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As the offense continues to lose players almost weekly, it’s the Ravens’ defense that has been stout because of the emergence of All Pro caliber play from Kyle Hamilton, who is proving to be a one-of-one kind of hybrid athlete that changes what opposing offenses can do. Luke Jones and Nestor discuss slowing Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and the San Francisco 49ers multiple attack on Christmas night.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

ravens, defense, game, week, great, talked, hamilton, jacksonville, point, year, good, team, play, linebacker, position, indianapolis, lamar, ball, giving, miami

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back, W N st Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive or positively into Christmas week. I do not have my purple hoho hat out but I am giving away really cool stuff the Maryland lottery giving us these peppermint payout multipliers had a couple of winners the other day over at the far end daughter as well as our Oh snap, Gingerbread sniffers as well as the unscented but still very lucky unwrapped to cash, Maryland lottery tickets. We’re gonna be at wise markets on Monday this week with former professional wrestler Derek Fraser, former Maryland stadium authority chairman Tom Kelso talk and stadium deal. We have not talked a lot of baseball here in the offseason, certainly not where the ravens are. We’re going to do a little bit of that this week. We had a great great show with foreign daughter with former she’s a former current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Gina shock talking some Go Go’s reunion in 2024. So that was kind of fun, as well as Michael Brown fine and Wendy Brown from curio wellness, giving us some education on the plants, as well as some educational detergents from hex founder H E X founder local company guy named Drew Westerfeld. He played some lacrosse at UMBC. We talked about getting stinky out of my plan of fitness clothing. Tell you what the Ravens in Lebanon three have a sub awaiting Christmas in a different way they’re going to be last game of the week. They’re going to play on Monday night. We’re going to have all sorts of calories and eggnog and alcohol and food and mistletoe and revelry between now and then. Luke Jones joins us now to pick up the pieces not just from the injury to keep Mitchell and an outstanding effort by Lamar Jackson. And another single digit effort from the defensive side of the football. Look, the the defense here gets lost in all of this. When Lamar comes to town right? Like I saw Sunday Night Football has that graphic of Lamar coming out of the swamp to go to EverBank stadium I’m sure you know come Monday night it’d be San Francisco. But nobody talks about the Ravens defense because Lamar is such a bright light. And on a night when they played at home Jaguars moved the ball, couldn’t score points made mistakes. Lawrence kicking the ball. I don’t think he just dropped the ball at one point. But defensively, people aren’t gonna brag on the Ravens. We’re gonna talk about the Cleveland Browns, number one defense and whatnot. But beware when this defense comes to town, and that’s part of the Brock party thing for Monday night is to say this defense might take the ball away once or twice out in Santa Clara, that would be an effective formula for winning on Christmas night.

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Luke Jones  02:34

Yeah, there’s no question and I don’t I don’t think no one. I wouldn’t say no one talks about this defense. But it’s certainly overshadowed. Right. And I mean, the browns. Statistically certain statistics, they’ve been a little bit better. Although I also throw out five or six meaningful statistics, the Ravens have been better than Cleveland’s defense. So but you’re right when you have an MVP caliber quarterback when you have that franchise guy that is healthy, unlike the Browns with Deshaun Watson who hasn’t played anywhere close to an MVP level, since joining them anyway, but you are going to be a little bit overshadowed. And I think what’s interesting about Sunday night’s game Nestor is if you just look at that, and you didn’t watch the game, and you say 23 Seven, it’s a oh, that’s another dominant performance by the defense. It wasn’t dumb as dominant as we’ve seen at other times this year. I mean, it gave up 5.5 yards per play. We talked and you just mentioned it, some of the the empty drives that Jacksonville had, especially in the first half. I mean, they miss a field goal. I missed two field goals, both beyond 50 yards. So I recognize that but I mean, Trevor Lawrence just drops the ball that that should have been the three I mean, that would have been a much, much more mapable field goal. And then just an awful mistake by number one overall pick a couple years ago at the quarterback position at the end of the half where you’re inside the 10 yard line, and you can’t throw it underneath to the flats. Unless the guy is completely uncovered. I mean, you just can’t do that. So yeah, they left even if you want to be a little conservative about how you assess it. They left nine points off the board in the first half that yeah, that’s a 10 Nine game at halftime, without them even have to be perfect in that regard. So yeah, the defense did a lot of bending, especially in that first half and certainly they gave up the big play for the touchdown in the third quarter. But I think what was most impressive to me was the way that they responded after giving up the long touchdown to Agnew. You look at how they came out after that touchdown. Three and out. Three and out three in and out three and out with the fumble the strip sacks so that was a really impressive way to respond to giving up a big play that suddenly made it a one score game and you’re thinking oh, okay, is this going to go like it did last year? Is this going to be another one of those times where the Ravens blow a double up double digit second half lead, as they have on a set Bro occasions the last couple years, but they finished strongly. I know they give up some yards at the end of the game and Terry McCall he was going nuts about what could have been a touchdown in the back of the endzone, you know, in his opinion. But, you know, at that point, the Ravens were in control of the game. And even if Jacksonville scores there, you’re still feeling really good, especially with the way that they were running the ball in the second half. But you know, that this defense did a little more bending, coming off of last week’s performance that was just not very good. If we’re just calling a spade a spade, you know, especially for the lofty standard that this team has set. But, you know, they they didn’t break other than one play, right. So they made plays when they needed to. And certainly Jacksonville helped them out on a few occasions as well. But hey, that’s that’s how that’s how the league works, right? It’s not just winning games, but do things that don’t lose you ballgames and the Ravens did things to win. Jacksonville did things to lose. And that resulted in a 23 Seven win. And this defense, again, not not its most dominant performance of the year, but it gave up one touchdown. At the end of the day. That’s that’s what that’s what matters, not yards, not, you know, self inflicted mistakes that the opposition makes that helped you out. I mean, it’s, you know, they made the place that they needed to make and they did not break even though they did a little more bending than we’ve seen in some other games this year. Yeah, look, we’re talking it’s offensive

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:24

injuries, and Kate Mitchell gone. Mark Andrews gone, Ronnie Stanley’s not gone, but he might as well be right. I mean, like, he’s not going to be 65 Snap left tackle the rest of the way and certainly not going to play like a lottery pick and play like a $20 million left tackle. Defensively the Hamilton thing last week, he’d say, Well, you know, row Quan Smith can’t lose him. Patrick Queens playing great mata pkce playing great Marlin Humphries is being paid to play great. But Kyle Hamilton, we talk about all these number one picks they’ve added haven’t worked out or guys that are still very much in the ze flowers. World of them. Maybe it’ll you know, maybe he’ll blossom into that Bateman caught a ball but hasn’t felt like a number one. They drafted a safety after they spent all the money on the safety. So why do they need another safety? He’s a little bit of an X kind of player. And when he got injured last week, I started to think Well, that won’t go well. If they have to play against Josh Allen, Patrick mahomes. Whoever they’re going to have to play against Brock Purdy this week, Trevor Lawrence on Sunday night. Certainly. Tongue of Allah two weeks from now. Right. Kyle Hamilton has is making a case for becoming their best defensive player and I’m a row Quan Smith guy, just from a where he is the factor that he is. The kind of body has an SPD as and the vision he has. I don’t it was said a couple times during the broadcast. You can’t teach that. Um, he’s as good a draft because they’ve had since Ed Reed in that position in that sort of lower half of the first round for where they are for an impact player and see him go out and play well out, be it not at 100%. That’s next thing no Mitchell now. Right? You’ve lost him. The Marcus Williams thing happened the other night there. It’s become a little bodybag. It’s just we get to the end of the year. I was concerned about Hamilton, he may have played his best game on Sunday night.

Luke Jones  08:26

Certainly was one of his better games. There’s no doubt about that. I think what’s interesting, though, and I’m not picking on you here, but I’m gonna I’m just gonna pose a question in general. If you didn’t know anything about Kyle Hamilton, what is his position?

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:41

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I don’t know. He plays more like a linebacker he’s

Luke Jones  08:44

he’s not really a safety. And I don’t say that as a knock on him. Let’s be clear, I’m not because you’ll hear some people you can’t play further away from the line of scrimmage. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:52

you know, there’s not a backdrop in too deep like at Reed looking to pick the ball. I mean, that’s looking to destroy the quarterback or blow up a run.

Luke Jones  08:59

I mean that what makes him so valuable. What makes him so good is you don’t really know what his position is. And I think what makes him so effective for this current ravens defense and we’ll see how his career evolves. I’m not at all implying that he can’t play farther away from the line of scrimmage, but he is certainly better. Playing closer to the line of scrimmage. He’s more dynamic. But I think what’s so appealing about Kyle Hamilton is that position list element that he gives you. You can play nickel defense with him as your nickel Geno’s stone and Marcus Williams and we’ll see about Marcus Williams. Of course, he left the game with a groin injury at the end of the first half so we’ll see where he is this week at least. But you can play Hamilton at the nickel. But is it really nickel defense when he plays like a linebacker and if he’s if you consider him a linebacker and the way he plays against the run and make tackles for loss, then you kind of get the quality have a base defense while having an extra defensive back on the field. So the, you know, you’ve heard me talk about this and, you know, analytics people I’ve talked about this in recent years talking a lot about the trending towards position this defense. Wink Martindale talked about this idea that you almost want to have a secondary where it looks like a basketball lineup where you just have guys different body types, different skill sets, you can move them around, you have corners that can drop back and play safety. You have safeties that can play the slot, you have safeties that might play out wide on occasion, like a corner, and you can just move guys around because it just helps that pre snap element of the sky. So we’ve talked about that so much, going all the way back to even Dean peace, you know, but more so wink Martindale, and certainly, with with Mike McDonald. Now, though, those simulated pressures, those amoeba fronts where you have seven, eight, sometimes nine guys at the line of scrimmage and a quarterback saying, oh my gosh, are they bringing the house? Or are they dropping guys in the coverage? If they’re dropping guys in the coverage? Who’s dropping? Is it the linebackers? Is it 350 Pound Michael Pierce, you know, so you have all those elements. But Kyle Hamilton’s the guy that it feels like he makes that go more than anyone. And you just said, I mean ro Quan Smith is the heart and soul has become the heart and soul of this defense. And a little over a year’s time. I think that’s evident. And that’s taking nothing away from row row Quan, because he’s on his way to having another all pro Pro Bowl kind of season. But I think Kyle Hamilton, what he gives them as a player in coverage, playing the run ability to blitz whether he’s playing linebacker or safety or, you know, he’s, he’s a slot corner. I mean, really, if we’re being technical about it, he’s much more slot corner than safety in terms of where he lines up. So it really just gives you such a fantastic, versatile element to this defense that again, you look at it in real simplistic terms, you say, Okay, well, they have five defensive backs on the field. So they’re in the nickel package, but when he plays like a linebacker, then you’re looking at it more in terms of that’s, that’s more like a base, you know, 3443 over however you’re trying to however, you’re aligned when we know the ravens are multiple anyway. But it’s just such a dynamic player that makes you so multiple. I mean, this is a guy who can cover anyone. Tight, big tight end. I mean, we’ll be talking about this a lot, you know, George Kittel. This week, Travis Kelce. Come the postseason, I mean and named the tight end, how Hamilton six foot four. I mean, normally, when you’re talking safeties, linebackers corners, however you want to try to approach a Kelsey or a George Kittel, or anyone that’s fit that profile of being basically a big bodied wide receiver at tight end. I mean, Travis Kelce, doesn’t line up as an inline tight end very often, he’s lining up in the slot. You know, kid was a little bit different in that regard. But the point is, the reason why those guys are such matchup, nightmares, our linebackers are too slow. Corners are way too small. And most safeties are too small to cover those guys kind of Hamilton can run. He’s big is physical. You’ve seen him cover wide receivers effectively. I mean, he can do it all. So he is just this. I mean, to call them a chess piece. It really doesn’t do justice, what he can do everything that he’s capable of doing on the football field. I mean, this is a guy who can probably line up all the defensive back positions, of course, outside linebacker can line up at edge could probably play an off ball position. If you got, you know, in a spot where you lost a couple linebackers and get replaced Patrick queen for a couple plays. I mean, and that’s the thing. He can just he can line up anywhere. But the only place he would line up is probably like nose tackle. Yeah. Be that’s kind of the one thing, but I mean, he’s just so versatile. So you’re absolutely right. I mean, some of the concern when he’s leaving the game against the Rams last week in the third quarter, you’re thinking oh, okay, it’s one thing to talk about Jacksonville, which had Evan Engram, who, you know, made some plays, but certainly didn’t wreck the game or anything like that. I mean, I think when you

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Nestor J. Aparicio  14:02

lose him, it’s going to affect the way you can play the game because you don’t have anybody that’s going to go in and play a multiple three four prong kind of position. That the other that Trevor Lawrence is going to have to look and say, Who’s the mic? And, you know, you heard them yell out 1414. Watch 14, you know, you can hear that on the boom mics down there. Look, Joe, serious Baltimore. Look, we’re talking defense. We’re talking to San Francisco 40, Niners we’re talking Christmas, we’re also talking crabcakes. This week, I have my favorite t shirt on we’re gonna be fading these next Wednesday, to end the year to end an era at the old Lexington market as they move into the new market. I’m also plotting big big doings for radio row week. So I’ll have some details for that as we start the year. Row, Quan Smith and him in the middle and the stability he’s provided. Dude, it feels like he’s been here. 15 years he’s been here 15 minutes. I mean, he’s just ending the first year here. And we sort of take all of this for granted, but this defense seven points on the road I know there was a lot of offense and they moved the ball and they made mistakes and missed field goals and all of that. But ro Quan Smith in the middle of this and Kyle Hamilton, we’re talking about elite elite players here on the defensive side that when the bright lights come to town, they want to interview Lamar, they want to talk about offense, they want to talk about all the razzle dazzle, the defense does come in under the radar and they will against the 40 Niners as well until the game starts and then we’ll see whether McCaffrey is going to run wild whether Kiddle is going to run wild and you know what they’re gonna do with debo Samuel and I mean weapons are here, but the Ravens have answers have chess pieces for for specifically for the 40 Niners in a way that the Eagles don’t other teams, certainly Seattle and the other team, the Rams, they the teams they see don’t have those kinds of defensive pieces that the ravens are gonna bring to the table Monday night. Well,

Luke Jones  15:59

we’d be remiss I mean, you mentioned ro Quan Smith and Kyle Hamilton and rightfully so. But what about Justin Mata BK? I mean, he has more sacks than any ravens player going back to Suggs and do Merville back in 2014 Almost a decade now. So you have an elite difference maker really at every level of the defense and again, we talked about Hamilton it’s more of a where he’s truly the most dynamic is either at the line of scrimmage or that second level of the defense he might get paid

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:22

like Aaron Dawn was this point when he started like literally he might get that kind of money

Luke Jones  16:26

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matter BK I mean I don’t he’s not gonna get Aaron Donald money but he’s gonna get I mean, whatever fans are thinking right now in terms of how the ravens are going to operate proceed with their salary cap. I mean, steam has a lot of free agents you know, a lot of meaningful free agents I’m not saying that it’s going to be like you know, it’s not going to be like Oh, Super Bowl either time around. Tap purge.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:51

Gimme gimme top five just so we we get it out for everybody. Mata BK.

Luke Jones  16:55

Yay. Put me on the spot. Here’s Matt a BK Gino stone to Davey on. clowny. Kevin, you know, Kevin Zeitler on the offensive side, Odell Beckham on the offensive side. I mean, they’ve got they’ve got some Patrick queen, you know, I mean, some guys

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:13

did. They could never come back in the same way because Lamar has money sitting there now and a different way.

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Luke Jones  17:19

Yeah, I think you’re gonna be able to pay one of those guys. And I think Mata BK is gonna be the guy they try to pay. I mean, he’s probably gonna get to the way things are trending, he’s probably getting the franchise tag. I mean, that’s probably how this thing’s gonna work. At this point, you’re gonna, you know, I don’t know what that is gonna be the guy that they’re not going to let go at the top off the top my head because the Ravens have not had a defensive tackle of that magnitude. Since Hello, de nada, it was a different kind of player. But the point point is that dynamic top shelf elite of the elite kind of guy at what he does matter, BK is gonna make huge money. But the point is to go back to what you were saying, you know, because you were talking about ro Quan Smith, we’ve talked about Kyle Hamilton. I mean, the difference with this defense now, compared to where it was, even last year, but more so going back to the Winkies, you know, 2019 where that defense statistically, did not finish. Overly impressive. You know, it wasn’t overly impressive their final rankings. But keep in mind where their defense ranked from the moment Marcus Peters arrived that year. I mean, they were probably a top four top five defense, but weren’t quite as good against the run. This is not an elite run defense. But it’s not a bad run defense by any stretch of the imagination or it’s not really a run defense that concerns me to a dramatic degree. Now if Christian McCaffrey runs all over them, then that might be a different story. And we’re seeing what buffalo is doing running the ball now. And when Pacheco is healthy for Kansas City, he can run the football. So you know, I mean, that’s, that’s the relative weakness of this football of this defense. But, I mean, it is just such a great defense. And I think part of you talked about how it’s overshadowed and yeah, the Lamar elements, the massive piece at work there. But again, it’s such a collaborative effort. It’s such a good to great ensemble cast. I mean, yeah, you have your stars, you know, row Kwanzaa Pro Bowl player, Hamilton, if he’s not a pro bowl player, something’s wrong. He’s absolutely no, I think he should be an all pro selection or have a good shot to be an all pro selection. Problem is again, he’s kind of that position, this weird, oddball flex kind of guy. You know, as far as defense goes, and the matter of BK, what we’re looking at is leading defensive tackles and sacks this year. So they have those pieces, but it’s just such an impressive collaborative effort. I’ve said this over and over. I sound like a broken record at this point. But, I mean, so many different guys on this defense have their role and we’ve talked about that, you know, whether it was what Arthur Mallette did against the Chargers a couple of weeks back when, you know, he had a couple splash plays, and he played seven total snaps in that game, you know, and it just, you know, liquid chinos. Almost done, as you know, even, he’s not starting now, although it might be now with with Marcus Williams going down on Sunday night, but just complimentary players who have played at such a high level for them, and they have such impressive depth.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:13

Right Urban’s making plays 10 years into this, right? Sure. Sure. I

Luke Jones  20:17

mean, you know, and he’s not a, you know, he’s, if you ask someone to rank the top 17 Guys on their defense, he’s, he might be at the bottom of the list. More so probably, because you just forget about him. But yeah, you know, I mean, he’s, he’s, especially with Broderick, Washington kind of being that guy that if you’re going to point out anyone that’s had a down season on their defense, that isn’t related to health, probably be him, you know, especially considering they gave him an extension in August. And he was a healthy scratch a few weeks back, if you recall. So But Brent urban plan, the run plan, five technique in the base, they’re not in the base very often anymore because of Hamilton. But, you know, when they are, you know, he’s playing Five technique for them. So you just have so many different guys, and, you know, row Quan Smith, and I’d say, Kyle Hamilton now, you know, they’re holding that together. I mean, those are the two guys that really make this thing. Run at an elite level. Defense has been good for a long, long, I mean, understatement, we’re talking about some ravens here. I mean, they’re, they’re they’re calling card has been good to great defense for over two decades now. But for them to be at the level they are now, which is, as I’ve said it over and over as great a defense as they’ve had since Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were playing, still playing. It’s been because of those two guys, but it is so many different guys contributing. And one thing I’ll throw out there, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this. Now, the pass rush wasn’t great. On Sunday on Sunday night. I mean, matter, BK got to Lawrence on the fumble. But let’s face it, that first half, I mean, it wasn’t a whole lot of pressure. I mean, there wasn’t a lot of pressure for good portions of the night. But yeah, okay. There were bending a little bit more wasn’t quite as dominant statistically, in terms of yards per play. But they still they got the stops, they were really good on third down, they were excellent in the redzone. You know, they they made plays when they needed to. So, again, another calling card for defense is just like we talked about what the offensive side of the ball is, can you win in different ways, and they’ve been able to do that when you know, something might be a little bit off, you know, they gave up a couple of big plays on Sunday night. And that’s for sure. But, you know, they, they got the job done. And as much as we talked about the stars on this defense, you still talk about the depth and I mean, top to bottom, it’s as deep of a defense as they’ve had in a really long time. And, you know, we haven’t even mentioned someone like Marlon Humphrey, who struggled against the Rams, I thought he was better this past week. He’s missed half the season. I mean, you’re talking about your highest paid to, you know, along with ro Quan Smith, one of your two highest paid defensive players, who’s missed half of these Marcus Williams missed rough, you know, close to half the season. Well, we

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:59

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talked about this by and we talk about not playing Pittsburgh, head up, if they can win these two games. I look at Marlon Humphrey getting rest as being just as important as Morgan Moses or Zeitler, or any of sort of the senior citizens. To me, he’s more of a senior citizen at this point. And from what you’re asking him to do, chase around whoever the number one receivers going to be. And that’s going to be the see the bills, you’re gonna get digs. You know, whoever it’s going to be Kansas City, they’re gonna have to figure out Kelsey gonna have to figure out the wide receivers, certainly Miami with the speed they have. Humphrey has to be right. In January, on the back end, in a way that he wasn’t in October and September. He hasn’t been right most of the year. But I’m starting to feel like they’re at a point, unlike Ronnie Stanley, where he’s not going to be right. They’re not going to get him. Right, Humphrey. He may be running at full speed by January 20. He might be he might be. Yeah, I

Luke Jones  24:01

mean, you never know. I mean, it’s it’s a calf. Yeah, that’s, that’s a tricky. That’s a tricky injury. And I think the reason they were so careful before the bye week was because that’s a high setback rate kind of an injury. So that’s why they held him out of that chargers game as a result. And you know, he struggled against the Rams, there’s no doubt about it. He even talked about that. And in the postgame on Sunday night, he he made mention that he was kind of talking about Lamar and Lamar becoming more of a leader maturing as a player maturing as a teammate. He even said that Lamar went up to him and he said he did it in a good natured way. But Lamar went up to him this past week and said, Hey, Marla, we need better from you like, Marlon Humphrey was bad against the Rams, you know, that that that was rough. I mean, that was really rough, especially at the end of regulation there. So you know, so Humphrey acknowledged it, but yeah, I mean, I think he’s the kind of guy that at this point, he is a little bit older, but he’s not old. He’s not you know, Stanley has been dealing with the same knee and since week, one, the ankle for three years. is now you know, on the other leg. So, I mean, Stanley, how healthy is he going to get without months off at this point? Probably not probably not gonna make that big of a difference. Whereas Marlon Humphrey, as long as he doesn’t have a reinjury, then yeah, I’m in agreement with you and that’s something that they’re gonna need. And look, Brandon Stevens has been a great story on the other side, and he’s played. I hesitate to say a Pro Bowl level. I don’t think he’s been that good. But he’s been good. I mean, he, this is a guy who started the year practicing at safety. So it’s been a major development for them, especially with Humphries health concerns this year that that Brandon Stevens has done that. But yeah, you look at the 40, Niners. It’s not just debo Samuel, it’s Brandon, are you coming towards kiddo we’ve talked about I mean, weapons all over the field, Miami, take a look at what the dolphins did this past week without Tyreke Hill, you know, against the Jets. I get it. The Jets are a lost cause at this point. But they still did a really good defense. So for them to do what they did, I mean, Tyree kill and WADL I mean, Marlon Humphrey and, and Brandon Stevens will need to be ready for that one in two weeks big time. And, you know, it’s not gonna get any easier than that. I mean, we know at this point the rest of the way maybe assuming the Ravens get the number one and I’m making a big assumption. They’re still they’ve got to take care of business next couple of weeks. We all understand that. But, you know, other than a favorite potentially favorable divisional round matchup, you know, tough games the rest of the way other than maybe Pittsburgh and week a team because the Steelers are just a disaster at this point. Not playing like a mike Tomlin team late in the season even even some of these years, they haven’t been as good. Normally they finish on a higher note. I mean, they’re a mess. Well, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:44

mean, to the league about the Shaco. That’s about to happen with Bella check. Wherever Pittsburgh is at this point, whatever they’re going to be. There’s I mean, clearly the Cleveland things weird with Flacco played well, but not great through interceptions did some of the stuff we saw here 10 years ago and making sort of key mistakes, but always has the big arm and can always make the play and isn’t afraid. I mean, that’s the thing about Joe, he looks calm, and he looks like, hey, if it gets picked, it gets back in here may if it gets picked, it gets picked. But we’re going to try to win the game. We’re going to come after you and we’re going to try to win and I think yeah, the the I don’t think that the brand should scare somebody in January with a defense. If the weather is right, the weather’s wrong and the occasions the right occasion. Cleveland can beat you and I look at Kansas City I look at Buffalo coming on in a way where the ravens are the are the stocks at this point. The ravens are the best team. Oh, there’s no doubt about that. When you talk about 14 straight games where they’re winning at the two minute warning, you know, talk about a handful of teams in the history of the game have ever done that. So they’re their head and shoulders above but there’s nothing about any of these teams that I think look second tier at this point cleaver looks like they stepped up and they have a quarterback they can do it. At least in the near short term for a couple of weeks. I don’t know that I want 18 games at Joe Flacco but five or six of them and enough to win he didn’t play great but they they won the tournament sets up to be treacherous and the tournament sets up to make sure that you’re not playing week one especially when you’re in this position right now. The biggest upset of upsets would be if the Ravens have to play a game the first week because that should be job one job one is do not get eliminated in the first week of the playoffs because you’re the team that’s not playing let buffalo Kansas City clue let all of them Jacksonville let them Miami beat each other up and see what comes out of that. That’s that’s it’s just so paramount right now because that brass ring of the by and a week off. And really two weeks off. They get through these to to take Pittsburgh off. That’s the most important thing they have going on, aside from health and the health of the guys they can get back out on the field.

Luke Jones  29:06

Yeah, I mean, you look at the playoff field. I mean, you mentioned Joe Flacco. I thought Flacco was pretty bad until the amazing throw to Amari Cooper. I mean, we’re Cooper’s coming across the field and and Flacco just fits it into the window when

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Nestor J. Aparicio  29:18

nobody throws that ball.

Luke Jones  29:20

I mean, Josh Allen probably throws that ball. But because he’s I mean, Josh Allen, and put aside, I don’t want to hear anything about the off field. He’s the modern day Brett Farve I mean, Josh Allen is he doesn’t care. He’s going to turn the ball over some a little more than other quarterbacks out there. But my gosh, I mean, that guy is he’s fearless out there in terms of throwing or running. I mean, you always use the Lamar running into linebackers. Josh Allen literally does that. Lamar,

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:49

by the way, he plays that style. He got his butt up, but um,

Luke Jones  29:53

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but Josh Allen’s done it. You know, he’s played at MVP caliber level for a few years now. But But the point is, you know, going back to Flacco, I mean, he made that big throw and made plays at the end of the game and Cooper helped him out in joku got open and certainly we know Joe loves throwing the tight ends. But yeah, I mean, you look at this playoff field right now. I mean, while we’re doing it, I’m looking at the standings. Miami, most

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:18

capable, I’m not sure Gardner Minshew is just as a side at this point in his career, although

Luke Jones  30:24

I’ll say this, I mean, you know, Indianapolis, they’re gonna get Jonathan Taylor back. Go look at where the Colts rank in terms of sacks. I mean, we’ve talked a lot about the offensive line with the ravens, you know, and as as I bring this up, I mean, go look at the top eight and sacks in the NFL in sacks are not everything in terms of evaluating passwords, but obviously it’s a major part of it. But right now, in the top eight, obviously the Ravens leading the way Miami, Indianapolis, Kansas City, buffalo, Cleveland, I mean, there you go, that might be most of your playoff field right there. You know, Buffalo has to get the job done. Indianapolis has work to do. Certainly, you know, so, but you look at it. You know, we’ve talked about Miami, Kansas City, these are given I mean, they’re still the can you know, traditionally speaking, they’re still the team to beat because they’re the defending Super Bowl champions. Jacksonville. I’m, they’re a pretender. They might make it. They’re a pretender at this point. They’ve proven what they are the last three weeks against the AFC north, two of those at home, and they lost all three. I mean, if Indianapolis or Houston doesn’t overtake them, fine, but no one’s worried about Jacksonville at this point until they prove otherwise. But Cleveland with their defense with a Joe Flacco who to your point I agree with you, I wouldn’t want them to be my quarterback for 17 games in 2023. But he’s got more pedigree, he has experience and they don’t need them to play great. They need them to play, okay. And they have a chance to win with their defense. So we haven’t even mentioned I I’m not worried about the Bengals being in the AFC Championship game, but gotta give Cincinnati some credit for the way that they’ve continued to play. I mean, we talked about this a lot with the Ravens last year and the year before that, even with losing heartbreaking games, how they kept competing without Lamar Jackson, the Bengals I thought they would roll over without Joe burrow. I mean, I really did and look at what they’ve done. I mean, right now they’re in position to be a wildcard and Jake Browning isn’t great. He’s not Joe burrow but he’s played okay football for them. And, you know, they they still have the wide receivers that they have and they’ve you know, they’ve unlocked a little more out of their backfield production so you don’t dismiss them. It’s a division rival, right. I mean, we always talked about that. Indianapolis, Houston, I mean, Houston. The big key for me is CJ Stroud, his health, health some of their other players. And by the way, I know you’ll agree with me on this. Tennessee got exactly what they deserved wearing the Oilers, throwbacks against Houston great to see the Texans beat them Dick move of all dailies so

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:59

you know like and I’ve been oiler fan and I have a closet full of stuff and I love this stuff. I mean of all the things I stock on eBay to buy stuff. I buy these crazy belt buckles but I look at Euler stuff because I you know I have sort of a throwback affinity I have all of that stuff. There are dormant franchise if you bring them back to life. I’m not a Tennessee Titans fan. What what blew me away was looking in the stands that how much of that stuff they’re selling. I mean, I know what’s good looking. And I know what I’m thinking if, if I’m in Nashville, why do I want that? It’d be like wearing a Jim Brown jersey, here’s, I’m much more likely to wear a Burt Jones Jersey here than I am anything else. And we’re from that broken town. I am not you as much as me, although you had to wait for the team to get here when you were 12 years old. But, you know, I had a team taken away twice now. As I saw Chad Steele, getting himself on to television. He’s great at that, by the way, he’s so handsome. But the notion that the Oilers would do this and think it’s okay and aware it but the fans buying into it’s the weird thing. The Tennessee, I’ve looked through that stadium and I’m like, everybody in the stadium looks like Warren Moon or Earl Campbell. And they’re got oil or bunting everywhere. And I’m like dude rabl Before the game and I saw this in the postgame rainbow had a bump Phillips had on that when he took a picture with with balding or at like 1130 they’re out on the field. Both of your put that up and I’m like, oh Ray, but we I mean, I know their division. You want to not like them? I want to not like Pittsburgh, but I’m not going to like pistol on Art Rooney or make fun of Terry Bradshaw or, or Franco Harris. I mean, like I and I and John McClane would say this and I had Dan Passerini on and I’m friends with Dan, you know, Dan loves that they’re wearing it right? All the old Oilers love that it’s alive and the way that Bruce Laird and you know all the Baltimore people Tom Madi, those people, you’re pining away from it. But and by the way, the Indianapolis Colts were 1956 throwbacks. And all I can say was, if you want to wear the 56 throwbacks, great to play the game in Baltimore, you want to do that? I mean, it’s,

8

Luke Jones  35:15

I find these books, and you’ll hear people and I had someone say this to me on Twitter, they’ll explain it. They’ll say, Well, the Oilers were the Tennessee Oilers for a couple years. And they’re the team. They’ve they’ve held on to the name the colors they had the rights to wear. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should and that’s what either of those fall into that category. Same thing. Indianapolis, the Colts have been in Indy longer than they were in Baltimore at this point in time. I mean, that’s, that’s where we are like, we’re at that point. 40 years. 42 year, sorry, 40 years. They’ve been longer. I mean, you know, we pass that, you know, that’s where we’ve gone long past that at this point. So it’s odd to me. But anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there. Houston Texans they did they did to the Titans exactly what the Titans does, and

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:05

they’re gonna do whatever year by the way that they said the jerseys, they’re gonna wear it. Well, and

Luke Jones  36:09

I was just gonna say your point about the fans in the stance. It’s a great looking uniform, there’s no doubt about that. I mean, you know, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s like the it’s like the Ravens with the black jerseys, the black jerseys, you know, especially younger fans. They’re sexy that, you know, they like more they like those more than the purple. It’s a little more of a novelty. Yeah, I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:32

8

bringing one it doesn’t championships in that blue. You know, Tron outfit. They were Patriot Pat still, like, looks bad. But still, you know, like, I think about the Chargers have all been abandoned Stan Humphries and the sort of purple and gold stripes that they had the violet looking thing that they had for years. I went, you know, the classic colors, that’s part of the majesty of the game and the tradition of the game and all of that, but tacky man really, really tacky and shame on me. It makes me embarrassed to have been an oiler fan, even though this stuff is good looking. But I It feels dirty to me, You know what I mean? Like sort of the Angelos Orioles version of like, it just sort of feels like I want to move on. Or like the Washington commanders how that’s gonna get moved on from because it’s an error. You just, it looks nice. It’s all cool. Let her or Campbell have it. You don’t need to wear that against the Houston NFL franchise and it’s

Luke Jones  37:35

bad enough to do it anyway. But, and I don’t even want to give them credit because they’re Indianapolis. And you know, you mentioned Yeah, I was a baby when they move. But I heard it from my parents. I heard from my grandparents, you know that. That was that’s in my blood as far as a Baltimorean. Yeah, as it pertains to sports and professional football here. But I just to do that directly against the city, whose team you took, and to wear to flaunt that important case. But something I wanted to mention as we went off on our uniform tangent here, because I was going through all the AFC, the playoff field in the contenders. I still look at the team at the bottom of that which I’m not counting Pittsburgh at this point. They’re seven and seven, not counting Denver at this point. They’re seven and seven, but currently ninth place in the AFC buffalo. I think of all those teams, whether you’re talking if you’re the ravens, if you’re Miami if you’re Kansas City, any team that looks like I think right now, those are the three I mean, they’re the top three teams, in terms of seeding top three teams in terms of record. I mean, no one wants to play buffalo in January, because you see what that team is capable of now. They have to get there. And I will say this, as much as we were talking about buffaloes record being challenging a month ago, the fact that they went to Kansas City and won the fact that they beat up on the Cowboys at home. You look at their last couple games now at Los Angeles, the Chargers who just fired their coach and just completely quit in that Thursday night abomination. Home against New England against the patriots who as to your point, look like they’re moving on from Bill Belichick and they’re awful. And then hope are at Miami week 18 which, depending on how the next couple of weeks play out, that could be for the division title. I mean, that’s not impossible by any stretch of the imagination for Buffalo to win out and if they went out they will obviously be in the playoffs. So I mean that’s that’s the team right now to me. That’s and you mentioned the browns and and I’ll hear that to a degree because they do have a really good defense. They do have Joe Flacco and I’ll hear it on the Browns winning a game. Maybe two if they get a favorable draw and the bounces go

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:57

their way you’d much rather see Houston or Indianapolis Lester Jacksonville, you’d rather see any of those teams come in here than buffalo

Luke Jones  40:06

other than Kansas City just because they’re the chiefs. Buffalo is the team at least like to play in January because of what they’re looking like right now. I think for as much as they got some criticism making the change at offensive coordinator, look at what their offense has become. Since they made that change. The running backs are more involved. Cook had a massive game, what 179 yards rushing against a Cowboys team that kind of is what we thought they were they’re great at home and they stink on the road. I mean, that’s, that’s what the Cowboys are. So you know, if they’re not going to get home field, then it’s probably going to be an early exit for them. Because that’s just how the Cowboys, that’s kind of what they’ve been for 25 years now, even when they’ve been pretty good. But, you know, I just look at that buffalo team and you can’t ignore how up and down they’ve been. So the idea that, okay, they might need to win out here to make it. And then okay, are they going to win three or four games in a row in January and early February, if you’re a Bills fan, trying to talk yourself into this right now. That’s that’s a lot of consistency that they haven’t necessarily shown. But they’ve had the peaks, or they’ve had the valleys. They’ve had their times where they have looked bad, and they’ve had some really bad losses. You know, starting with the jets on opening night when Aaron Rodgers went down the three plays into the season. But when they’re playing their best football, boy, they are really, really impressive. So if I’m the ravens, if I’m the chiefs, if I’m Miami, I am hoping not to to be seeing buffalo as a wildcard and certainly if you’re Miami, you’re hoping that buffalo stubbed their toe as they’ve been apt to do at times this year. So they’re not playing an AFC East championship game week a team but boy there they are the team to me more than any other wildcard right now where look out because from a true talent level standpoint, I’ve said it for a couple of weeks now. I think the bills are a top five team in the NFL in terms of ability. Now they have to go out and do it and they have still have a long road for them just to get back to that point.

Nestor J. Aparicio  42:09

All right break at the rice Cerrone. It’s a San Francisco week here break out the eggnog and all the holiday cheer. Christmas night ravens taken on the 40 Niners as the best team in the AFC takes on the best team in the NFC. Luke is going to be out knowings Mills all week long, covering all things ravens and practice and Owings Mills. We’re going to be wise markets on Monday giving away the unwrap the cash stock price $5,000 from the Maryland lottery awesome oh Scott Oh snaps as well as some peppermint payouts are friends when donation 866 90 nation reminding you hey man, Windows by to get to free 0% financing for five years. It’s cold out, keeps it warm in save some money. It certainly saved me money last year and a half and I’m looking forward to some doors. I’m wearing my faintly shirt. We’re going to be fadeless on Wednesday morning after Christmas wrapping up our stink in the old Lexington market. We’re moving into the new Lexington market. We’re going to be doing some crazy crazy good stuff for radio row and Super Bowl week. So we’re excited about that as well. I also want to give a shout out to our friends at Jiffy Lube multi care my little orange light came on Jiffy Lube take great care of us oiling us up and so much more. You can always learn more Jiffy lube.com and Jiffy Lube multi care. Luke is in Owings Mills, I am here you hopefully you’re done your holiday shopping and ditch traffic together this week and get the family together. Love them all. Hope everybody has a great great holiday here this week. We’ll get back after it. We’ll talk some baseball gonna talk some stadium with the Maryland stadium authority stuff going on. Tom Kessler is gonna join us at wise markets for America crabcake tour as well as Derek Fraser we’re gonna get a little professional wrestling in talking about the local circuit as well. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stopped talking the first place. Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore positive Happy holidays.

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