Luke Jones joins Nestor to break down how Ravens lost to Bengals to exit playoffs and what happens next for the franchise with so many changes coming.
ravens, game, play, lamar, talk, john harbaugh, lamar jackson, cincinnati, lose, touchdown, chance, injury, point, week, trust, question, year, quarterback, agent, season
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
What about w n s t test the Baltimore and Baltimore positive these are always the toughest segments of the year. The Baltimore Ravens aren’t eliminated. Festivus is no moss the playoffs are over. Ravens losing Cincinnati on Sunday night late into the evening, Luke Jones will be at lockers for locker room clean out happening the beginning part of this week but we will certainly be cleaning out our notebooks in the coming months. Look, I was gonna give you some oxygen man, they they almost won. You know what I mean? Like they they had a chance to win, which probably makes this even more sort of stinging in a 98 yard touchdown return for an over the top quarterback sneak that went awry.
Luke Jones 00:49
Yeah, no question about it. And I mean, if you think back to the playoff loss in Buffalo two years ago, it was the Turon Johnson 101 yard interception return when the Ravens were driving. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens were driving trying to score the game tying touchdown. What was one of the last plays of the third quarter? I guess it was so. I mean, disappointing. I think what you just said rings true in the sense that I think there was a lot of resignation that there’s no Lamar Jackson, the Ravens were significant underdogs I think there was an expectation that they were going to lose. I don’t think necessarily a lot of people thought they were going to be blown out. But I think a lot of people certainly weren’t many people had a lot of competence. Let’s put it that way. But the Ravens played the kind of game the style a game that gave them a chance, the defense was once again largely very, very good. Especially after Joe burrows, one yard touchdown run with five minutes to go into third quarter. The only other first round the Bengals got the rest of the game came on the roughing the kicker penalty. I mean, that shows you how great the defense was over the final 20 minutes. But I mean, you make a mistake at the goal line when you’re getting ready to go ahead. And it goes the other way. I mean, a 14 point swing right there. And the offense wasn’t good enough in the end. And at the end of the day, the Ravens with a chance to tie the game in Cincinnati at poor redzone possession and baffling clock management. How many times have we talked about that combination throughout the season? So no comes back to some of the things that I don’t know if there’s anything that we saw that changed my mind drastically from where I was before the game? I think it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens with Greg Roman. You know, I think that stating the obvious in saying that, but there’s so many more questions that we’ll get into Lamar Jackson, and, you know, the future of this offense as its presently constructed, but just disappointing when you have that kind of a chance that the Ravens had before. Before if Sam Hopper takes it 98 yards the other way, I mean, just you pick out gut wrenching ways to lose a football game when you’re an underdog and you have a chance over the final 12 minutes of the game. That’s up there. You know, man, I mean, that’s really high up on the list as far as agonizing ways to lose to lose it on a record setting fumble return for a touchdown. But, you know, even after that the Ravens had a chance, you know, and John Harbaugh stood by the clock management at the end, but I hear what he’s saying. But in his rationale for the way they handled the clock reminded me a lot of bucks show Walter’s rationale for not using Zack Britton, it’s it’s very easy to talk about what could happen next. But you still have to execute and succeed in that moment, the Ravens needed to touchdown. Worrying about Cincinnati scoring after the fact doesn’t matter. If you can’t score the touchdown, and well, you get into the red zone with plenty of time left. And the game ended with Tyler Huntley. Basically throwing a Hail Mary, that should tell you something went awry with your process and your execution over the last minute or two there. So now but it’s something we’ve talked about all season long. And it’s something we’ll continue to talk about. And it’s going to be a very, very interesting week beyond locker clean out and wondering what players will be back which players won’t be back, which is just standard for this time of the year when your season comes to an end can be a fascinating start to the offseason to see what happens with the coaching staff with Lamar and seeing what what this football team looks like in 2023 which is you know, oh we’re nine or eight months away I guess from the start of the 2023 season.
Nestor Aparicio 04:34
I wouldn’t have been the one that would want to recap you know, a season ending it’s much more compelling where was Lamar you know, how is the injury where is the money where is horrible whose job security who’s coming back, we can do all of that. Let’s talk about the game though. Right? I mean, let’s stay in the game for a moment because I thought they were gonna get blown out because I thought a backup quarterback who’s been injured, who hasn’t practiced coming in to lead a team against Cincinnati, I just thought Cincinnati would score more. I thought Cincinnati would be more effective against their defense. I thought there’d be more possessions. There weren’t a whole lot of possessions in this football game. It was a dream game for the Ravens. And when I wrote my prediction, and I think I predicted 3716 or something like that, really not that far off, they scored another touchdown at the end, but I would just say for me, and I pick on hardball, and I’m playing hardball is a dishonest? I don’t think he’s a high integrity guy. And the longer that I’ve gone into this as a human being watching him lie to me, all of that. But if you’re gonna give me his team in this kind of a game, if he can keep a team close, I mean, John wobble never gets blown out. He’s been here 16 years, they never lose by three touchdowns ever, ever, ever, no matter what, no matter the game plan, because generally, they play pretty heavy football, and they have decent special teams. And as a franchise, they don’t have turnover problems as a franchise, they don’t have penalty problems. So that’s just his kind of coaching his style in this game. If I were on television, an hour before the game with Chris Simms, I’d pick the bangles. But I’d said beware that this is a well coached team. And these are veteran players. And while the quarterback may be a neophyte, chances are veteran players will show up and play like veteran players in this sort of environment. And I’ll tell you what, when the game was close, and Huntleys, on the line, I was kicking myself a little bit for not believing more in the purple. And in the well, of course, they’re gonna be a touchdown down are in the game, because they’re always in the game. They’ve been in the game all year long to think that they wouldn’t be in the game was a little foolish for me. They had a real chance to win the football game. And I’ll continue to go back to that. And I’ll beat on that and harp on that, because that unto itself, kind of surprised America, I think on Sunday night. Yeah.
Luke Jones 07:10
I mean, you talked about this, even at the end of last year, even as they lost six straight. I mean, other than what the kind of weird post Christmas, lots of COVID going on, obviously they were decimated by injuries. Yeah, that was the one game that got blown out down the stretch last year. You know, they’re always in games. And they’ve they’ve had a very high floor over the last few years. There’s no question about that. And I think the big question is the upside. And you know, it’s difficult to talk about a team with upside when you’re missing your best player in franchise quarterbacks not on the field, each of the last two seasons to finish the season. But you’re right. And I mean, I picked the ravens to lose by 10. I thought it would be a close game in the sense that I thought the defense would do enough against job or I didn’t necessarily think that the defense would be as good as it was. But I figured it’d be good. And we we saw that last week. You know, I mean, that was a 27 to 16. ballgame. That was not 27 points that you would blame the defense for. I mean, it was short fields, turnovers. I mean, we saw how that game played out. Not that I necessarily was going to say that that game was equal to a playoff game in terms of importance and, and all of those things, but they fight hard, hard for John Harbaugh. They do there’s no question about that. They play hard, they keep it close. You know, they’ve had a very high floor. However, at the same time, I think you do look at where the Ravens were in the first half of the John Harbaugh era to where it’s been since 2014. They’ve been out of these last four trips in the playoffs. They’ve been one and done three of them. Now they’ve had one playoff win since Lamar Jackson became their franchise quarterback so
Nestor Aparicio 08:54
Lamar to some degree and to say that it’s an indictment of everyone. That’s you know, that he hasn’t played the last half of two seasons it name any franchise in the league that hasn’t played the last half of the last two seasons, without their without their quarterback, whoever their quarterback is, even if their quarterbacks not Lamar Jackson, you you this whole thing has been nightmarish for me, and I’ll go through in the offseason for the minute they drafted him knowing that he could get injured he’s gonna run in the linebackers and that this could leave them naked in January and all that being said, Yeah, Tyler really gave a chance to win. You know, like a is a little part of Lamar who, because we’re gonna No no, no, come on. I mean, why does she think Lamar is coming back? So I think there’s gonna be a Lamar who, okay, well, that’s fine, but Tyler Huntley is a good backup quarterback.
Luke Jones 09:42
I mean, if you’re gonna sit here and try to say like, you know, they’ll be fine with Tyler Huntley. No, they’re not. Oh, no, no, I’m
Nestor Aparicio 09:48
not saying that. No,
Luke Jones 09:49
I just I want to make I wanted to make clear because it’s not a Lamar who I mean, we could say it’s a Lamar who if he’s gone, but while you got to replace him then
Nestor Aparicio 09:57
and let’s face it, if he’s gone and he can’t play into it Remember last year she can’t play in December this year? He can’t play January this year and my Lamar who is um you know, he wouldn’t even on the plane man like if we’re going to talk we’ll have all offseason to talk about all the truth will come out. But like, I find that odd that the guy who was the leader of the team wasn’t there. The attaboy even if he was sitting on the bench instead of standing on the bench because of his knee I just optics just all of it. I mean this whole last month has been a mess. I do agree with that. I mean you cover this. But but the game itself despite all of that, they really they didn’t they didn’t lose 65 to seven like someone else than last week.
Luke Jones 10:42
And I don’t think anyone would have reasonably expected something like that. I mean,
Nestor Aparicio 10:48
receive it but a couple of touchdowns. I thought they could lose 37 to 16 I thought Burro would throw it over their head once or twice, you know, chase with to enough. That being said if we’re going to talk brass tacks of the game, their offensive line I don’t think the Bengals can win the Super Bowl. Just just like get them now. I don’t think they can win. I think their offensive line suspect.
Luke Jones 11:07
I mean, let’s face it go back to Christmas Eve. They’ve lost three starters on their offensive line. And I mean, the initial work on Jonah Williams was kind of mum now they wasn’t really sure what it was gonna be but that didn’t look good. You know Alex kappa there’s a lots of sentiment wondering if he’s gonna play again. And I L. Collins is out for the year already. So no question about it. I mean, they’re gonna face a tall order. And that was something about this game that I did wonder, you know, as I picked the bangles to advance, you know, one thing I did wonder was because we saw the choppiness in week 18 that we saw on the physicality that we saw in the regular season finale, I did wonder if this would have a game that you think back to old ravens Steelers from 15 years ago? How many times did we see those two teams beat each other up, and then they were pretty worthless. The following week, the Bengals would go or the Steelers would go out and lose to I don’t know, Jacksonville or the Ravens. I remember in 2011, the Flacco to Torrey Smith year, I believe they went to Seattle the following week and lost against the Seahawks team. That wasn’t very good at that point. So you could see a little bit of that. But I mean, it’s there’s just obviously, there’s so much frustration here. And you know, a lot of it stems from not having your quarterback on the field for the most important games of the season, then, you know, how much of that is? Now you’re worried about availability and, and long term health, how much of that is, even if he’s going to be fine, physically moving forward, that he wasn’t out there. And he hasn’t been out there the last two years to close the year. And that’s very frustrating. And how much of this is a lack of trust between the organization and player at this point? I think I think it would be naive to not think that there’s some level of disconnect here, some very meaningful level of disconnect, you know, even before this latest injury, just because you’ve worked on a contract for the better. It’s
Nestor Aparicio 12:54
so interesting. You say that dude, because I was I was I was thinking about this in the middle of the game. On Sunday night. I’m thinking, Oh, my God, they didn’t bring him on the plane. Are they trying to embarrass him? Or is he trying to embarrass them? Is this a negotiation? Like your team? I mean, I’m saying like, and hard balls demeanor at the podium the last three weeks, and sort of that sourpuss face that he would have not a feeling of care and concern, and we’re very concerned about the human. And of course, Lamar wants to play and of course, like Lamar show, tell him how you want to play. You know what I mean? Like, there’s none of the normal things that I’ve seen around this franchise for 15 years, in regard to hardball. And I the word you used, and this is an important word for anybody in our audience in regard to anything in life. Trust, the Ravens have broken my trust personally. So therefore, I look at them with a completely different level of integrity. And I’m wondering if the quarterback doesn’t trust them. And I’m thinking to myself, or they don’t trust him? Because it seems to me that they didn’t think he was as injured as he was. And if he was that injured, they would be disappointed. But that’s like you being disappointed if you’re at your knees if she breaks her leg and falls and she’s just got like, you can’t be angry at an injury. You they seem displeased, I’ve never seen displeased and an injury, unless there’s more there for scratching and pulling back a little bit. But trust like that is when you don’t trust the other side. Oh, man, and that really feels to me like you’ve you hit the target on this and if anybody wonders about my feelings about the team, that’s my issue. My issue is they’re not trustworthy. They’re not I have first hand experience saying they can’t be trusted. Lamarr doesn’t trust them right now.
Luke Jones 14:53
Well, and let me be clear, eight an injured player not traveling for a road game is hard. hardly unprecedented. It’s hardly something that is uncommon, let’s say to spin around the locker room in Pittsburgh, oh, well, weeks ago when I was there, right. Well, and that’s I was just going to say, what has made this peculiar and unlocked. There’s been so many questions. And I mean, John Harbaugh has been so reluctant to talk about Lamar every step of the way. I mean, we know that speaks volumes, right. Well, but it’s not it’s not unsurprising. John Harbaugh has been this way talking about injured players since he’s been the head coach, you know, 15 years. So I’m not shocked in that way. But you just mentioned it. He was there in Pittsburgh. That was the first game the Ravens played after the injury he was there was not there the following week in Cleveland. Now. It is a little bit of a longer trip now. We’re still talking Cleveland, not a cross country trip to LA. So And I recall, I think it was Stacey Dale’s because NFL Network did that game and Cleveland had made mention that the Ravens didn’t want him to travel because they were worried about swelling. And his knee, you know, had residual swelling in his knee. So the Ravens didn’t have another road game at that point. Until they went to Cincinnati last week. Oh, he there he was wasn’t in Cincinnati last week. And I mean, NBC right off the bat, mentioned in the telecast that he wasn’t in Cincinnati. On Sunday night, maybe there’s like a chilly either. I would say this much. And again, Lamar put out his update, you know, people will know, plenty of people are believing it 100% Other people are a little skeptical. I mean, again, people so many people have their mind made up, it doesn’t even matter what you and I even say about it in that regard. I mean, people are gonna feel how they want to feel about and look, there’s plenty of conjecture and unknown here. It’s not as though we’ve been privy to lumbars minute by minute day by day itinerary. So yeah, I’m not even going to go there from that standpoint. But, you know, if you take what he said in terms of his knee not being stable, and the fact that he’s dealt with swelling, which is something that has been reported at a couple different points by NFL Network, and Adam Schefter, etc. So if there is still swelling, then that would be grounds for someone potentially not getting on an airplane and traveling. Now. Again, people can take the take that how they want and people will believe what they want to believe feel how they want to feel about that. But certainly the optics of it surreal thing, the swelling, I’m not gonna six, by the way, have you? Have you ever been caught on and got on a plane? And that’s my, I have it but but that’s my point. So that, that, but that’s my point that it’s not unheard of. I mean, Ronnie Stanley, early in the season, was not traveling to two road games with them. You know, I mean, he made his debut in one week five, I guess it was, you know, he didn’t travel the first couple games. And you know that because when the players listed as questionable, and then they’re ruled out on Saturday, that is an NFL rule, if you have a road game, and you do not travel with the team, and you haven’t been ruled out, you’re then ruled out at that point. So and we saw that Ronnie Stanley was downgraded in some of those early road games, so it’s not unprecedented. Again, if he’s still dealing with swelling, then that would be grounds for not traveling and not getting on an airplane, whether whether he was going to be an option to play in Kansas City if the Ravens advanced by chance or not. That’s not unheard of. But again, the optics of it. Sure, I mean, I’m not gonna sit here and say it’s a good look. But I wanted to give that background at the very least for people who are wondering, and I had the same question and thought it was kind of peculiar, right off the bat when he went to Pittsburgh, and then wasn’t in Cleveland The following week, you know, makes you wonder, you know, it was there. Not a setback necessarily. But was there a diagnosis that did end up being a little bit worse? You know, again, we were so quick. And I don’t mean, you and me. I mean, in general, we’re so quick on so many different issues on social media. That’s why social media can be so toxic, that we take one side or the other, we take one side is 100%, truthful. And the other side is, while you’re just blatantly lying, when in many cases, there’s, you know, it’s a sliding scale, as far as where does the truth really fall? Was the injury downplayed a little bit by the Ravens? That wouldn’t surprise me, it wouldn’t be the first time that they’ve done that. And, you know, could Lamar Jackson be? I don’t want to say exaggerating, or, you know, maybe be more concerned about it than what reality is. And then yeah, you do talk about the contract and business factors that are at work here. Is that plausible? Of course it is. You know, that doesn’t mean that I’m saying he’s jacking it or that the Ravens have, you know, tried to sabotage him, you know, I mean, it’s, there’s nuance to it. And that’s why this entire situation going back two years now, it was two years ago, when we started talking about a contract he was eligible for an extension after that playoff loss in Buffalo. From that point on, they could talk turkey in terms of a long term deal. So we’re two years into this now. There has been a lot of nuance, there’s been a lot of conjecture. There’s been a lot of confusion, a lot of debate going back and forth.
Nestor Aparicio 20:00
Well, you can make the Ravens given to under $50 million at this point by not playing at this point and not being they seem unhappy with him. And John’s tenor and John’s demeanor and John’s words, and John’s body language says to me that there’s there’s a lack of trust, that was your word. And that’s the word I was going to use on Sunday night thinking, do you trust them? Or you’re honest? Or, or do you have an honest relationship, and part of this, and I know this will be the truth. And Eric, the customer probably never speak to me again. And that’s fine. But the truth is, without an agent, this is a very, very awkward circumstance, when a player gets hurt, there is no buffer, there’s no one else to communicate with other than his mother, I guess, and his girlfriend and M. And we’ve seen his lack of maturity. We’ve seen it. We’ve just seen it in general and social media in the way all of this has been handled. And whatever advice he’s getting, it’s different than having an agent on the phone with Eric d’acosta, which is what Eric is used to, which is what the organization is used to, which is the way they do it. It’s the way it’s the way they play the game. Negotiation wise, information wise, injury wise, relationship wise to some degree, that that game is played through an agent. And without that buffer. You get this you get a lack of trust and a lack of communication because that direct contact between Eric Decosta John Harbaugh and Lamar Jackson. It’s not normal. It’s not normal. When there’s no agent in there.
Luke Jones 21:49
Yeah, I mean, the one thing I will say is, they made it work with real Quan Smith. I mean, he doesn’t have an agent. Now $100 million
Nestor Aparicio 21:58
self row, Quan Smith walks up to the podium. Excellent. And it speaks in adult terms. And apparently that wasn’t very difficult. They got it done. Other things been a mess. Right and
Luke Jones 22:09
quick to point out here $100 million contract for an off ball linebacker as lucrative as it is, for an off ball linebacker. It is an inside linebacker not a franchise quarterback, who’s won a unanimous and the NFL MVP, right. I mean, you know, it’s a little bit of a different animal for quarterbacks in general, right? I mean, agent, even if you have an agent, you know, you’re talking about lucrative, lucrative, lucrative money. And in this case, very unique circumstance with no agent and on the heels of the Deshaun. Watson deal, as we talked about all offseason. But, you know, I think what’s what’s tough about this, though, is, you know, if you’re the ravens, if you’re Lamar Jackson, yeah, put on a happy face. Because this is, you know, this isn’t a case where the ravens are just going to let them walk, I mean, they’d be dumb to do that, that would, that would be a fireable offense to just let them hit free agency. So they’re gonna tag them.
Nestor Aparicio 23:01
And they’re also not gonna beat him up and call them soft and say that he didn’t have any role to play, because they’re going to try to trade him and get every every first round pick and get out of it.
Luke Jones 23:08
I mean, however, you want to play this out, you know, whether you think there’s still enough trust there to salvage this. And, you know, I’m not saying that there isn’t that that scenario isn’t possible here. But either way, you’ve got to put on a happy face. And you got to try to make this work from that symbol, even, even if long term you both both sides have made up their mind that they’re not going to continue their long term relationship. You know, even if you’re made up your mind in that sense, you don’t want to let the rest of the world know that that’s why it was funny to hear NFL Network and some of the national reports over the weekend at the Ravens were saying Lamar is still their guy. I mean, of course, they’re gonna say that you’re, you have to say he’s still your guy until he’s not anymore, right? I mean, and I’m not even saying that they say anything
Nestor Aparicio 23:53
now, right? Like it’s, oh, you’re gonna ask our ball. A couple questions. It’s gonna go away. And we’re going to see Eric appear at some point around a draft time. Right. We should hear from him before that. We’ll get into this in the coming weeks. But the notion of five days a week then having to ask answer questions about Lamar is knee Lamar is money is Lamar playing this week. That’s over with now. So now everybody will go into the into a hole. And they’ll come out of this hole when they figure out what’s tenable. Who would want him Where are we dealing him? Who can I talk to? What are we really going to get for him? Because I don’t think they’re at the point with Lamar, how much money do you want now? I don’t think there is a negotiation now in regard to that, because whatever his value was a year ago to them, he’s worth less to him. He’s worth more to him. He’s you see what you do you play without me? To them. They’re like, yeah, we saw we played without you. That’s why we’re not giving you the money because we play without you. So I man these next 90 days as much as I can I tried to stay to the game Luke, we’ll take a break here. We’ll talk about the offseason. But the game was fascinating and I don’t want it the theme go, we’re gonna get into all the rest of this. Luke Jones is here. He will be in Owings Mills all week long, as long as they allow him and they’ll be cleaning lockers out and there will be more playoff games this weekend. There will be more coaches hired this week. There will be Greg Roman situate, all of that is coming down the pike. But in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to talk about Sunday night’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals the ravens are eliminated. You can find Luke at Baltimore, Luke, you can find me anywhere the internet is served. We’re gonna get the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery conjunction with our friends who could will back out on and win donation I’d say it’s a 690 nation. You buy two, you get two free and you paid no financing for five years. That’s even a better deal than they gave me so go take advantage of that. We’re gonna get the crabcake tour back out on the road next week. I have some more information on that coming up later on this week. In the meantime, it’s all purple around here. As the Ravens enter the offseason we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive