Ready to roar? Here come the Detroit Lions…

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With the Ravens playing immediately after a choppy win in London, Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the upstart Detroit Lions and stakes for the Ravens at home on Sunday against Jared Goff and a team that is 13-3 over its last “season” in the NFL.


ravens, game, team, lions, playing, point, week, offense, talking, jared goff, years, sunday, baltimore, lamar, detroit, yards, detroit lions, win, super bowl, defense


Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive celebrating 25 years doing this madness around your friends at the Maryland lottery to put the Maryland crab cake tour back out on the road. I will have the dates by early next week. Yes, we’re going back to Coco’s where I dined on Wednesday night with Steve and Alison Elliot from the Elliott chiropractic Life Center free plug for you guys over Joppa road. They certainly helped me out our friends when donation 8669 donation you buy two you get two free all month long 0% financing at Jiffy Lube, multi care, our newest sponsor, my little orange light is on we still gotta get the oil changed. That will happen. Before Sunday. Luke Jones joins us now he is in Owings Mills all week. We have turned off the lights. It can be yours. Maybe I need to go with the purple stadium behind me. I’m not sure but certainly the purple stadium will be a wash in Honolulu blue on Sunday. Usually you see the Detroit Lions pop up. And you know, you think of Plimpton and Eric Hipple, who was on the show a couple years ago, the Super Bowl, and you think of the old days and they don’t win playoff games, they don’t make the playoffs. Look, if there’s ever been a more upstart lions team is five minutes with staffer and Jim Schwartz there for a minute. I’m trying to think of some Gary Danielson team a million years ago or Scott Mitchell or whatever. Rodney, Pete, I mean, I go through all of this. He’s poor Lions fans, but this is this is a bigger test than maybe what we thought it would be when the schedule came out. And more than that, you know, the Ravens have their own work to do this is a this is sort of a perfect game for the four and two ravens on Sunday.

Luke Jones  01:38

I think it’s a perfect game for both teams, quite frankly. I mean, this is a Detroit Lions team that keep in mind finished nine and eight last year after they started what one in six, one and seven, whatever it was, I mean, they they were really, really good the second half of last season, and I get it when you have a bad start when you’re a team of that nature. People are going to be suspect right? People aren’t going to totally buy into it are skeptical

Nestor Aparicio  02:02

till they show up on Sunday. Right? Sure. But

Luke Jones  02:06

they’re 13 and three over their last 16 games. I mean, think about that for a sec number 13. And three, that’s better than the Ravens have been over the last couple years. So and I’m with you, believe me, I get it. It’s the lions in the same way that every time the Cleveland Browns look like they might be somewhat decent in the same way

Nestor Aparicio  02:26

on the road on a 50 degree day to it’s not in a blimp, you know, there’s that too, right?

Luke Jones  02:29

Sure, sure. I mean, I you know, and it’s not as though it’s gonna be 20 degrees. So I don’t know how much the weather is gonna play into it. But this is a team that looks very legitimate. It’s easy to to look at five and one and then start to dive into the numbers. And you say, Okay, well, you know, how fortunate have they been? How many close games that they played, all those types of things. But you you look at some of the different metrics that are out there. DVOA you know, Aaron Schatz, friend of the program, and, you know, different metrics out there that really tried to measure how good a team is just beyond looking at the record. They’re legit, they’re very legitimate. Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to win Sunday. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to go 13 and four. But this is a football team that has clearly gotten better. Over the last couple years. I think even when the Ravens went there two years ago and needed a Justin Tucker 66 yard field goal. There was at least a thought that, okay, Dan Campbell might have these lions more competitive than they’ve been in recent years and playing some closer games. But it’s now started to translate into winning, and they’re good on both sides of the football. Jared Goff, who is a quarterback who has been maligned even by his former team, who he helped lead to a Super Bowl in a trade on the way a couple years ago for Matthew Stafford, but look at the numbers. And he’s playing almost across the board, like a top five quarterback so far this year. Now, I don’t know if that’s going to continue. And certainly, he’s going to face his biggest test in a Ravens defense that is played at a very high level. But on the flip side, this ravens defense has faced some backup quarterbacks and has faced to Joe burrow who has not been right. So I think it’s a big test for this ravens defense to show whether they’re really good or whether they’re great. And if they’re great, then they potentially shut down this Lions offense that has operated at a high level and with a quarterback who, you know, from row Quan Smith to Brandon Stephens to a couple other guys talking to it in the Ravens locker room on Wednesday. They all mentioned John Harbaugh mentioned this as well that Jared Goff has been in this offensive system for a long time. It’s the same similar system to what he had in LA with Sean McVeigh. But he’s very comfortable and they all talked about how he’s in charge, and he’s in control and command of that offense. So it’ll be interesting to see how that translates to Whew, playing on the road now they’ve been good on the road. But the numbers overall for him haven’t necessarily been as fantastic on the road. So this is this is a good football team. I think this is a legitimate playoff caliber team. I don’t think five and one is a fluke for them so far this season. And on the flip side, it’s a Ravens team that I feel is a legitimate playoff team in the AFC but I think we’re still trying to see what does that mean just playoff team or serious Super Bowl contender. And I think both these teams view this as an opportunity to kind of see where they are right now after maybe not playing the toughest competition, but knowing that they should be in store for a dogfight on Sunday and think it was interesting. You mentioned the Honolulu blue or whatever they’re calling it these days. They’ve traveled really well to it with some of their games. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how many Lions fans potentially show up as you and I have talked about attendance and fan interest in all those different topics really the last couple years, but you have a fan base that clearly is starving for good football, they’re finally getting it from a team that has just been woeful for years and years and years. Be interesting to see how they represent on Sunday and how that potentially impacts the atmosphere downtown.

Nestor Aparicio  06:17

Well, the sleeping giant of the lions in that, you know, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a friend of mine, dear friend of mine be the head coach, right. So when Jimmy got that job, and we’re talking 15 years ago now, RIGHT? Jimmy got that job. And the biggest thing he would always say is you go into Detroit, you see hockey town, you think of Kirk Gibson, you think of the Tigers and the Tigers had played in the World Series in the modern era. It appears the Rangers are gonna play back in the World Series. He these teams that that get there and don’t win, but the lions are the exact opposite of that. I mean, the pistons have gotten there and been good several times over our lifetime. I mean, Lions it’s like maybe like the browns. I mean, I’m trying to think of any other organization that is more restruck in from stricken from a fan base. They just in general. Do you have a moment in the history if you’re if you’re 55 years old, you’re my age, and you’ve been alive and your whole fam What’s your Delmon young moment? And I think it’s pretty pathetic that the Orioles only have a Delmon young moment at Cal Ripken in the new stadium. It’s been there 32 years. That sucks. It’s terrible. But there have been some ALCS isn’t there been sadness and some that I know were oh and eight on the baseball side. But I’m thinking of I mean, the Orioles are getting there as far as being like, you’ve been on the planet 40 years and Awan much, lions are worse. And I think about this and think about the starving fan base. And whether you would travel to Baltimore for a game on a Sunday when your team’s five and one when maybe you were asleep for years and weren’t considering doing this. But you went in Kansas City you went in Green Bay, you went into their three and on the road. I mean, they’re sleeping Lions fans everywhere. There’s a Tom Selleck at you know, in somebody’s, you know, in Rockville, there’s some lions fan that’s been hanging around waiting, this will be a chance to go support the team and be a part of it. Um, you know, I don’t see it as being any sort of a Detroit takeover. But they have traveled well, and they are for the whole league though. The Sleeping Giant, I think I was thinking like the Chargers are gonna get up and move at some point. And then I watched them play the other night, but these sort of franchises that never get there. And David Campbell was laughed at when he was hired, right, like he had memes. He had all of this stuff all these crazy, and being a player and being sort of a man’s man and all that stuff. Detroit’s taken him in. I’m worried about this game loop. I’m worried about where the ravens are. And I think horrible, over 15 years, he’s had the pedigree to have a team ready to play in this circumstance. But talking about this London buy thing. And even on our Facebook page, or wn St. Facebook page, we had the automatic link that sent out from the press conference and hard balls like our back to you know, this the rest thing and all that the fact that horrible is talking about jetlag and getting back and all that and they barely won and they’re not. The ravens are playing great football, they’re playing good. on the defensive side. There are elements of the offense where you’d say, Okay, I believe in that. But this is a tough game for the Ravens I think coming off the rest and I’m worried about the Ravens in this game. I I picked the lions because they’re getting three points.

Luke Jones  09:18

Yeah, I mean, I think you’re I don’t think you’re going to be alone in that sentiment, but because of a lot of what I just said. I mean, it’s it’s a good football team. Now. Again, how tested are they going to be and what’s interesting for the Lions is take a look at their schedule the rest of the way after they play the Ravens. There is not much to write home about in terms of the difficulty of their schedule, I

Nestor Aparicio  09:38

think it bears twice the Broncos, the Vikings I mean play Dallas

Luke Jones  09:42

at the very end of the season or something like that, but it’s this is kind of the last litmus test for them in terms of okay, they can go on the road and beat a team that was a playoff team a year ago. A place that has a reputation for being difficult to win, you know, and I know they beat Tampa last last week but the Bucs not exactly known for having a great home field advantage, especially post Tom Brady at this point, but, but I’m with you on that. And in fairness to John Harbaugh, he was asked that question by me, but by the way, because I think we all remember six years ago, how disastrous the performance at Wembley was, and how the Ravens got embarrassed by the Jaguars. But we might forget, they came home and the Steelers flattened them in Baltimore the following week. So there was definitely amongst

Nestor Aparicio  10:28

a lot of boos, you know, that was your take the knee at the 58 cascade to me all excited. And the crowd turned on the home team that day, literally.

Luke Jones  10:38

Well, I think the crowd was cranky, too, because of how embarrassed they got the week before, too. But But yeah, even putting aside the politics and the bad feelings of but I

Nestor Aparicio  10:48

haven’t heard the Ravens get booed at home a whole lot in my lifetime, like literally, like really booed. That was a day that I remember that people booed the home team, and that doesn’t happen much around here. Sure. And honestly, they went a lot. So they don’t, you know, they don’t deserve to get booed at home a lot.

Luke Jones  11:02

Right. Right. But my my point is they they played poorly in that game. And now I think it’s interesting, and John Harbaugh even acknowledged, there’s not a whole lot of data on this, I think there’s only been 13 instances of a team playing in London, coming home and not having a buy and playing the following week. So you know, the ravens are part of that sample size. But I will note this year, I think Atlanta a couple of weeks back, Buffalo and Jacksonville this past Sunday, they all want coming back from London. So I think common sense would dictate that it’s easier coming home than going and playing five hours ahead, as you do when you’re going to London. But I think it is going to be interesting, just because of they were gone and away for six days and then coming home, you know, how quickly do you recover and get back into a normal routine. So it’s a hell of a

Nestor Aparicio  11:54

game to lose if you lose it. We didn’t talk about that last week. But you get on that plane after you live there for seven days and come home have your ass kick. I mean, I remember when hardball took the team out west. And it wasn’t going well. It wasn’t. Flacco wasn’t going well. It wasn’t going well, that you put a lot of effort, a lot of expense, a lot of time, all that into it. We’ll sit here all week and say, well, they could play better against the Titans and they might have lost and they were lucky to have a backup quarterback and like all that stuff they won for that. Like just the energy in the building at home this week is a whole lot different than it would have been.

Luke Jones  12:28

Oh, no question about it. And especially at this point on the heels of the Orioles having been swept big fans want something to feel good about right. So I think that’s why it was so important for them to win in London against the Titans even if it wasn’t the prettiest performance, but I think this is going to be really interesting. And to go back to something that you mentioned about the lions and the fan base. I mean, I think there’s excitement heck during the Rangers Astros game three John Smoltz, you know, they did a promo because ravens lions is on Fox. John Smoltz famously a Detroit guy. He was excited. You could tell he was amped up about how the lions are playing, but it’s never seen it before. Right? It’s not just that the Lions have been so bad for so long. But also think over the last 35 years who are the two player players that you really associate with greatness that played for the Detroit Lions, Barry Sanders and Megatron, Calvin Johnson.

Nestor Aparicio  13:21

They both pieced out they both said, See, I’m leaving in very unceremonious fashion where they just said I’ve had enough of this. I saw Barry Sanders last game in Baltimore, right,

Luke Jones  13:33

getting bottled up by a Ravens defense that was getting better and better and better aid Wiley Richardson got

Nestor Aparicio  13:38

his only start that day. Yeah, so So remember that for 25 years ago? I can’t remember what I had at dinner last night. It Coco’s.

Luke Jones  13:45

That’s funny, right? I mean, I’m the same way trying to find my keys. But but it really it really has been such a down on their luck, bad franchise for a long, long time, and maybe not as extreme as the Browns have been the last 25 years but still really, really bad. I mean, winless football team and

Nestor Aparicio  14:06

Thanksgiving every year. So we’re all subjected to 1230. They play we all say terrible. That game is right. Yeah. And usually by the time they get there, they’re three and eight or whatever. And there’s some sacrificial lamb. And sometimes they’re six and six and actually beat the other team. But I mean, the lions and think of our last trip, right, two years ago, Tucker goes out there and beats them on the longest field goal in the history of the game, right. And there’s still guys on the team that remember that?

Luke Jones  14:30

Oh, no question about it. And again, that was the lions first year with Dan Campbell. And to your point, by the way, he’s still crazy, but it’s a good kind of crazy his players buy into it and and they’re clearly buying into it. And the other thing is, they’re talented. I mean, go look at their wide receivers. I mean, St. Brown has been such a good wide receiver for them. And they got the rookie tight end, and Sam Laporta, who’s been good. I mentioned, Jared golf playing the best you know, he’s off to the best start of his career when you look at the numbers

Nestor Aparicio  14:57

early on. This is our odd game, isn’t it? This is our game. game that that that’s the AFC NFC game. We don’t play the rest of the division, right? So this is that 17th game, man. You get the 70 game. Give me the lions at home. Let’s go any other time. I just thought about that. I’m like, Wow, are we playing them in two years? And it’s Oh, yeah, yeah, this is the weird game. Like we had the Rams a couple years. And we had the Rams a couple of years ago, they won the Super Bowl. Right. So trawling the short, where are we gonna get the Redskins commanders on a bad year? You know, like, Give us one of those games. This is the toughest game you could draw out of the NFC, I think.

Luke Jones  15:34

I mean, yeah, if you’re talking about me, they’re already playing San Francisco. And we, you know, so okay. I mean, Philly, you know, the Eagles haven’t been firing on all cylinders early on, despite the fact that they’re five and one as well. So it’s, I mean, it’s just a good matchup, I mean, this a good football team they’re playing. Again, I think this is a game for both teams to kind of show. Are we just good? Are we just a playoff team? And that’s, that’s fine. Or this is the kind of game where I think both teams can make a statement. So it’ll be interesting. In some ways, it reminds me a little bit of, you know, because of the timing, and even because of the perception. I remember the Chargers coming in a couple years ago, you know, it was similar week six, week seven, somewhere around there. And a lot of people were on the chargers and a lot. Some people thought the Ravens might lose that game. And if you recall, they flatten the chargers, they beat beat the you know what out of them. So, definitely an interesting game. But this is a Lions team that has been good on both sides of the ball. You know, I’ve mentioned the offense. But you know, obviously Aiden Hutchinson, for former top pick your number two pick and has been, oh, he’s been really good for them. They’ve got other talented players on that defense. So I this much is certain, not at all suggesting the Ravens can’t or won’t win. But they certainly have to play more complete football than they played in recent weeks. Because this is a better team than the Tennessee Titans. This is a better team than the Steelers. This is a better team than the Browns when the Browns have their third string rookie quarterback running around not knowing what the heck he’s doing. Not

Nestor Aparicio  17:07

the best team they see all year. I mean, I think in in their own division or who they’re going to see where they are 40 Niners I don’t know what they’re going to be by the time you get there. But, you know, they’re not going to be many weeks. We’re talking about a team we’re playing where they’re playing their best football. And I mean from Team statistics, individual statistics. Look, you talked about golf. You and I spent a week at the Super Bowl a couple years ago talking about him. And then the Rams give them away right and and they swap out and they win a Super Bowl with the guy the lions could win with we talked about shorts earlier. And Matt Stafford golf feels like a guy may be coming into his own in a quiet way at a time when let’s be honest. Bears, packers, you know, Vikings, they’re all down in that division. There’s a real opening for a couple of years here and a coach and you mentioned Hutchinson and other young players that they have there. The wide receiver looks spectacular. This feels like maybe their time to some degree. But it was hard to find believers and Jared Goff especially when the genius out in LA to said here, we don’t we, we he went to a Super Bowl, but that’s not good enough. We need to do better than that. Yeah,

Luke Jones  18:17

I mean, I think if Jared, if you’re talking about Jared Goff. I mean, it’s, it feels a little Joe Flacco like right in the sense of not so much here in Baltimore, but how he was perceived elsewhere where, okay, he didn’t win that Super Bowl that they got to and then of course, they lost to the Patriots. But there’s definitely a sense of he didn’t belong there right at that time, and everything that’s played out since then. I mean, heck, his own team got rid of them. Right. So it’s tough to argue against that perception at the very least. But

Nestor Aparicio  18:49

he was like a second year player then. Right. I mean, he was really he was a kid. He was what,

Luke Jones  18:53

I think third year, I think it would have been third year at that point in time. But yeah, I mean, you know, and he had a good season that year. I mean, it wasn’t like he was MVP of the league great, but he was really good. But he’s certainly someone who has battled consistency issues and battled the perception of being good enough, and obviously when a team trades away and acquires another quarterback, and they want a Super Bowl with Matthew Stafford, then yeah, it’s gonna make you look not so great, right. But to his credit, since he’s arrived in Detroit, he’s gotten he’s become a better football player, and he was pretty good last year. And he’s playing at a really high level. I mean, I was looking at, you know, not just, I mean, 11 touchdowns, three interceptions. 1600 passing yards through six games. Yeah, that speaks for itself. But even looking at all the different analytics type stats, you know, success rate and EPA QBR DVOA. All you know, peope, his pff grade pro football focus. All of that is indicative of a guy who’s playing like a top five quarterback right now. Now it’s six games. The question for a quarterback like Jared Goff is never can you play great football for five or six games? It’s Can you do that? And sustain that over a full season? Can you do that for a deeper run in January? And that’s that’s been the big question for Jared Goff

Nestor Aparicio  20:11

over the course of his career, Lamar Jackson, by the way, because I’ll bring that in, because that’s any

Luke Jones  20:16

court. Any quarterback not named Patrick mahomes. At this point in time, or I guess, Matthew Stafford, I mean, that’s anyone they’re all chasing it. Right. Josh Allen, same deal. Joe burrow, getting the first of all the Bengals have to worry about getting back to the playoffs after the start that they’ve had and what they’re dealing with. But yeah, that’s a question for anyone not named Patrick mahomes At this point, but right now, Jared Goff is playing really good football. And he’s got a lot of good skill players around him. And the unit that I haven’t mentioned yet on the offensive side of the ball, that offensive lines good. You look at how they’ve performed some high draft picks on that offensive line. You know, they’ve they’ve played at a high level, and they’ve done a good job keeping Jared Goff clean. So this is gonna be a really good test for this defense. And by the way, they haven’t faced a defense like the Ravens defense so far. So this is that’s why I said this is an excellent test for both these football teams. And I expect this to be a close game. And I think whoever comes out of this game victorious, is going to be viewed more favorably. I think they’re going to be viewed, you know, especially in the case of the lions. They go into Baltimore and beat the Ravens. I think they’re making a strong statement to be right there. With how San Francisco is perceived with how the Eagles are perceived in the NFC. I think they’re right there with them

Nestor Aparicio  21:36

when they would be 14, three, and four, no, on the road this year. And winning in Kansas City and Baltimore.

Luke Jones  21:42

Right, exactly. So this is a huge opportunity for them. But on the flip side, because we’ve talked about this ravens team and foreign too, and we can say Talk all you want about saying well, they got their two plays away from being six No, well, they’re not. So do something about it this week, you can’t do anything about the Colts loss. You can’t do anything about the Pittsburgh loss at this point, but go out and beat a good lions team playing at home in front of your home fans for the first time in a month, and give them something good to feel something that to feel positive about and to show the rest of the league that okay, yeah, our offense is not been a complete unit. We’ve looked good at times, and other times have not looked very good. Our defense has been good, but hasn’t gone up against a juggernaut. You know, a gauntlet of tough quarterbacks and tough offensive. But you handle your business on Sunday, I think absolutely. The ravens are making a statement that, you know, they belong in the top tier in the AFC. So I’m really looking forward to this football game. And there are a lot of talented players on both sides. And I think this is this is the kind of game that early in the season. If you’re a Ravens fan, you’re dreaming of the Ravens being the kind of team that can make a run and get to a Super Bowl. At this point. Like I said, Detroit’s looking as good as just about anyone in that NFC with giving a slight, you know, giving the nod right now to the Eagles in the 40 Niners because, you know they’ve been there and they’ve been at that high level in the opposite conference the last few years.

Nestor Aparicio  23:12

Luke Jones is here. He will be in Owings Mills all week. He is Baltimore, Luke and he’ll be at the game on Sunday because they let him in and they don’t let me in. I’ll be watching on TV. I’ll be Colin messing afterward. And of course, the the game is at one o’clock. And it’s I looked at the rest of the calendar the rest of the schedule and said, Where do the Ravens get a chance to like, beat a good team get a quality win whatever that is. We talked a lot about the lions just talking about a rowing team here on the back end of London and Lamar and the offense. This Beckham fight that comes out in the aftermath of this. I was pretty much on the record from the beginning saying I was skeptical about giving this guy this much money in this circumstance and what your expectations were in an offense where they don’t throw the ball much. You would say they throw it well. I you know, I’ll make that argument one way or another you and I could fight about Lamar Jackson in passing and time to pass and what they’re trying to do. We spent three off seasons now to with Roman and one with markets and what are they trying to do? What are they trying to do? And then the runningback gets hurt every year in September it seems and then they don’t have that anymore. You know, I saw by the way Derrick Henry might get dealt by the Titans. And I thought if the Ravens hit Derrick Henry instead of Odell Beckham, they’d be a Super Bowl winner. They’d have something you know, they wasted $16 million on a running back who actually ran instead of a wide receiver runs his mouth. And I just at what point is the Beckham thing gonna turn on is at what point are we going to see the mark Andrews Lamar thing that we’ve wanted to see flowers I’m all in on I’m good. I mean, that’s, I mean, if I were to sit here and go on Detroit radio, and they’re like, what’s working for the Ravens I’d like with a little kit that they have, you know, that they picked in the first round who runs around and smiles a lot seems like a nice fellow. I think he’s gonna be he could play on Where and I think he will be a weapon and he will help them win games. The rest of it. I mean, you mentioned Lindor bomb early in the week as he’s back. He’s okay. I’ll hear that. I’ll hear Lamar is a quality player the beta $50 million a year. But I want to see some functionality here. Because if I were to talk to the people in Detroit, I’d say, well, Quan Smith and Patrick Queen are the two best players in the team. Maybe Kyle Hamilton, as far as the body of work as far as foreign to who’s played well, who hasn’t played well. I’ll give Lamar his flowers, but he’s, he’s thrown pics, he’s dropped the ball, he’s kicked the ball around. He’s had had a great year. I mean, barely had a good year for being a $50 million player to be really honest with you, now that we’re gonna add the expectations of keys Flacco and without the ring without the playoff victories without any of that he’s been paid. Well, I think we’re expecting more out of the whole operation hardball has been sort of kind of lousy at various points in coaching the team and to cost the standing next to hardball down on the sidelines. Which if I had a press pass, if Eric de Costa answered my texts, because we’re friends, I would ask what are you doing down there? What are you down there to hear the action? Do you see the game better? Do you want to hear what’s going on the bench? are you eavesdropping on your head coach who’s doing stupid stuff that might both get you both fired? If this team doesn’t make the playoffs? Somehow, some way Lamar gets hurt again, they don’t make the playoffs? I don’t. I don’t know what point the shot is tolerances. I know what it was for the media. I just don’t know what it is for head coaches and general managers. So there’s a lot in question here. If you and I on Sunday night are talking about them losing to the Detroit Lions, even though this is a good team that might win the Superbowl.

Luke Jones  26:37

And you just throw a lot of me yeah. Did How are the Ravens doing 12 different things. First thing Jeffery Simmons has a reputation around the league. look as though Dalbec back and played like a $15 million football player? No, do I think this was something that he instigated or I think he was sticking up originally he was taking up as a flowers, quite frankly. And the way it sounds sounds like Simmons was the aggressor postgame as well. So I don’t care as much about that.

Nestor Aparicio  27:08

15 yards so well. And, by the way, famously,

Luke Jones  27:11

as he was out the door, playing his last NFL football game, Marshall yonder went out of his way to talk about the kind of lacking in class that Jeffrey Simmons had as a football player going up against him in his final game, and marshal yanda. I covered nearly his entire career. I don’t recall him doing that at any point. That aside, has Odell Beckham been a $15 million wide receiver? Of course not. Of course not. And I think he would agree with that, to this point in time. But, you know, I think for this ravens team, there chasing being better, right? And at times, we’ve talked about it with this offense. It’s played at a high level at times, it really has you’ve seen what it can look like. I think the Cincinnati game for the most part for most of four quarters was a really good example of that. So clearly, losing JK Dobbins hurt their running game. I think they’re definitely lacking an upside at the running back position. I think where they’re running into some trouble there is Gus Edwards is probably their best and pass protector. I think Justice Hill gives them the more the most juice, but he has struggled in that department. So you’re in a position to the ball confidence level. Sure, sure. But but the point is, you kind of have incomplete versions of running backs, right, where they do certain things well, and and other times you don’t want them on the field in certain instances. So I think they’re struggling with that. I mean, what you mentioned about Lamar, I think Lamar Jackson is playing good football. Is he playing the best football of his career? I think that’s, you know, I’ve heard some people say that. I agree with that. I think that’s honestly I think that’s kind of a slap in the face to him considering its unanimous MVP four years ago. You know, like, let’s not in, there’s always this push pull with more supporters and detractors and I think a lot of them end up being way too extreme one way or the other.

Nestor Aparicio  29:01

I’m not a detractor. I’m like it wasn’t. But I wasn’t trained as a detractor. I’m just on the body of work guy.

Luke Jones  29:12

I definitely have to try it. You’re definitely a detractor.

Nestor Aparicio  29:16

Well, fair enough.

Luke Jones  29:17

A good body of work. They want a lot of football games, and he’s been on the field. So yeah.

Nestor Aparicio  29:21

Now January, I

Luke Jones  29:21

wasn’t I wasn’t singling. Again, I don’t disagree. But that’s you can hold every quarterback in the league other than Patrick mahomes to that standard in there and they’re gonna be lacking. Josh Allen has come up short, you know, so I hear you on that. But overall, I think he’s, I don’t think Lamar point is I don’t think Lamar Jackson been their biggest problem on offense by a wide stretch and the Pittsburgh game is a great example of that. Someone who could have had close to a career day if his wide receivers catch the football you know, in passes that were put right on point so and I think the

Nestor Aparicio  29:55

Indian out of the the Tennessee game would look a lot different at the goal line. If he fake The pitch out, walked into the endzone twice. You know what I mean? If that game was, it was a lopsided game that wasn’t lopsided on the scoreboard. So yeah,

Luke Jones  30:08

yeah, two weeks in a row. They did that, right. I mean, it’s, you know, the indie game should have been a game where they should have been leading by more than a single score leaving the Colts in the game. So but I think that’s been across the board. And I would even throw Todd Monken is play calling in there. I think at times, he looks like he’s had a great feel, and you know, dials up some really good calls. And then other times, it’s kind of like, you know, what are you doing? You know, how many times did we see them? This past Sunday? We’re Gus Edwards is just inside runs running into the back of his offensive lineman, and they’re not getting any push. It’s like, what are you doing? Like? So I think the entire operation needs to be better. And I think you look at how they have generally played these games. And, you know, I’ve seen some different stats thrown out there. And I know DVOA, and some different things like that. You kind of look at the stats, their offensive started, well, it started strong and most games, and then it’s really piddled out in the second half. And Lamar Jackson was asked about that on Sunday. And I don’t think Lamar said this at all, with the intention of throwing his offensive coordinator under the bus. But he did allude to teams adjusting to them in the second half, and they need to and he said across the board, he said everyone that they need to adjust a little more quickly in the second half. And again, I don’t think this was Lamar expressing disenchantment, you know, I don’t think it was that deep when he said it, but it could definitely be perceived, as you know, not making, you know, not painting, Todd Monken in the most flattering light and looked at the number of supported they’ve been bad in the fourth quarter off,

Nestor Aparicio  31:38

they don’t run the ball. Well, they don’t have someone that can run the ball. Well, they don’t. I mentioned Derrick Henry. I mean, you know, we’re talking top shelf. But Gus Edwards five years ago, was that guy? I’m not sure he is. You’re born with Gus Edwards running into the assets of his offensive line. But that’s the play what else you’re going to do with Gus Edwards? I mean, you could bring Justice Hill and he’s not banging in the fourth quarter the way you would want to get 678 yards on first down just on sheer power. And will they’ve been able to do that you mentioned martial yada in that era, they could do that right now. They can’t do that. Because the offensive line isn’t doing that. And the threat of the passing game isn’t there. They’re not utilizing Andrews in the way that they used to where he was just, I mean, the live feed third, third and seventh you’re in a bad spot answers will get you out of it. Or he’ll battle he’ll catch the ball, he’ll shake off a safety die five yards and you gotta first down. They don’t have that right now on third down, and they’re not in good down at distances late because they’re not. They’re not a power running team, though. They they wanted to be with Lamar especially. And they really, they went from not. With Lamar running too much to now it feels like they don’t want Lamar to run at all, it almost feels like they’ve told Lamar Lamar it like you’re the last resort running on a calling a running play for you. And that was a big part of what they did. And it was a big part of what the fence coordinators had to prepare for, still have to prepare for it. But it told them our scampers 38 yards and you got to go chase him. And we see that the way we saw three, four or five years ago as predicted here, that once you get 567 years into this, we’re not going to see that because that plays not going to get called. And if he’s really trying, and they trap him in a pocket and teams have been trying to do that. Then they have to worry about that a couple years ago, because he didn’t drop back into pocket. He just he had to worry about him being the other running back. I don’t know that he feels like the other running back as much as he used to. And I think that smart they’re gonna keep them upright. But when your running backs are Justice Hill and sword, I don’t say a damage version of Gus Edwards but an older version of Gus Edwards a different kind of version. They don’t they don’t have the personnel. So I mean, you’re you’re yelling at monkey. And I would say it’s more of a personnel issue they miss they miss Dobbins, and they miss whatever they thought Beckham was going to be and whatever Mark Andrews used to be.

Luke Jones  34:02

And let me be clear when I’m singling out, Todd Monken. I’m not saying it’s all his fault. But I’m not going to just say oh, it’s all the players. And it’s never the coaching either. You know, I I’m showing you what I see, you know, and I see choppiness across the board, it looks really good at times. And other times it doesn’t look good. So, you know, you mentioned the offensive line. I think the offensive line pass protection for the most part, I think has been good this year, but run blocking it in what they’re trying to do now compared to much more of a gap scheme with Greg Roman. I do question if we’re going to see some transitioning over the next year or two for maybe more athletic offensive lineman, maybe you know, as you’re doing a little more zone blocking things of that nature. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how it plays out the rest of the way. I mean, let’s be clear Lamar Jackson still leading them in rushing and you know, he’s still on pace for I think what would be not 1000 yard season but would still be high up there and you know, approaching that you You mentioned Mark Andrews, Mark Andrews missed the first game of the season. It take his numbers through five games that he’s played. And it plays out to not to not far off from not his best season. But it’s not as though he’s way off from where he’s been. But again, it’s just been choppiness. It’s looked really good at times. And then other times, it’s looked bad. And part of this Nesta and I was just looking at this the other day, and I’m gonna share this with my 12 ravens thoughts. I’m gonna share a link to this. Warren Sharpe, who’s known as one of the football analytics guys, it’s really well known around the league. And he’s even consulted for some teams over the years, he did a deep dive offensive down around the league, you know, and it’s down Mark pretty markedly. So I don’t think and I’m not saying that to excuse the ravens, because it’s not as though they’re ranked in the top three, and offense or anything like that. We’re just saying that the numbers are down universally. But I think some of the issues that teams and offensive are running into with, you know, I think defense after a decade of offense, offense, offense and rules going against the defense and the passing game, the passing game, the passing game, I do think the last couple years, we have seen defenses finally counted a little bit, you know, we see more too high, they’re playing more zone, taken away big plays, they’re forcing all offenses to settle for more underneath rows. We’ve talked about it, Lamar, the completion percentage is up. But you know, at times it’s not pushed the ball down the field. That’s something that a lot of teams are saying right now. So, you know, some of this, I think art is a product of some leaguewide trends that we’re seeing. But that said, they certainly need to be more consistent. I they certainly need to find more production out of their past catchers beyond just ze flowers. And Mark Andrews, you know, you’ve mentioned Nelson Aguilar, you know, he’s been, you know, his big drop in Pittsburgh aside, he’s been good, but he’s got 16 catches for two under 10 yards, you know, maybe you find ways to get him more involved. They got to find a way to try to get Rashad Bateman back on track to some degree. I mean, we’ve seen him have some big play potential, the Miami game comes to mind last year right away where he takes a slant to the house 75 yards, or whatever it was, he looks last he looks like a guy who’s not playing with any competence out there. So they do need some guys to step up. Certainly some players on the field need to play better, they need to take better care of the football. But, you know, I think that also is in concert with coaching, putting them in the right position to to do something. So it’d be interesting to see how they fare because again, this is a Lions defense that statistically, isn’t quite as impressive as the ravens, but it’s been really good. Like, it’s been a top five or top 10 kind of defense, you know, kind of maybe not the same breath as the Ravens in the browns in the 49 or so far this year. But they’re at least in that next tier right after them. So, you know, this is certainly not just you know, talking about the offense and how good of an offense they’re going to play on Sunday. But now this is one of the better defenses they’ll have faced, you know, Cleveland being the other, the other one a few weeks back that we’ll see how they fare, you know, that Cleveland game, they didn’t play a complete game against that defense. But remember that second quarter, they kind of went nuts against the Browns defense. So you know, you don’t need to have, you don’t need to score that much in one quarter against this defense. But I certainly need to find a higher level of consistency. And for this team, you know, it’s really been a matter of finishing on a higher note and you just look at where their numbers have been offensively in the fourth quarter, ugly, ugly but turnovers and just not moving the ball very much. And if you’re playing a close game, which I expect this to be a close game on Sunday, you got to find a way for your offense to finish finish on a higher note or you’re gonna have some disappointed people leaving the stadium Sunday afternoon,

Nestor Aparicio  38:47

sun and clouds mid 50s One o’clock Sunday the lions come to Baltimore and they’re a Honolulu blue. Plenty of good seats available on the interwebs Luke Jones will be there he will be here we will be together in the aftermath of all of it and in really a a show me game for both teams, maybe one of the best games on the docket this week, the forward to ravens and the five and one upstart Detroit Lions and as Lucas pointed out 13 and free in their last 16 games. Not my father’s lions or George Plimpton ‘s lions are the paper Lions of years past. Dan Campbell is getting ready to go. We’re gonna be doing a little more baseball around here watching these ALCS and NLCS games. Our friends up Philadelphia trying to prepare for greasing the polls next week up there as well. It’s all over with you can find Luke at Baltimore Luke you can find me Ness at Baltimore We’re both out on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all those great places x that you can find us out there make sure you the W NS T tech service. Dennis was away this week. He’s back. It’s all brought to you by our friends at coons for security Boulevard. If you get on that you get the injury reports early on Sunday morning, as well as the next Mike Elias move for Oriole baseball. That’s Not coming anytime soon we got plenty of time to talk about all that. We’re getting the Maryland crabcakes we’re back out on the road presented by the Maryland lottery. I’ll have some ravens scratch offs to give women a bunch of winners up in Hollywood casino in Perry Ville also a great spot. Enjoy the game up there immensely over the weekend. We’re going to be getting out and about and where my cocoa shirt here. We’re going to cost this. We’re going to fade these we’re going to Pappas, we’re back over it State Fair of setting that up this weekend. Lots and lots of crabcakes tour stops including Westminster and Annapolis. I’m working out that with Governor Moore as well. We almost share the same birthday like Jim Palmer it’s just a midnight thing on October 14. So happy birthday to the Governor as well and a peace to everyone in the Middle East and everything is going on with Israel and the Gaza and Palestine just trying to keep people alive over there. And it’s been a rough week around here for anyone in that space following the news. So hopefully we get back here Monday. All Hands on Deck. The Ravens can be a five and two football team. I did pick against them because of the three points. I think it’s a close football game on Sunday, as it was in Detroit two years ago, and I hope we don’t need Tucker to hit a 75 yarder to win this one. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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