at the end of each of the last two years and the Bengals are above puffing out their chest about that. So you don’t feel sorry for that. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s a little it’s a bummer because the ravens and Bengals have this rivalry going over the last few years and how few times we’ve actually seen Lamar and burrow both be fully healthy. So so that’s a bummer. But yeah, the performance by the Ravens on Thursday night and we spent so much time talking about Mark Andrews, we spent time talking about the tight ends, we talked about the wide receivers we even talked about the offensive line. A big part of that equation if the ravens are going to truly be okay and fine and still able to thrive and make a deep January run and have a chance to win a Super Bowl. It’s going to begin with number eight and him elevating his play with Mark Andrews not being out there because we’ve talked about it and this isn’t a knock. Every quarterback has that security blanket every quarterback Travis Kelce. Is that for Patrick mahomes. So Lamar Jackson is going to have to elevate his play and do things a little bit differently than he’s accustomed to doing. And Thursday night was a really encouraging step, understanding that new reality for the Ravens for the remainder of the year because look at that first half, you lose Andrews, I’ll be it at the end of that opening drive. But the opening drive he’s done for the night, daily ran the ball for 30 yards. I mean, in Lamar had 20 of those in the first half. So the running game was a non factor. And yet you look at what he did 1219 for 186 yards and two touchdowns in that opening half and doing what they did scoring two touchdowns late in that first half. I mean, that was great to see, you know, that was a really strong performance. Fully acknowledging Lamar was less than 100%. I mean, we saw him limping around at different times throughout the game a couple times. I was kind of questioning why they were having him run the ball. Oh, the play immediately following him markedly noticeably limping, so I

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:53

don’t want anybody pulling his ankle and then after that he got hurt, right?

Luke Jones  04:56

Of course not. I mean, again and you You called me the Debbie Downer talking about Mark Andrews. If you lose Lamar Jackson, it’s over. I mean, it’s just over. Right. So, but it was really encouraging to seeing him play the way that he did. And utilizing his wide receivers the way that he did. I mean, that’s we’re gonna have to see more of that now because you’re not going to have Mark Andrews in that equation. And you can only expect so much from Isaiah likely and Charlie Kohler. So it’s going to be an ensemble effort, it’s going to be a collective effort for everyone to raise their play. But you have number eight out there and upright and even though he wasn’t fully healthy, he was healthy enough to keep playing and he played at a high level and, you know, the Ravens coming out of it, you know, certainly take advantage of some rest for Jackson, you know, to get that ankle right. And we’ll see what the injury report looks like next week, but he was very good. And, you know, the Bengals are dealing with it. Now. Who knows what’s going to happen with Joe burrow, browns are dealing with it with Deshaun Watson but I mean, the Ravens we’ve, we’ve said it over and over, no matter whether we’ve talked about Ronnie Stanley or injuries on the defense back in 2021, or JK Dobbins now Mark Andrews, you have Lamar Jackson out there and upright, you’ve got a shot, and you’ve got you feel really good about your chances when he’s out there and healthy. And again, he did a really good job operating the passing game, without Mark Andrews and without the running game really being much of a compliment to them until the second half when they built that lead. So for them to be able to do what they did offensively, given those circumstances, because the Bengals did bottle up their running game early on. Now that was really encouraging to see that. And again, we’re gonna have to see more of that now, as we move forward and get into closer and closer to December and then eventually, January,

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:46

where are you on the running game? And I would say, to say there’s a consistent running game, we go back to 2019. We’ll always talk about Mark Ingram and Tao historical that was, I don’t know week to week that I know they have a running game that doesn’t include Lamar Jackson. And I certainly would think that would even put more pressure on the running game with Mark Andrews being out now more pressure in that there has to be more productive and more pressure, it’s going to be harder to be more productive. Well, let’s,

Luke Jones  07:15

first of all, let’s understand what we’re still talking about this in relative terms. They entered Thursday night’s game with the number one rushing offense in the NFL, you know, so I’ll say this. And I think this is the point you were trying to make. Do I think this running game is the dynamic rushing attack that we saw a few years ago that was historically dominant? No, I don’t think it’s that. But I do think the elements with Yes, Lamar Jackson still being a part of that, because shame on you if you’re not going to have Lamar Jackson run, because that is what truly makes him so transcendent, and that ability to do that. But you have Gus Edwards, scoring touchdowns, you know, not necessarily, you know, he’s not rushing for 100 yards every week, but has remained productive. And keep Mitchell who know early on the Bengals did a nice job bottling him up. But we saw him especially as they got into the second half. And, you know, being able to get a little more run with the lead. We saw him do some nice things. And that was good experience for him. You know, we’ve talked a lot about the usage. And you know, I even asked Harbaugh about it on Monday after after the loss to the Browns where I think Mitchell was on the field for only four snaps in the second half. And part of this is he’s a young kid, he’s undrafted missed time earlier in the season has been dealing with the hamstring. They’re trying to balance wanting to get him more involved, but also wanting to make sure he’s ready to be more involved. He’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:43

not Emmitt Smith. Yeah.

Luke Jones  08:46

Yeah, well, look, the ability I mean, that, you know, the speed is unbelievable. You know, the tools are really exciting. There’s no doubt about that. We saw that, you know, a couple weeks ago, you know, right off the bat. I mean, what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands in space. But yeah, there’s other parts to the game that he’s still learning. So, you know, I fully expect to see him more involved, I think you’re gonna see as time goes on less and less Justice Hill, and I think you’re gonna see more and more Keaton Mitchell paired with Gus Edwards, in terms of, you know, what, I think will morph into more of a two headed monster in the backfield rather than, you know, the three headed monster that we’ve seen. So you know, and that kind of that kind of played out, you know, Mitchell got eight carries just to sail on the one. Oh, Gus, Gus Edwards had 12 carries. So I think a lot of it’s going to depend on the matchup how teams are trying to play them from a run defense standpoint. But, you know, I, there’s no doubt that the running game is going to be very important. It was always going to be it’s always been. But now when you are going to have a little more question as far as how your passing game is going to need to evolve. It’s going to be even more important for the running game to be consistently robust. And we’ve seen it be more robust and more consistent here and recently in recent weeks, you know, Even first half on Thursday night aside, but they’re going to need more and more of that because yeah, it’s gonna get colder, harsher elements. Everyone’s banged up, you know, guys, we’re gonna be banged up week in and week out, you know where are you with the health of your wide receivers? Where are you with Lamar Jackson’s health on any given week, you know, as we saw Thursday night, so they’re going to need more of that. And, you know, I think I’m confident that the running game is going to play at a high level. But you know, to go back to your original question, now, it’s not the 2019 or 2020 running game. But the hope is, it doesn’t have to be that because you are better at wide receiver, you do have a more experienced Lamar Jackson from the pocket and doing more things from the pocket than he did three or four years ago. So you know that that’s all part of the equation here. And we’re gonna see how this all plays out. But again, given the circumstances that they faced on Thursday night, in that first half, I was very pleased to see how their passing game and how their offense in general was able to operate, even with their running game not firing on all cylinders early on.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:03

Well, we talked about how turnovers have destroyed them or upended their chances. I mean, all of these comebacks or pretend and freak outs but but turnover specifically, you know, they played a pretty I said this and less of it. I don’t think they played a pretty good Thursday night game against a division opponent. They haven’t played perfect football this year. Lord knows they blew out Detroit blew out Seattle, but just for a steady victory, where when the backup quarterback came in, you said we’re not going to lose that guy. And the game felt in hand to me. And you know what I mean? Like, they haven’t had a lot of those. I don’t say it was a snoozer asleep, or they pulled them off the field like 37 to three, but it felt more like the garden variety kind of victory you want to have in the middle of a season, especially when you lose your tight end. And you might lose your quarterback spin in the chant already. I’m not a sky is falling with the rest here, the Andrews thing I mean, you’ll continue to reiterate the sincere Yeah, the seriousness of how they’re going to replace him. But I feel good about how they played on Thursday night after the cleaning. And now like what we can’t do 11 Now, right, we don’t have a buy, but it feels like that we will play on Sunday, there’s gonna be a real buy two weeks from now. So they’re to your point and play one game at 24 days crazy. But the feeling that they’re rounding into something that the passing game is coming together, that they’re kicking the ball around less that the defense is a real thing. The defense is something other teams going to have to contend with every single week, because the defense is going to travel as long as row Kwanzaa we mentioned who would be the next guy to go down that would be awful. It’d be row Quan Smith, but they, they want a big boy game on short rest, when something really went wrong early and they didn’t stab themselves in the foot. You know, they didn’t kick the ball around. They didn’t throw the ball around. They didn’t have special teams problems. It was a very, very pedestrian win from that standpoint and never gotten nervous.

Luke Jones  13:08

Yeah, and and, and we’d be disingenuous, if we didn’t acknowledge it certainly helps. And Joe burrow goes out late in the first half. I mean, that’s, you know, who knows how that game is gonna play out in the second half if he’s out there, but that’s what happened. So I agree with you. They played clean football, I think the second half while you look at the output output, and it’s like, okay, they scored 13 points. I mean, that was fine. You know, when you’re in a position where you lead by 11 at halftime, and you know that a backup quarterback and by the way, let me give a it’s subtle, because I’m not saying the guy lit the world on fire. Jake Browning did a nice job considering that guy had played for career snaps in the NFL. One Pass hit never played any meaningful football in the NFL. He was on a practice squad for three years before becoming Cincinnati’s backup this year. But the point was, he’s not Joe burrow. They already were without T Higgins, that was a very limited Cincinnati Bengals offense the rest of the way. And the Ravens played accordingly. play smart, do not do things to self destruct do not do things to hand them opportunities on short fields, whether it’s turnovers, whether it’s a special teams gaff anything like that they played clean football, and that’s what you want to see. Again, you know, Cincinnati loses Joe burrow in the same way that Lamar Jackson wasn’t playing the last couple years. Yeah, you should win just like the Bengals should have. You know, you expected them to win the end of the last couple years without Lamar on the field. So but but that fully acknowledging that they played clean football and they didn’t turn it over, you know, we can talk about penalties. I mean, they’re really questioning you know, the Beckham holding call was questionable. The the defensive pass interference that they called, was a flowers. That was a terrible Amin guy didn’t do anything. I mean, that was I felt like a makeup call. For

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:00

that, drive alive to that short game,

Luke Jones  15:04

so there was some of that. I mean, there was no doubt about that there was some of that. But you know, by and large, I mean, I agree with you. And, again, for me, the defense did exactly what they should do if Joe burrow exits, right. I mean, my goodness, if Jake Browning beat them, shame on them, because most people in that stadium never heard the guy before Thursday night. So you expect the defense to do what they did, given those circumstances. But the offense again, really impressed with how they played in the first half, you know, going up against a desperate Bengals team. You know, Trey Hendrickson made some plays early in that game, but, you know, they were able to get some of those things cleaned up. You know, Lamar, obviously took the hit on the sideline, you know, you know, the pass protection wasn’t perfect, but he wasn’t under extreme duress all night. You know, he was sacked what three times for 16 yards last. But, you know, they just they played clean, winning football overall, and on a Thursday night, given the challenges there for both teams. But given the challenges, and just seeing what Thursday night football looks like on a week in and week out basis, you know, I think you have to be pleased, other than the injury, of course, to Andrews and, you know, other guys back home and Lamar being banged up in that game, but I think just the way they performed, you have to be really pleased. And now you feel really good about yourself would have felt better. If you didn’t lose Mark and his boy, they’d be on top of the world, it’s like that Cleveland game would have been forgotten. That’s why I said if they won this game, Thursday night, they’re fine. So they’re in great shape, they’re eight and three, one game in the next 24 days, get a chance to rest up, Todd Monken in the coaching staff go to work on how they’re going to reshape and evolve this passing game, knowing that you’re not going to have one of the best tight ends and football the rest of the year, you know that. So a lot going for them. And by the way, they need to take advantage of that time. Because you know, the chargers, that’s not going to be an easy trip out to the West Coast, but post by alright, I’ll buy the, you know, the Rams don’t scare you certainly. And after they looked better earlier in the season, and it looked very good for a while now. But after that, at Jacksonville at San Francisco home against Miami home against the Steelers week. 18. I mean, those last four games, I mean, not necessarily the division on the line necessarily. But if you want to try to beat that number one seed boy, there’s, they’re gonna have to do some some work there because I don’t think Kansas City’s dropping too many games between now and the end of the season. So they’re gonna have to keep winning. But that’s why this next three and a half week stretch here are 24 days, whatever we’re calling it, that it’s, you know, this is a golden opportunity for them to get right. And again, reshape what they’re going to look like with their passing game moving forward. So there’s a lot to feel really good about even if Yeah, the mark Andrews injury action absolutely stinks. Well, that’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:55

what I was gonna say the the feel good about it part. You know, I don’t wanna be to Baltimore positive here during Thanksgiving week. But the amount of time they have off the where they are that the concerns I have are the running game, the running game, the running game, I brought that up in the beginning with how does losing Andrews affect their running game? Because it’s all part of that, you know, what are they going to do on third and four? How much is Lamar gonna have to run to your point seeing his ankles get poked at? Because that’s what this offense. That’s what Lamar has done. When things get desperate Lamar runs, like when they get behind by 10 points in the fourth quarter Lamar runs, that’s what they do. They need to make sure that they’re not there the last run in the fourth quarter when they’ve been at which I don’t understand at all. So and the running game, and the passing game, being really predicated on how exceptional the offensive line can be. And we always say 2019 I guess, you know, like a broken record on that. But the offensive line was exceptional. I saw Orlando brown after running around on the other team the other night, Marshall yonder is going to the hall a really good one, you know, the Ronnie Stanley’s in the years old as he heard, I mean, this is a different operation. And it’s certainly a different operation without Moses and without Stanley. Despite whatever diminished version of Ronnie Stanley you think we have? Patrick McHenry is your starting left tackle the rest of the way? Oh, no, dog.

Luke Jones  19:18

Yeah, I’m not. Look, I’m not saying Patrick McCann. I’ve never suggested Patrick Patrick mCherry is as good as Ronnie Stanley. He’s not you know, I’m my point has been Ronnie Stanley is not the 2019 pre injury version of Ronnie Stanley, which has its own problem. Yeah, it is. And to be clear, when I say that, that doesn’t mean I think it’s the worst tackle on football either. I mean, there’s a there’s a wide range of outcomes there. And, you know, clearly, you know, this is the same knee he heard back in week one, he missed three games, then, you know, we’ll see how much time he’s missing. Here. I would expect and this is purely my speculation. I would expect we probably don’t see Stanley against the Chargers because, you know, one game the next 24 We’re days, give Ronnie Stanley 24 days to get that knee as healthy as it can be then for the final five games of the season and you hope beyond, you know, certainly will be beyond that, but you hope not a long run after that. So, but But yeah, you look at this offensive line which by the way, you look at pro football focus, you look at other analytic sites that that kind of measure offensive line play which is subjective, right. And we don’t know every player’s assignment on every play. So there’s, there’s educated guesswork that goes into it. But yeah, this this off line is highly regarded, even with Stanley not being at the same all pro Pro Bowl level that he was prior to the ankle injury. But you’re right, you look at 2019 and better version of Ronnie Stanley then Bradley Bozeman compared to John Simpson at left guard, you know, I don’t have strong feelings there. I mean, Bradley Bozeman was solid to good. You know, John Simpson at times has been good, although certainly wasn’t. You know, it was a couple of penalties on Thursday night wasn’t great. Linda bombs better than that? skoura there’s no question about that for me. Marshall. Jana is better than Kevin Zeitler. But Kevin Zeitler is really good. And at right tackle, I mean, Orlando brown compared to Morgan, Moses, you know, I I’d side, Orlando Brown as a right tackle. But you know, we talked about it Moses played with the shoulder, you know, you could see he’s wearing a harness, even though we had the black sleeves on, you could see he’s wearing a harness. So how’s that going to fare for him the rest of the year? When it when Ronnie Stanley does return? What’s he going to look like? Does the knee hold up? How’s the ankle, you know, in the big picture sense. So it’s gonna be important for this offensive line. But when this offensive line has played at a high level this year, and it has for many games, that’s generally been when the offense has been at its best and gives Lamar Jackson time to operate from the pocket gives the running backs up space to work in the running game. And you see a much more complete operation. So all of this is going to have to continue to work in concert. Again, hats off to them, you know, the offense with the challenges they faced early in that game for them doing what they did, and they played winning clean football, and they had a two score lead going into fourth into the fourth quarter. And you know, they ended up scoring a touchdown and increasing that lead and you know, making that Garbage Time touchdown at the end of at the end of the game to Jamar Chase. You know, defense wasn’t happy about that just because statistically it makes the their performance look lesser. But it was garbage time and no big deal. And again, ravens come out of this game and eight and three first place in the AFC north, kind of sort of burying the Bengals at least from a division standpoint. And they’ll now have this chance to get right physically and kind of recalibrate here and really get geared up for the final stretch run which Hey, they’re gonna have a whole lot to play for. We

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:57

are going to be playing for crabcakes here through Thanksgiving holiday. We’re gonna be at Pappas in Parkville. The original Pappas on Tuesday from two of the five got some great guests lined up, clear them up out Christian Oregon. I’m already behind the eight ball for this week’s picks. I mean, my picks are just slipping here in the middle as I was pretty cocky about week seven week eight last couple of weeks. I’m gonna shine. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. We’re going to be giving these away at Pappus on Tuesday. We’re going to be Coco’s on the 29th. We’re going to be at the BMA and gertrudes on the 30 heating a legendary crabcake which I’ve never had. So we’re gonna have John shields and Dan Rodricks on on Friday, December 1, we’re gonna be up at Hollywood casino in Berryville with Christian orc making some pics Tom Kelso former Maryland stadium authority chairman is going to do stadium for Dummies with us on December the first we do not have a lease. I don’t know that they euros can even sell tickets because they don’t have a lease for the stadium next year. So I’ve talked to people about this. You know, while the Ravens aren’t playing a whole lot it’s time to focus on the orals little bit so Luke will be doing Rookie of the Year manager the year Coach of the Year reporter of the year castigated journalist of the year we got all the awards coming out here next week for Thanksgiving. Luke’s easy to find he is at Baltimore, Luke, I’d say he’s on the backfields and Owings Mills. But what do you give him the weekend off to mow the lawn and make some some pumpkin something and get a turkey for Thanksgiving and do all that ravens playing just one game over the next couple of weeks? They’re out in LA next week for Thanksgiving weekend on Sunday night. So be a little more quiet around here looking I may take a little so we might even talk some baseball around here before it’s all over with. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson, Baltimore. Stay with us and have a great weekend. Happy Thanksgiving. We’re Baltimore positive

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