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The biggest home game in Baltimore sports history: Luke and Nestor preview Chiefs at Ravens for Super Bowl berth

Luke Jones and Nestor get in final words and predictions before the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Ravens in the first AFC Championship Game played in Baltimore since 1971.


week, year, chiefs, lamar, ravens, playing, defense, talked, team, baltimore, game, super bowl, big, ray lewis, sunday, win, afc, patrick, lamar jackson, beat


Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back. W n s t test Baltimore Baltimore positive we are a positive for getting ready for the the biggest football game ever and one of us is actually going to the football game this week. We’re going to be doing the cup of soup or bowl beginning of February 5 at Faith Lee’s Lexington market. I know they’re not open yet. They’re getting over there. We’re working things out. On Tuesday. We’ll be at cost this Wednesday. We’ll be at Coco’s excuse me Thursday at State Fair. And then on Friday, we’re going to wrap things up hopefully with a purple Friday pep rally at Pappas and khaki so we needed a place that’s big enough to accommodate everybody all the brought to you by the Maryland lottery, your friends and window nation, as well as our friends at Jiffy Lube, multi care, this guy is oiled up lubed up, ready for football. We welcome Luke Jones back on to the program. He has been in Owings Mills, where tell everybody how they put the background. They make it different. They put the little AFC Championship bang up and every and you know, hardball plays with the microphone and they and he he sits and gets wistful. This is an interesting week. This is one of my favorite weeks to cover the sport and cover the team or championship game weeks.


Luke Jones  01:10

No question about it. And since you just mentioned it, I have to share this if anyone was watching Lamar Jackson’s press conference on Wednesday, he actually tripped over the microphone cord and the microphone went flying. Now Lamar didn’t fall. But I’m just thinking that I actually joked about with him in the locker room after the fact that like, it’s good thing you did fall, you want to cause a panic among Ravens fans that he just laughed. But it is definitely a bigger deal in Owings Mills this week, as you’d expect plenty of media, a bigger media contingency than normal. Plenty of media, quite frankly, that I don’t even know.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:43

These people.

Luke Jones  01:45

I mean, exactly. They don’t let me and they’re letting Newton let in this week. That’s what’s that’s what’s funny. So the way they did it Wednesday, there is no more Sports

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:52


Illustrated, there is no more Sporting News. I went through all of my guests with 25 years ago. I’m like, these publications don’t even exist anymore.

Luke Jones  01:59

Yeah, I mean, there are plenty out there. It’s just a reimagined, repackaged, rebranded whatever it might be. But as you know, and as many of our listeners are, Wednesday is always the big media day as it pertains to a Sunday game. So the way they did it on Wednesday, they had the what would typically be what we call the podium, they had hardball and Lamar Jackson ro Quan Smith, Kyle Hamilton, they had those guys before practice, they had practice. And then they had open locker rooms. So it was funny walking into the open locker room with this huge group of media. And a couple ravens players commented and said, I don’t even know who most these people are. And I said, Don’t worry, I don’t either. So but

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:40

big jets deals worst nightmare, right? Like lots of people in the locker room, you know, so yeah.

Luke Jones  02:45

Big week, as you as we all know, you know, the captain obvious statement, but it is crazy when you really think about it through the lens of there’s no disputing the fact that this is the biggest home game in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, you know, we can think back to Ray Lewis, his final home game, you know, against the Colts in 2012. But really, for me, before Sunday, it was the 2006 playoff game against the Colts. So I think that was easily the biggest home game in the history of the franchise, regardless of how it turned out. But going into this, you know, it’s the biggest one ever, right? It’s the first AFC Championship game in Baltimore in 53 years. So it’s exciting. I mean, it really is. And I think you’ll ask the inevitable question. What’s the vibe like in the locker room? What’s the mood around the team? And it seems business like it seems like how it’s been for weeks and months now. We’ll see


Nestor J. Aparicio  03:40

this nobody’s been better at this than that getting ready for football game. They they’ve done it in big games eight times in a row. And they’ve done it well, yes. And

Luke Jones  03:47

big games in December, you know, playing San Francisco playing Miami knowing that the number one seed was on the line at the time. So I mean, everything on paper sets up for this team to be favored as they should be. And they deserve to be favored in this game. But it is Patrick mahomes coming to town and his Kansas, the Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid coming to town. So I think the Ravens have shown the proper amount of respect in their comments, while not bowing down to the Chiefs either not deferring to them not not providing them any sense of what we’re not worthy of playing the team that’s been to the Super Bowl three of the last four years and not that you’d expect that. But you know what, I think they’ve they’ve struck a good balance. In fact, it was funny, Lamar Jackson was asked the inevitable question and saying, okay, Lamar, we know you’re going up against the Kansas City defense. But we know everyone’s talking about you playing against Patrick mahomes and Lamar started right up I say I don’t really like playing against Patrick mahomes You just laugh because he said he’s such a great quarterback. You know, so but he went into it that it is exciting because it feels like it’s two heavyweights going at it and I don’t know if it would have been this way with

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:57

the bills. The bills would have been a six point underdog, right? Maybe, maybe more. I mean, maybe also be off the impressive part of winning. But the thought last week that the bills would be the the team that could knock you out or come in. I think seeing Josh Allen coming in this week could be a whole lot different than seeing Patrick mahomes. I mean, there’s just a different pedigree with mahomes. That should frighten everybody. He’s never lost. You know, he doesn’t lose these shouldn’t say never. But he doesn’t lose these games often, and they never have to play him on the road. And the one thing I’ll say about him in the postgame. The other day was, that was a tough game. Much like our game, tough game, they could add that second touchdown with the one yard line, the ball rolls to the endzone. It didn’t make it easy. But after the game, he kept saying they kept saying we keep saying crap that hardball preaches you know, everybody’s against us. They said you can’t do it. They said you can’t do it. Nobody said Patrick mahomes can’t do anything. Right. But in his mind, this is something I haven’t done. This is a box because in his mind will be the one seat next year and the year after that. This will be the only time we ever have to go on the road and do this in his mind.

Luke Jones  05:59


Yeah, to go back to what you said about buffalo, I think the bills given this the state of their health, right? I mean, their injuries on defense, which was a big reason why they lost that game. I mean, I think you look at the linebacker position that was just ravaged. You know, it’s bad news if you’re injured at the linebacker position against the Ravens. So while maybe two weeks ago, or three weeks ago, I would have argued and said buffalo from a matchup standpoint, because Josh Allen was playing at a very high level, late in the season. I might have said that that’s the tougher matchup, but from a pedigree standpoint, I mean, come on. I mean, this is I was looking at it, and thinking about it a lot. I’ve been writing about it at Baltimore this week. I mean, you think about the state of the AFC and what it was from about 2003 on Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco the one year right. I mean, that’s what the AFC was for the better part of 1516 years. Patriots finished off with the Super Bowl and four or five years appearing in the game four or five years. And then they get beat. Tom Brady leaves, and the Kansas City Chiefs stepped right in and now they’re a win away from potentially being in the Super Bowl for the last five years representing the AFC. So really for the Ravens. I mean, so much has been focused on the fact that this has been long overdue for the ravens to play Kansas City in January. We’ve been talking about this narrative for five years, right? Going back to Lamar is rookie year, and they took the chiefs to overtime at arrowhead that December. We’ve been talking about it ever since. What do you do? How do you construct this roster? How do you need to play to beat the Kansas City Chiefs? Well, this is their first shot at it. That isn’t a September game since then. Right? So it’s a huge opportunity. But on the flip side, for Kansas City, they’re the underdog this week, you know, they’re in a position not that it’s a big line or anything like that. It’s been right around three, three and a half points. I saw maybe as low as two and a half at one point early in the week. But, you know, that’s pretty rare when they’ve been in that. They’ve been in that territory. I mean, what last year, I guess the eagles were one point favorite or something like that. But the point is, they’re used to this position, the ravens are not so as much as the ravens are favored. They’re the better team on paper, they were in the regular season, they are playing at home, you still have to deal with a team that has a heck of a championship pedigree. And oh, by the way, a team that’s coming off, I think easily their best performance of the season and beating Buffalo. And I thought they look pretty darn good against Miami the week before. So it’s a chiefs team that looks way better than it did say on Christmas Day, when everyone was kind of writing their eulogy at that point. And I know I said at least once or twice let’s let’s just wait. December is not the same as January, you know, as much as everyone’s quick to, to try to jump jump to the conclusions. But you know, this is this is everything the Ravens have wanted. For a long time. You know, it was supposed to be this way. I think it was inevitable that and Lamar Jackson even said it to be a champion you have to go through a champion. I mean, that was kind of the money quote from Wednesday’s big media day. Lamar offering that up and it’s the truth, you know, to be the man you have to beat the man right Ric Flair. So I think for the ravens, they understand what’s ahead. What’s in front of them. They understand this opportunity. They know it’s going to be crazy. I mean, ravens already announced Ray Lewis and Ed Reed legends of the game. Jonathan Ogden honorary captain, Michael Phelps is going to be there Anquan Boldin is going to be there Terrell Suggs go down the list Dennis Pitta Z just when

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:43

you think they can’t want to Cal Ripken. They found a way to go higher than it’s sort of like Aquaman and Batman then you go to Superman, and that’s I guess, where they bring Ray Lewis out for the halls of justice. I mean, Ray comes out there and dances on Sunday. It’s it’s going to be electric. I don’t think there’s any question about that. And I mean, some of those, the players have never seen that. And certainly last week, I mean, and you can speak to this the amount of noise in the stadium and what it was, I don’t think it’s going to be that way. We six and seven $800 tickets this week, I don’t know who’s going to be in the stands, it’s going to be a hodgepodge of people fans who’ve had tickets, and then people who can afford it. It’s literally different than last week when they were giving tickets away, and it was cold, and nobody wanted to go was 50 bucks. Yeah,

Luke Jones  10:26

I mean, I think it’s gonna be rabid. I mean, I really do. I think that’s a very fair point. It’s definitely, I mean, I just talking to some of my friends this week, you know, some of my friends who, frankly, they, they have the money to do it, but they look at the prices. They’re just like, I don’t know if I could justify spending that much money because, well, I’ve got kids and I got to think about all my all my other expenses

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:47

in Vegas in two weeks, if that’s the case. Yeah, exactly.


Luke Jones  10:50

Right. I mean, that’s just, but that’s why this is 600 bucks

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:54

is going to be a cab fare in Las Vegas, if you’d you know, just I keep thinking to myself, if you really want to go spend the 550 and just go because like, it costs more than that, just to fly to Vegas two weeks from now. So yeah, I mean, I know you’re excited about sitting in our seats. Yeah, eatin extra hot dog for me or do something like that. But yeah, I mean, in my own case, I’m not going to the game on Sunday. And that’s, um, that’s a little weird for me. And I’ve spoken about that out loud. And that doesn’t mean I’m rooting against them. I obviously want them to win. It’s better for everything when they win. It’s better for everybody when they win. But the notion that this I’ve seen this happen a couple of times now that first championship game, we went out to Oakland underdog can’t win and Oakland, black hole barely beat Tennessee, all of that. And then the last couple of times these championship games have been I don’t think anybody thought that the Ravens couldn’t go up to New England and win, you know, I mean, they almost won the first time, then they then they did win the second time. This is a whole different thing to get to this game, because the Ravens have not been a great playoff team Lamar has not been a he’s still an SP 500 postseason record, like literally at this point. So there’s a point for me where the pedigree is all with mahomes. And this, as everybody’s pointed out, this is Lamar, it’s time to shine, you know, like this is this is his chance to have the legacy that he’s talked about having and the whole belief that moment. Here we are, and I think they’ll see it through I certainly don’t think they’re going to be behind 14 to three at halftime. I don’t think it’s going to be that kind of game. I I see it more like last week’s game with buffalo, where it’s just back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I expect it to be 27 to 24. Like all these games have been in the fourth quarter. I mean, when Lamar and mahomes have gotten together, they’ve been really good football games for the most part. Yeah,

Luke Jones  12:38

yeah. I mean, it’s, you know, I don’t think it’ll be as high scoring as it was in week two, when they played each other two years ago, which my goodness, that feels like, five years ago. I mean, that was a long time ago, when you consider everything that’s happened since then, I mean, the injuries to Lamar the contract situation that I mean, what the Chiefs have done since then. I mean, it’s, it’s, I don’t know if you can take too much from any of those games, because it’s been so long. And, you know, even the ravens, when they beat Kansas City in 2021, you thought, Okay, this is their breakthrough moment. And they didn’t even make the playoffs that year, because of all the injuries they had. And we know what’s transpired since then, so

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:17


John Smith ever played mahomes, right? Like, literally,

Luke Jones  13:21

he hasn’t, he hasn’t.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:22

I mean, I didn’t ask him because he was there a couple of years. And I’m like, I got one in four chance I may be playing him, right.

Luke Jones  13:28

Yeah. Well, they did play them in 2019. And that was the year he was on injured reserve at the very end of the year for the bears. So I mean, I asked him about that. And his answer was about what you expected. I mean, he offered plenty of respect. He said he’s elite. He’s an elite quarterback. But we’re an elite defense. So we’re not backing down. And that’s what I would expect row Quan Smith to say that’s how I expect the Ravens defense to feel I mean, it’s sort of replaced Suggs,


Nestor J. Aparicio  13:50

as far as far as like the WWE character in the locker room, right. Um,

Luke Jones  13:54

he’s not quite he’s not as over the top as Suggs could be.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:59

I mean, I’m sure he’s a much better man. I’m not

Luke Jones  14:03


just talking about the sound bites themselves. I mean, Suggs at times can be very WWE like row quants. I don’t want these reserved, because he’s not reserved. But typically, you know, he’s, I’d say he’s a little more Ray Lewis like and that way, you know, not that he is. I mean, Lamar Jackson even said it the other day said, row, Quan Smith gives us a Ray Lewis energy or Ray Lewis juice that we were lacking. I mean, you know, Lamar is this young guy, but it’s not as though he’s not aware of how things were in the past here. I mean, he’s he’s met Ray Lewis. He’s talked to Ray Lewis. You know, Lamar has met fans. He’s heard fans talk about the old good old days, so to speak. So, you know, Lamar recognized this franchise recognized the value that ro Quan Smith had and I think with each passing day, each passing week and I say this is the guy who absolutely was not completely opposed, but was uneasy He about the idea of giving an off ball linebacker a $20 million a year contract in today’s NFL. But I think ro Quan Smith has continued to prove his value his worth week after week after week and I just think more and more how crazy the bears were to. to willingly deliberately park with that. Right and and I guess you know, if you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you know what value is there to having that Ray Lewis so to speak in today’s day and age because you’re not winning with a Trent Dilfer at quarterback in 2023. But that the leadership on that side of the ball coupled with the leader that Lamar Jackson has become and obviously the great player that he’s been in the regular season for a long time now. And now with having beaten Houston last week, taking that monumental step in my opinion, in terms of breaking through having that great postseason performance. Now it’s just a matter of, Oh, you gotta be Patrick mahomes. And the chiefs. I mean, easier said than done. But the ravens are built to do this, you know, this is this feels like it’s their year, if it’s not this year. When is it then and that’s not to say it would never happen in the future. But it’s setting up. It’s right there for him. They’re playing at home. They’re the better team on paper. They’re healthier, when you kind of look at some of the injuries the chiefs are dealing with right now. Joe Toony they’re all pro left guard. I don’t think he’s gonna play. You know, if he does play, how effective will he be with? You know, what’s a pack injury for an offensive lineman, I mean, that’s, that’s bad news. You know, Isaiah Pacheco, I expect to play but he’s dealing with an ankle and a toe issue. So well, that slow him down a little bit. So they’re, they’re starting safety, Mike Edwards and concussion protocol, whereas on the flip side, the ravens, I expect Mark Andrews to play on Sunday. I don’t know how much he’s going to play, but I think he’s gonna be active. And I think you’re gonna see him out there, at least in a limited capacity. And we’ll see about Marlon Humphrey, who’s finally practicing again. So other than that, the ravens are pretty darn healthy. You know, it’s not perfect, but you can’t ask for much better in late January. I mean, that’s just

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:03

there. On Monday morning, if they’re not in the Super Bowl, about they weren’t ready, physically, the things you talked about the bills and their secondary, the things that quite frankly, you know, plenty of teams deal with this time of year missing their JK Dobbins or their mark Andrews or their Marlon Humphrey in a week by week basis, but the reason the ravens are playing in the championship game, and this may be my wisdom of doing this for 33 years, is they are really healthy. And that’s part of Purple Rain. One part of Purple Rain, too is there is a narrative that in Purple Rain one, Shannon Sharpe, Ray Lewis, those guys were on the field, right? Same thing would be said even in oh eight and 12 and 13, where they got to a championship game and they had most of their players. And you could also say in 10 and 11, when Flacco had a great fruit on his hip and couldn’t move out in Indianapolis, they had they couldn’t win with a quarterback banged up like that people make fun of his stats in that game and the Houston game. I mean, I know how banged up he was he could he couldn’t walk and he was playing football. That’s how you you lose in January. I don’t think you can win a Super Bowl that way. I like everything. And it feels to me like they’re not even hiding any injuries, right? Like, there’s no gate. There’s no limp. There’s no gimped there’s no none of that for any of these guys. So well this guy’s a little banged up. Andrews would be probably the key to all of that to say, I don’t know what we’re gonna get at him. But out of mostly everybody else pretty pretty full complement right? Yeah,

Luke Jones  18:30

I mean, I think so. I mean, again, Marlon Humphrey. He’s missed over three weeks. You know, this has been a three and a half week half issue. So one has to get to Sunday to what’s that look like? And, and frankly, Ronald Darby has played well on his place. I mean, it’s not as though they’re in a position where they’re desperate to have a 75% Marlin Humphrey on the field. I mean, he’s missed about half the season this year. I mean, and their their past defense has rarely skipped me. I missed a beat. I mean, that’s how good they’ve been defensively. That’s how good they’ve been on the back end of the defense and it’s really a testament to their depth. And it’s a testament to Mike McDonald, you know, in coordinating this defense, Darby

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:05

kind of came out of nowhere, right. And now you’re counting on him in a way a couple years ago. That was LJ Ford. And they brought they brought the linebacker from all of his pockets. Thank you very much. You know, the fortification we talked about van Noy you know, the obvious things that the RO Quan Smith trade right, but van Noy and obviously today being clowny but Darby is one of those guys. I don’t know you and I’ve said his name a whole lot at all this year. And let’s be honest, this is Patrick mahomes. If he’s going to be out there, as he was last week, as he’s been the last eight weeks, you know, sort of taking that rollover, huge acquisition that we haven’t talked about much by Eric, no


Luke Jones  19:45

question about it. And I mean, we haven’t talked about him too much. I know I’ve written about him a lot and mentioned him a lot. But look at someone like Brandon Stevens who going into training camp Nestor. He was working as a safety and a nickel and he’s only started All but one game at outside corner for them this year. And he’s been solid. I mean, he’s been above average, I don’t know if I’d put him at the Pro Bowl level. But he’s been a really dependable rock solid starter on the outside. And, you know, it’s a testament to him. And it’s a testament to the coaching staff for what they’ve done to help develop him. So yeah, when you have those two, you’d love to have Marlon Humphrey out there, let’s be very clear about this. If he’s healthy and ready to go, and they just been extra cautious the last couple of weeks with him, then that just gives you another chess piece, not as versatile as Kyle Hamilton, but versatile, that you can move guys around, we talked about it a lot position this defense, especially on the back end of the defense. I mean, you have to try to confuse Patrick mahomes. I mean, it’s not easy to do. But if you can do it, and you can force him to hold the ball, an extra half second. Unlike past years, mahomes has struggled dealing with pressure this year. I mean, that’s been something that’s been uncharacteristic of him. And I think it’s probably systemic, given the the issues they’ve had with wide receivers, other than receive rice, not playing at a very high level, but as much as you can do to make him hold the ball. And you can do that by moving these chess pieces around on the second and third level of the defense. And that’s what the Ravens have done so effectively all year, because as much as you focus on the Chiefs offensive line, the interior is excellent. And that’s why I said the Joe Toony injury is potentially huge for them, even though they have a couple backups who have done a solid job at times as well. But they’re their vulnerability on their offensive line is their tackles, you know, their tackles, you know, they brought these guys into, you know, after Orlando Brown left and trying to solidify things and their tackles have been shaky. So you make mahomes Hold the ball an extra half second and extra second, which is going to make things easier for the likes of clowny and Van Noy and OA to to get to him. So, you know, it’s, it all fits together. Right. And we’ve talked about the ensemble nature of this defense that yeah, they have their pro bowl players, they have their all pro talents, there’s no question about that. But the way that 16 or 17, or 18, guys, at times, have all played a role in this defense. You know, we’ve talked about some of those games, like an Arthur Mallette, for example, who, you know, in that chargers game, what had a sack had a past breakup, tackle for a loss. And then you look at the final box scoring, he played eight total snaps or seven total snaps. I mean, they have guys that have very defined roles within this defense, and they’ve all played them without ego, without any thought of hey, I should be playing more or why Why am I not playing here or doing this? I mean, it’s been a very selfless defense. And, I mean, it’s added up to being just a phenomenal group. And it’s why I’ve said for a while now, it’s the best defense they’ve had, since the days of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, you know, when you look at scoring, and turnovers in sacks, I mean, it’s been that dynamic. So that all hands on deck, right? I mean, you’re gonna need all that against Kansas City as much as their offense hasn’t been the dynamic explosive group that it’s been in previous years. It’s still really good. And it’s still number 15. A quarterback. I mean, these are the two best quarterbacks on the planet right now. I mean, Lamar is the MVP this year. mahomes has been the MVP of the last five years, you know, if we’re calling a spade a spade, so what more can you ask for? But you know, it’s going to be it’s going to be a challenge. There’s no doubt about it. But I think the ravens are embracing that. I think the red there is ready for that as they’re going to be considering their relative lack of experience level in January, right. I mean, it’s the first time anyone on this team, you know, not talking about individuals who’ve done it elsewhere. But this team, other than Justin Tucker, they haven’t been to the AFC Championship. I mean, it’s been 11 years for this ravens team, since they’ve been back on this stage. So acknowledging that and acknowledging the experience edge that the Chiefs have in that regard, which is fine. There, they couldn’t be better prepared to try to break through and get to a Super Bowl now. I mean, they’ve been the best team. You know, we’ve been talking about that since they beat the 40 Niners there was really no no more disputing it. But you gotta go out and do it for three hours on Sunday afternoon. Luke

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:17

Jones is here. He will be in Owings Mills, and he will be down at the stadium on Sunday. I don’t know if he’ll be in Owings Mills next week, cleaning out lockers or preparing for a trip to Las Vegas. And we’re doing of course, a couple of Super Bowl. I’ll be promoting that all next week as well and given more details for all the charities if you have a charity that needs to be involved, please send me a note NASA Baltimore I’ll be working on that all weekend and through next week as well. I wouldn’t ask you this because you said something like selfless, selfless. And I thought that that. You know that’s an interesting word for you to bring that up in week 19 Or whatever this is at this point to say they’re selfless, because the Patrick Queen thing could have gone awry and it had in In many cases, through the league where another linebacker comes in, they had Joe Flacco on this week. He didn’t do so well after Lamar was drafted, just, you know, speaking out loud about it and how he really felt about it, how he probably still really feels about it to some degree at this point, but Patrick Quinn was on the bench 15 months ago watching row Quan Smith on TV talking about his stats. A week later, he’s next to him on the bench. And knowing that that money was spent that he was going to have to go get paid by the packers or somebody else. This thing is abrupt dude. Right? I mean, they’re there to win to win championship games. I don’t know that I really got on the bus in oh nine go to the Pittsburgh thinking they were going to win. I was convinced they could win in New England, and they should have won the first time. So I look at these championship games and say it’s very, very abrupt, and it’s very, very awful. And this would be I mean, forget me blubbering after the Colts game and Oh, six, right, like, if they lose this game, it’s going to be devastating, in a way because they’ve never lost the Super Bowl. They went up to New England and then kind of Evans thing that was awful. I’m not like that. That was a barometer for how bad it can be. The Peyton Manning loss was a barometer for how bad it can be. I don’t know about the Titans the bills or the chargers, any. I mean, they all kind of stunk, but nobody thought a 22 year old kid was going to win the Super Bowl, maybe. But now it’s expected that they’re favored. The notion that if the band breaks up on Sunday, and you talk about selflessness, it’s certainly that part that got him to this right. The clown, he’s the van noise, the guys that could have been other places that had other opportunities to make money. I mean, even Coleus Campbell, tapping out and saying, I’m gonna go play in Atlanta, he’s watching them play on TV now saying, Yeah, you know, maybe that wasn’t the best decision from a winning losing staple. And probably the Ravens didn’t want it right, like speaking out loud. But in this particular case, they’ve kept an inordinate amount of talent together this year. Right. And I thought about this, because having Billick and Marvin on and having Flacco on I started thinking about teammates and who the special players were, boy, that 2000 team I mean, I knew it was special when I was in it to some degree, and I really thought Billick would coach longer and have more of a pedigree as a coach on that end. But for Rex Ryan and Jack Del Rio and Marvin Lowe it just down the list of all the people Jed fish just got a job in wash another one of Billings guys you know, but the legacy of that team with goose being knighted at this point, Shannon Sharpe being on TV every day, the Woodson’s the Hall of Famers, and even don’t for being on TV for 15 years. It had such a celebrity power about it. I look at this team and I say, hey, if they don’t complete this, if somehow they lose on Sunday, or if they go out to and lose the Detroit or shift, just go it’s certainly possible that football teams right. And what happened three months ago to the lions, I don’t know that that would happen again. I think San Francisco would take better care of the football, but they got to get through this. But if they were to lose this game, and you and I are getting together on Monday and talking about legacy in this in that there’s there’s no Baltimore bullies made for the team that loses the AFC Championship game to Pat Patrick mahomes at home after having this legendary dva of DVOA year and all of these great players players. We think that may, you know, we think Lamar has gone to the Hall of Fame, right? Odell Beckham, you know, I mean, they have some some star power. And we’re Quan Smith is making his case Kyle Hamilton’s at the beginning of the beginning. Mark Andrews, a very nice play. I mean, I’m just thinking about pedigree of the great players, when you see that picture on the wall 10 years now and saying, Who? Who’s going to Cooperstown by the way. Adrian Beltran, I, I had to do a whole redo on that you and I will do baseball later, when it’s all over with. But just thinking on the other end of this. There’s been a lot of selflessness for this team to get to this point to not have the next chapter written for them on Sunday, but they have to go write it themselves. Yeah,

Luke Jones  28:56

I mean, this is the case with any team in January, I mean, short of like, underdogs, right. You know, when you think of, I think of like the the Jaguars in the mid 90s. Right, where they came out of nowhere, they beat Denver, they get to an AFC Championship game. I mean, that’s when you’re playing with house money. You know, the 98, Vikings Brian Billick when you think about how dominant that team was in the regular season, and then what happened to them in the NFC Championship game? I mean, they’re the 2007 patriots. I mean, if you look at them through the conference championship game, they’re the greatest team in NFL history. It’s not the 72 Dolphins until you get to the Super Bowl. They didn’t win it, and then they’re not remembered as the greatest team in NFL history. I mean, that’s just how this works. I think I mentioned this in passing a little bit earlier in the week and some of what I’ve written it at some different points in time. I would say and, you know, I’ve followed the Ravens from the beginning as a 13 year old you know, 1213 year old boy all the way to now covering that haven’t covered The team for over a decade, I would say I would challenge the 2006 and 2000. Not counting not until this year now, but prior to this year, I would say that it’s quite possible 2006 and 2019. And I would also throw 2008 in there as well, because of how surprising it was maybe the most enjoyable, regular seasons, the Ravens have had 2000 You had the five game touchdown drought that was miserable for fans to go through. I mean, it absolutely was.

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:28


I’ll second 2012

Luke Jones  30:31

that team spent more time in disarray during the regular season, then looking like they were going to be special in the end. I mean, there’s no disputing that. But how do we remember the 2000 team and the 2012 team, compared to 2006, or 2019? Were those were better teams in the regular season, they failed in January 2000 to 2012. They want it all? So I mean, that’s just how it works. I mean, that’s not to be disparaging to any of those teams. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:59

for the chiefs, this is the crappiest chiefs team, right? Like I have all of them. And they’re 60 minutes away from doing it. And then they have a chance to do it.

Luke Jones  31:07

And I mean, I’ve done a few different out of town radio hits this week. And I said, you know, however, I said how many different years, you and I talked about the Patriots in November or December and hade. They’re not looking so good. Brady’s not saying he’s washed, but maybe he’s on the decline, Bella check seems out of touch. They’re not as dominant as they’ve been, and how many years then, a month or two later, we’d be talking about the Patriots on radio row again, get ready to play in


Nestor J. Aparicio  31:37

the Super Bowl. They’re so desperate, they went got Antonio Brown and Randy Moss.

Luke Jones  31:41

I mean, whatever it is, right. I mean, yeah, yeah. And I mean, the chiefs are trying or if they’re not already in that territory, and obviously the Ravens have a lot to say about that on Sunday. And for Baltimore sake, you hope we’ll have plenty to say and we’ll, we’ll send them home. But you think about the Patriots. I mean, Brady’s you know, prior to 19, they had been to the Super Bowl and four out of five years representing the AFC, if Kansas City wins on Sunday, and they upset the ravens, there’ll be four out of five years, they’ve been in the Super Bowl in the AFC. So they’re threatening to just, you know, they’re they’ve picked they’ve already picked up where the where the Patriots left off, and they’ve run with it. So this is really a case where if I’m anyone in the AFC, I’m looking at this and saying that, man, if the Ravens don’t beat them, my goodness, I mean, if the Chiefs make it out of the AFC this year, considering how underwhelming they looked at times, including even in late December, then what’s it gonna take for the rest of us to get this done? I mean, okay, the Bengals did it once. You know, they didn’t finish the job in the Superbowl, but they got past them. But you look at it, and you just say, if the chiefs, given some of their flaws still get through, and the Ravens can’t do this job. Then, boy, the rest of the AFC is looking at this, no matter how much talent and quarterback talent and all these teams, we’ve talked about the last couple of years in the AFC, the chiefs are still king then. So I jumped the shark, right.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:09

I mean, the minute Taylor Swift showed up, and it’s taken us a half an hour to mention that, by the way, by the way, the memes this week have just been phenomenal. And I’ve been sharing them everywhere. I mean, I was really pleased that she showed up at Reuters. I have to apologize to our friends at rural farms. I did not put that meme up. I found that a little later on, but I thought I thought she got a chicken pox in West Baltimore. I wasn’t sure so, but I saw this, the infographic that everybody’s you know, the whole big purple map and there’s a little red in Missouri and again in Kansas and a little bit of red in Ohio because they hate us there. But other than that it’s all purple. You know, the the chiefs are Taylor Swift showing up right? Like there’s there’s a whole brush back to the chiefs, I’m sure in the way that the Patriots were cute until about the third or fourth time that it wasn’t cute anymore, you know? And mahomes is moving to that level with his wife dancing with Taylor Swift that people hate the chiefs and I’d like I’ve never hated the chiefs. I only have eight the Chiefs this week and I can add read. But you know, mahomes whining and by the way, Flacco when he came on this week, he said, Boy, Flacco was South Jersey. I don’t know if you did you did you see the Flacco piece? Or do you watch I have

Luke Jones  34:15


not watched it. I had a chance to read most of the transcript and posted a Baltimore I think the first thing

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:21

he said out of his mouth was That’s bullshit.

Luke Jones  34:28

unfiltered, I like it.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:29

Well, you know, I guess that speaks to, you know, popularity one way or another or what the reputation would be, but the reputation is that you know, if the Chiefs lose on Sunday, it’s gonna be a great game and they’re coming in. You’re all the same problems. We gave the Patriots they can’t run the ball this year. They can’t they’re they don’t have the receivers. They’re going to drop the ball because they dropped the ball in week eight doesn’t mean they’re dropping the ball this week. And Mike McDonald’s got his hands full. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Dude, I hope you you meet if you don’t get to meet Taylor Swift i o get to meet Jason Kelce. So, at the very, very least, here this week, any final shots on thoughts? Because I know you’re gonna pick the Ravens? Because I, I just sense that about you. I just, I’m nervous about this game. And I should be and I don’t know, I wouldn’t be as nervous about the bills or some other team. I’m nervous when Patrick mahomes comes down, and Andy Reid comes into it his Jedi stuff against horrible. I


Luke Jones  35:22

mean, it’s okay to be nervous. I think it’d be. I think those who aren’t nervous aren’t paying the proper respect to the chief. Now, that said, they’re not invincible. I mean, they’re clearly not, you know, I mean, this game is being played in Baltimore, because the Chiefs aren’t invincible this year. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:39

by the way, the weather we haven’t talked about that, but it’s going to be wet. I mean, that there’s going to

Luke Jones  35:43

be raining, not going to be nearly as cold. So it will be rain, it’s not going to be mixed bag or anything like that. I mean, what temperature in the 40s, you know, is the forecast that we’re seeing as of the middle of the week, and as we’re getting closer and closer to the weekend? But yes, so I don’t think I don’t know if that favors one. One team or the other. I mean, these are both teams that are used to playing in bad weather. You know, I don’t think that’s a major thing. I think for the ravens, I look at as much as we’ve spent time talking about mahomes better be ready to stop Isaiah Pacheco in the running game. It’s not a dominant running game, but it’s good enough. It’s certainly way better than the Houston running game, which I this is one of the reasons why I didn’t give Houston much of a chance to pull it off the upset because I just didn’t think we’re gonna able to run the football nearly effectively enough to try to keep them on this offense off the field.

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:29


You can’t run the football. Yeah, you can’t keep the football. Right, exactly.

Luke Jones  36:33

I mean, that’s, that’s the thing. I for years, we’ve talked about what you have to do to try to keep mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field, mean, teams reviewing the Ravens in the same light. Now it’s a matter of what can you do to try to keep Lamar and their offense off the field to try to limit their possessions. And we saw the Rams do this better than anyone over the last six, seven weeks where, you know, close to eight weeks now, where they ran the ball effectively, and they gave the Ravens everything they can handle for 60 minutes, you know, most teams have been able to hang with the Ravens for 2025 30, maybe 35 minutes, and then the Ravens pulled away. So but I think the running game is a big factor there. And then on the flip side, I mean, it’s the Chiefs defense, Steve Spagnola familiar with Harbaugh Spags was here in Baltimore for a couple years hardball even talked about this, how Spags contributed some elements to what their defense has become today. And then Harbaugh quipped, by the way, Steve’s also taken some of the elements of our current defense and applied it to what Kansas City does with moving things, you know, pre snap deception and some pressures and different things like that. So it’s a good Kansas City defense. I mean, it is I mean, as much as mahomes. And Kelsey, and their offense has been, you know, passing game has been the story for a long time. It’s really been their defense and to a lesser extent, but I think it’s still been prominent for them this year. And certainly last year, having a more physical running game with the Chieko who’s a little banged up, it looks like he’ll be good to go for Sunday, you know, based on, you know, what you’re hearing out of Kansas City. So, you know, it’s a team that’s, you know, they’ve had to grind way more this year, you know, they haven’t been the, you know, the finesse, more finesse looking basketball team that they were, you know, when Tyreke Hill was just out running everybody in previous years. I mean, they’ve had to, they’ve had to work. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. So is there a scenario where the Ravens do to them what they did against San Francisco and what they did against Miami and what they did against Houston? Yeah, that wouldn’t shock me. But at the same time, it’s the defending champs, you know, it’s the team that’s been their team that has a lot of experience to draw from. Whereas the Ravens playing this late into January, is new territory for most of these guys, doesn’t mean doesn’t mean that they’re not going to handle it doesn’t mean they’re not going to win on picking the Ravens. But I think there’s certainly a recognition of the task in front of them, which is beating the guy that’s been the best for a while now and beating the team that’s been the best for a while now. And it’s the way it should be you know, it’s about time the ravens are finally on this stage playing this team after talking about it so much over the last five years. The Times here to go back to the Brian Billick line time is here. It’s time to go to a Super Bowl and this is the last step.

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:24

Luke Jones will be at the game on Sunday, everyone else will be at the game we’re watching on TV. We’re doing a cup of Super Bowl, the week of February the fifth all brought to you by the Maryland lottery when donation and Jiffy Lube. MultiCare you find Luke at Baltimore, Luke, you can find me next Baltimore If you have a charity that needs to be featured local charity local community group, we’re doing that for five consecutive days in lieu of Chad’s deal blocking me and my radio station for being on radio row in Las Vegas. That being said, Raven victory on Sunday night will not only mean awesome postgame coverage from Luke Jones. It means Luke’s going out to Las Vegas next week. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore we never stopped talking AFC Championship game Super Bowl and Baltimore positive stay with us

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