The mighty Ravens travel west to see 49ers under bright Christmas lights as decided underdogs

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As we watch a bunch of football from the couch and spend time with family and friends this Christmas, we’re all looking forward to the “Super Bowl Preview.” Luke Jones and Nestor preview the Ravens’ tough role as 5 1/2-point underdogs in Santa Clara against San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are W and S T am 1570, Towson Baltimore. Happy holidays. Merry Christmas. Hope Santa brings you cookies as good as the cookies that I have right now. Look, Jones joins us now we’re gonna be taking the Maryland crab take tour out on the road next week. I have a handful of OH SNAP gingerbreads Sullivan handy gingerbread. I was in the wise they had gingerbread yesterday and I’m like, I want to get some my wife makes them last year. Unwrap the cache. We also have the peppermint payouts. We’ll have these on Wednesday at fade these right after Christmas. Get together post Christmas. crabcake. Crab and Mac, Mac and Cheese. Some I’m gonna have some mugs, some shrimp salad, I’m doing it all it’s fate these on Wednesday. Look up is you know, he’s gonna be bored because we’re gonna beat San Francisco. You know, nothing’s gonna matter in two weeks, and they’re gonna have three weeks off here before they play. Look, Joe joins us now. Christmas night dude. 40 Niners Game of the Century Game of the Year. Game of the day game of the weekend. Maybe Super Bowl preview. Boy, the schedule makers in his league date they know stuffed all day. It’s crazy how this works out in it. Well,

Luke Jones  01:06

it’s all rigged, right? It’s all scripted. It’s like WWE pro wrestling, ravens 40. Niners week 16 Super Bowl, we’re up to 158 I think is what we’re up to a preview. Yeah, why

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:19

not set in Roman numerals? You know, that’s

Luke Jones  01:21

what LV I, I think,

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:25

man, you went to a different school Pennsylvania, they taught you better up there. That’s all I can say.

Luke Jones  01:31

That done at some point in time, especially the way the NFL is, we’re gonna drop them trying

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:36

to figure out Pig Latin. You know, I can’t figure out in Roman numerals, you know, but Roman Reigns maybe. But I did have a wrestling conversation with Derek Frazier’s we could Roman Reigns, his name came up, and that is leukemia battle and charity. But I will charitably allow you to take the floor and tell me how the ravens are an underdog here. And I guess you and I are going to make a case in the next 20 minutes about how the Ravens can go out there and win and shock the world. I don’t know if it’ll shock anybody if they go out there and run somersaults around the 40 Niners the way they did. And you always bring up 19 In the comparisons because we’re at that point where it’s okay to compare him to 19 right now, because they’re on that same sort of trajectory, maybe not on the way getting their ass kicked in the first game. It still hope not. But, but they’re on that pathway. And this wasn’t the time of the year. It’s Christmas. I mean, it was way earlier than that, that I went out to LA and they just beat the salt out of the Rams. I don’t think that’s they’re capable of doing that to the 40 Niners or the 40 Niners are capable of rolling over. But it is going to be interesting to see what what both of these teams are capable of against each other. I think everybody in the NFL is looking forward to this game of Christmas night. Yeah.

Luke Jones  02:47

And keep in mind these teams played in Baltimore, what it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which was the week after that rams game out in Los Angeles. And at that point in time, I went back and looked at the quotes, you know, we always, were always prisoners of the moment to some degree, right. But you go back to that 2019 game. It was a low scoring game,

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:05

right? It was. I remember and I remember Jacoby Jones eating chicken. Turkey. That’s all I remember Turkey bowl. Okay,

Luke Jones  03:13

well, that wasn’t that game, but it wasn’t. Anything on 2019. I’m talking about 2019. I got wrong here then. Okay. Yeah. You’re thinking back to what ravens Steelers on Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving. This was Thanksgiving weekend. This wasn’t the 2011 game. I’m talking about 2019. It was Lamar.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:33

years. I mean, like I forgot, you know?

Luke Jones  03:37

No, it’s fine. I’m clear. I’m clearing it up for you. But But this is my point, right? I mean, we’re prisoners of the moment. You know, every game is the biggest game in team history or the season, whatever. But this is the biggest regular season game from a hype expectation standpoint, not counting division games, not talking about games with the Bengals for games with the Steelers. But more years ago, 40 Niners came into Baltimore, it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I think they had one loss at that point time they were the best team in the NFC. The Ravens at that point had emerged as the clear cut best team in the AFC because they had beaten the Patriots a few weeks before that, and had really gotten on that roll. And they played a really good football, you know, it’s a good football game. It was rainy, wasn’t a whole lot of offense. But I think at that point in time, and I even looked at the quote, Earl Thomas, you know, which feels like 15 years ago at this point in time he was asked in the locker room that week, if this was a Super Bowl preview, and his comment was not at all to make an assumption about the Ravens. He was assuming they’d be there but he said, You think the 40 Niners is going to be in the Super Bowl, which probably was a little bit of a hangover of the Seahawks 40 Niners rivalry that he was a part of for years. Point is Ravens won that game. From that point on they were the best team in the NFL for the remainder of the regular season. Boat race team teams look like the best team, everyone assumed they were gonna be playing in the Super Bowl. And then we saw what happened in the divisional round, and the 40 Niners were the team that still got to the Super Bowl, albeit losing to the chiefs. So, point is with me bringing all that up. As exciting as this game is, as much as we’re going to look at this game as a litmus test for both teams. This is much more falls into the category of for the Ravens anyway, opportunity rather than this great sense of urgency that they must win this game or that it’s this referendum on what they’re going to do in January because as Lamar Jackson pointed out, and I think he astutely pointed out for all the hype for all the excitement, it’s December, the Superbowl is played in early February. And whether the Ravens win whether the 40 Niners win, it’s not going to guarantee anything for the winner or the loser in terms of how this plays out. But I do think it is a great opportunity for the Ravens on the heels of winning the Jacksonville game, which was much more important in terms of conference standings, number one seed making sure you’re on track, knowing that they have a big game against Miami to follow this one. But this is a great chance for them to go up against the team that is absolutely perceived to be the very best in the NFL because of how they played the last month. And I don’t think that should be perceived as disrespect to the Ravens that the ravens are a four and a half or five and a half point underdog going out to Santa Clara going out to the west coast on Christmas night, playing a team that has been frankly more dominant than anyone in the NFL, since they got healthy since their three game losing streak. I don’t find that to be this big, slight. But if you are the ravens, you’re gonna motivate yourselves anyway you can they have a great chance to go out there, go out there and do it if we’re talking on the morning of December 26. About the Ravens having one? I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that. We’ve watched this football team all year long. They’re really, really good. But at the same time, if they lose, I don’t think that should be deemed a referendum that Oh, well. They’re not been able to win the Super Bowl, because well, we’ve also seen eventual Super Bowl opponents meet earlier in the season. Like I think back to the Patriots giants back in 2007. Patriots won in New York or in New Jersey late that season. And we saw what happened in the Super Bowl. So we’re gonna try to make too much of this one way or the other. I’m just looking forward to what I think is gonna be a heck of a football game. I think the matchups in this game are just so enticing on both sides of the ball, in terms of how they match up. And both these teams can do things that, frankly, other teams can’t do. So I think it’s just going to be fascinating to see how that plays out. But that said, still a long way to go. And there’s still work to be done for both of these teams as it pertains to securing the number one seed in their respective conferences. So you know, I think from that point, lace it up, kick it off on Christmas night as everyone’s full from Christmas dinner and tired from being up early opening presents and all that and should be a heck of a football game Nesta. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:06

sleep in I let Santa deliver things like that my coffee, my eggnog I’ll be okay, we got plenty of football this weekend too. And lots of other games. Division games Flacco is playing early on on Sunday. I mean, like we have things to watch and other matchups, but in regard to this game, and it would be a better game of Mark Andrews, it would be a better game, Keith Mitchell and JK Dobbins would be a better game with a healthy Ronnie Stanley and I’ll continue to point that out. And the morning after they get eliminated if they get eliminated, or if there’s a parade but the morning after they get eliminated. I would look at the offense and say something was missing in the offense right against good teams. And take a mark Andrews out of this now taking Keith Mitchell out of this. They don’t really have a running situation right now. Right? They don’t even like Justice Hill, they don’t really want to run him if they did. They had been running the whole time. He had the job beginning of the year. Right. It was his dad if you wanted it, if he was that guy. Gus has been, you know, a question mark. And it won’t be if they’re ahead and they give him the ball and they can pound the ball if they can play the game that way. And I mean, the statistics are so great running, attack all of that stuff. I don’t know that they can run the ball when they want to. And you and I got little back and forth earlier in the week and saying when it’s fourth and one they’re punting, let alone just running the ball and ramming it through because they don’t really have that right now, and I don’t know how you establish that in week 15. Unless Melvin Gordon comes out of the, you know, School of the U and finds his college legs again and some and look, Brian McKinney did that for six weeks. Joe Flacco might do that for six weeks, and it’d be really good for a little while. Because that is part of Kyle van Noy and clowny and Zeidler and Moses, all of those guys played 15 weeks, and now all of a sudden, you’re getting the 15 week version of 30 year old guys. I want to see something fresh and maybe it’s Isaiah likely maybe likely just becomes a dude in the way that you know you can’t count on. I mean, the white mark edgers became a dupe when they really expected hunter or Hayden, Hayden her sorry, Hunter, that’s wrestling it’s I’m triple aging here, sorry. Oh, hey, nurse. You know, there’s a possibility that I believe in the wide receivers. You know, I’m abatement guy him as a flowers guy in space. I mean, Beckham if he’s healthy, that they have weapons in the passing game to make big plays, to affect things in a close game, they have a kicker. They have all of that they might have really crappy weather here, which could affect their kicking game in January. But for me, these are the next three games, the next two games because they might not even play against Pittsburgh. If they established this. The next meaningful game will be a playoff game, but seeing them operate this offense and the running game to figure out what they’re going to be next month. Because what they’re going to be next month is not what they were two months ago, because they don’t have the same weapons and have the same players. And I think the way Lamar has grown into this and you and I had a Lamar love Athan earlier this week about him patting the ball in the pocket looking, Roethlisberger, Roethlisberger and, and trying to wait for a wide receiver to buy himself time instead of taking off. That will serve him well, I think, you know, for finding a big play that miracle play we’re going to look for when they’re down four points in the third quarter and they need to make a big play. And zay flowers can run away from somebody. That’s going to happen because of the way Lamar is playing the quarterback position right now. But against a team like San Francisco. They’re gonna get tested about skill position players, and I have a feeling Melvin Gordon and Justice Hill are not going to be the stars of the game on Sunday night. You know what I mean? Like I have a feeling like this is going to be about passing and about Lamar, razzle dazzle. This is not going to be about Melvin Gordon get Nate yards on first down, which is different than 2019.

Luke Jones  12:12

Yeah, I think everything you just laid out, look, they’re off they have a really good offense. But and I’d say the same thing. They lead the league in rushing yards per game Nestor. I mean, they’re clearly doing things. Well, they’re doing things right. But everything you just laid out, I don’t disagree with in the sense that what truly is their identity as an offense. And that’s where you kind of scratch your head because you do look at it week to week. I mean, like let’s just look at the recent recent games, Jacksonville on Sunday night. Prior to the Jacksonville game we were seeing ze flowers have these big moments we were seeing Odell Beckham have some big games. Their wide receivers were nonfactor except for Bateman on a couple, you know a couple of plaster situations where Lamar is buying time and he was able to get open against plaster coverage. That wasn’t very good on a couple of occasions. Isaiah likely, as you mentioned, to me, that’s the that’s kind of been the found money, so to speak, in the sense of losing Mark Andrews, we’ve seen Isaiah likely, in fairness to him, he did this last year, he’s really stepped up to become a very consistent part of what they’re doing. And ultimately, you know, he’s we know Lamar Jackson, not just mark Andrews, he loves throwing the tight ends. And we’ve seen that for years now. And that’s kind of if things are breaking down elsewhere. That’s kind of one of the areas where he’ll revert you know, the Revert. I don’t want to say it’s regression for Lamar, but his bread and butter, what he feels most comfortable doing is throwing the tight ends and using his legs and the biggest moments and it feels like that’s still going to be such a big part of what they do. And especially now with no Keaton Mitchell, it feels like and I agree with you as much as Yeah, Justice Hill, we’ll take we’ll have some more carries. And we’ll see what Melvin Gordon can do and, and maybe Gus Edwards gets a couple more carries. And he was getting in recently to keep Mitchell. But it still feels like a lot of that’s going to just fall back on Lamar. And look.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:12

There are carries this week being there.

Luke Jones  14:15

Sure, but at the same time, even if Keaton Mitchell was healthy, even if Mark Andrews were healthy, there’s still something to be said of once you get into late December. And certainly when you get into January. Number eight, running the ball is still one of the very best things you can do on any given play, whether it’s a scramble, or whether it’s a design run, so that was probably always going to be a part a bigger part of what they do down the stretch. their game plan was just putting them on the phone booth that it is I mean, that’s what they did in Jacksonville on Sunday night. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:47

then when that doesn’t happen and they get their ass kicked on fourth and one like they did 19 That you’re we’re gonna all say, well, we wish we had Mark Andrews, we wish we had a running game you wish we’d have said well, we got the best running. Well, we didn’t have a run running game when we needed it and they need it now and certainly they’re gonna need it on Sunday night and I don’t think they have it. I don’t think they’re gonna be there five and a half point dog right like there was four and a half the public is going against them which is kind of crazy. Which is really disrespectful which is plays into hardball, Lamar, the franchise all of that is they’re not getting a lot of respect me to five and a half to an underdog. But I think when we look at it well, when I look at it, I’m like, where is their consistent running game? Can they go out? Can they control the clock? I think they’re, I say they can get lucky and make big plays or earn a big plane, whatever that would be luck, whatever ball goes up in the air. It takes some luck when you’re throwing the football around to make it work. But for me the defense and we’ll talk about the other side. Brock Purdy kind of smallest quarterback getting the ball out quick. If their defense can make something happen if there can be a strip, strip sack, take the ball away fumble interceptions to me. That’s how they upset the applecart with the five and a half points on Sunday like they win this game with defense with 10 points on defense.

Luke Jones  16:07

I mean, I don’t know if they necessarily need a defensive touchdown. But yeah, I think strip sack a turnover that puts the offense on the short field Look,

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:17


when I say 10 points off turnovers. I mean, like, right, I got taking the ball away twice and scoring twice because of it. That’s what I meant.

Luke Jones  16:23

I want to be very clear about this, though. I mean, this is a good 40 Niners defense. I’ll say this. I don’t think this 40 Niners defense is as good as the Ravens defense, which I think is the best in the league. And I’ll I’ll continue to hear people say Cleveland, Cleveland, Cleveland. Cleveland has a good defense. I don’t think it’s special. I don’t think I think Myles Garrett is special. I think he’s a Hall of Famer. Do I think that they have the same players at every level of the defense at the Ravens do no I don’t so

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:49

and the Ravens have the depth and health right now. You will feel different about the Ravens Mata BK wasn’t out there. Or Smith wasn’t out there. A queen wasn’t out there. We felt differently. When Marlon Humphrey is that after looked different, but like, but they’re healthy on defense, right. That’s why they’re great. The offense could be great, but they don’t have three players.

Luke Jones  17:06

I still think this offense. I still think it’s really good, though. I mean, we can’t I know we don’t want to I know you’re not a big statistics guy. But we can’t just completely ignore the statistics. It’s a really good offense. The problem is, and it’s also this is a blessing and a curse for them right now, because I think it helps them in games. I think it hurts them from a perception standpoint, which they would tell you they don’t care what you or me or or Joe down the street thinks about this team’s offense. But they do win in different ways. And something that looks like it’s going to be a major strength other than Lamar in a phone booth becoming Superman to your point. And look, that’s still I’ll still take that compared to what most teams are gonna do offensively on a week by week basis. I absolutely will. And I’ll think I’ll feel great about it, as long as he’s healthy, which, hey, and this year of quarterbacks getting hurt left and right. I mean, sometimes it’s just, hey, you’re winning the war of attrition. And in that way,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:00

this is gonna lead to Two Minute Warning 14 weeks in a row. Who am I gonna argue with right? Inside

Luke Jones  18:05

two minutes, right? Yeah, I mean, I lead inside two minutes in every game of the year. I mean, it’s it’s crazy in that way, but they win in different ways. Now, defensively, they’ve shown up all season other than what you could say, what the last couple drives in the Pittsburgh game. You know, Indianapolis, they gave up too much on the ground, but it’s not as though they got gassed by the Colts back in week three, that the times that this defense was not very good to flat out bad. Second half of the Cleveland game in Baltimore were Deshaun Watson kind of look like an old school, Steve McNair and the Rams game for the most part, right? I mean, other than that, the defense has shown up every single week. The offense, it’s just been a little more fleeting, or a little, you know, much more of inconsistent in terms of some weeks it has been the running game. Other weeks, it’s been the passing game. I think back to week two and Lamar operated the quick game so effectively against the Bengals with a banged up offensive line, not protecting him. So they’ve done different things. But again, this goes back to the identity question, what has shown up for them week in and week out on the offensive side of the football? Well, other than Lamar doing the things that Lamar does, which are really, really special, it has been a little more fleeting, I mean, Keith Mitchell started the year on IR, you know, as we’re talking about him as this big loss and look from a home run potential and upside potential. Yeah, that that is a big loss. But he wasn’t even playing until midway through the season. So it really just speaks to how this offense has been such a moving target. But that said, they still have lots of elements that you like, they still have put up points more often than not. So how are they going to do it against the 40 Niners the big questions gonna be okay, where is Ronnie Stanley physically now he was on the field early in the practice week despite finishing Sunday night this past Sunday night’s game and concussion protocol. So that was a good sign. I have questions about Morgan Moses, you know, he he’s been missing from the practice field and he only played about half the snaps on Sunday night. So where are they at both tackle spots? And that’s not a good question to have when you’re talking about a 40 Niners front that could have guys like Hargrave and Armstead back who had been banged up, and they already have great edge players when you’re talking about Bosa and chase Young who they added at the trade deadline. I mean, it’s a formidable front. It’s a formidable front seven. I mean, it’s a really good defense, like I said, not at the Ravens level of great, but it’s really good. So yeah, I mean, the ravens are gonna have to protect Lamar is probably going to have to make some extraordinary plays like he did against Jacksonville in terms of creating time and escaping and looking downfield, and yes, taking off and scrambling and doing those things as well. But you’re hoping zay flowers who still on with a little bit of foot soreness this week, you’re hoping he’s good to go Monday night? I haven’t heard anything that suggests he won’t be John Harbaugh said he’s not concerned. Beckham’s miss them some practice time this week. That’s that’s kind of an irregular thing for him. So you hope it’s a case of he’s ready to go Monday night. But yeah, they’re gonna have to, they’re gonna have to figure this out. Because again, keep Mitchell was another one of those upside elements, that homerun potential that you’re just not getting from the other guys. And that’s not to say they won’t be able to run the football, down the stretch and in the playoffs. But it does become a taller order against this defense and knowing what kind of offensive prowess which we’ll get to here in a moment that the 40 Niners have that you might get in a situation where those times against Jacksonville, or in recent weeks where they’ve settled for some field goals, and they’ve said, Okay, Justin Tucker three is okay. That might not be good enough against the 40, Niners they might score touchdowns, and you might get in this, not that I think it’ll necessarily be a shootout. But you certainly need to maximize your possessions, right? You can’t have these. It’s great to say you’re gonna have a six or seven minute drive and to keep the 40 Niners offense off the field, but you better finish that with seven because that’s where you fall into kind of being behind on the scoreboard and then you get behind and you’re you know, you’re chasing points, the

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:13

rest of Jacksonville came down four times, they got nothing they got Baptiste in the first half lake shore, really for really quality drives. And it could be 28th. And nothing. You’re gonna mean like literally they could have scored four times they didn’t, they got stopped to cue longfield goals, nothing, fall off the leg nothing to you know, throw in the past with no timeouts. Nothing. So, and they dominated the first half of the game. They had nothing. The Ravens can’t do that on Sunday night.

Luke Jones  22:38

Yeah, I mean, Jacksonville, I wouldn’t say they dominated but they certainly they played really well. They that game should have been 10. Nine, at the very least, you would say I mean, that would kind of be the within the realistic realms where they’d still be disappointed. 10 Nine and it was 10 Nothing. And hey, credit, the Ravens they made some plays and Jacksonville, they are where they are at this point, they’ve fallen out of that serious contender conversation, they might not even make the playoffs way things are going for them now. But with the 40, Niners it’s just you have to be efficient, you have to be excellent on third down. And really the key to being excellent on third down is avoiding third down altogether. That means you need to be really good on first down. And I think if there’s something about this offense, beyond just talking about what we were talking about a few minutes ago, where you’re talking about, okay, what exactly is their identity, they need to be better on first now they need to put themselves in second and short. That’s if you can put yourself in second in short, that’s when you can get Gus Edwards involved in the running game. That’s when you can get Justice Hill and Melvin Gordon invalid because then you’re in a position where they don’t need six yards. You know, Gus Edwards, if you need two yards, I feel really good about Gus Edwards. But if it’s a case where it’s second and seventh, no, that’s not really Gus Edwards played and so you know, that’s not the case for most running backs other than maybe Keith Mitchell or Lamar, if we’re gonna put them in that category, putting the ball in his hands and saying go run. So, you know, they’re gonna have to adapt. Certainly some of the health questions that they have not not even talking about Andrews and Mitchell who are certainly, you know, even if Andrews comes back in January, he’s not playing on Monday night, but they’ve got some guys that are banged up at wide receiver offensive line we’ve talked about at length, you know that that’s a question and that’s something that you know, not just forget about just talking about this game on Monday night, but for the rest of the season. Those are the kinds of questions that you have that not that they can’t have success in the playoffs but if you’re talking about going all the way that’s that’s where you look at that and say who is are those tackles is going to hold up? You know, this, this rotation idea sounds great during the bye week and you apply it and it works out against the Rams, you know, it works out against the Jaguars. But is that going to work out against San Francisco is that can work out against Miami or Cleveland in the postseason or Kansas City who has a good front or Buffalo if they make it so you know it. These are questions and And like I said, I don’t think we should make Monday night a referendum, but it’s going to be a heck of a test to kind of see where they are on that front. Because if you go out there and you beat the 40 Niners, then, hey, you’re ready for January, right? You beat Miami, then on New Year’s Eve, and you can rest some guys on in the finale, then at that point, and you’re ready to go. And then it’s just a matter of, hey, don’t do what you did in 2019 go out and win. It’s still football at the end of the day, don’t make the playoffs out to be so different from the regular season. It’s different, but it’s not that different. So this is a great opportunity. It’s why I keep using the word opportunity. This team doesn’t need to win Monday night. I don’t think anything could happen Monday night, other than another major injury, two names that we won’t even mention, because I don’t want anyone to think we’re putting the jinx on anyone. But nothing could happen in Monday night’s game, other than that would drastically change, you know, their, their trajectory. They still need to beat the dolphins either way in week 17. And then we’ll see if they must beat the Steelers. Or if they have things wrapped up and you know, then they can rest guys great. But you know, this game, like I said, I just keep using the word opportunity. I think it’s such an opportunity for them to really see where they are because this is a heck of a football team that they’re playing on Monday night. And like I said, Yeah, I think the 40 Niners have been playing the best football. And look, I think the Ravens have been playing the second best football over that stretch of time. And I don’t think the gap is that big. Let’s be clear. I’m not saying the ravens are an underdog they should be an underdog going out and playing on the road on Christmas night. But you know, they’re not. They’re not a 10 point underdog. You know, I don’t think anyone thinks the Ravens can’t win. I don’t see NFL. So go out there. Get as healthy as you can between now and Monday night and see what happens. And hopefully, I’ll say this much and we haven’t mentioned too much. But Todd Monken needs to have a great game on Monday night. I really think that especially given where they are with the tackles. Given the fact that a little banged up at wide receiver, you don’t have Keith Mitchell so you have a more limited skill set and upside out of your running backs. Todd Monken needs to call his best game of the year. If he does. I think the Ravens have a heck of a chance to win this game on Monday night. If he doesn’t, and they’re banged up. And they’re kind of looks choppy in their passing game kind of looks like it did in their last two Primetime games in LA against the chargers and against Jacksonville last Sunday, and well, they probably will lose but that said I think this team is too good on both sides of the ball to be in a position where they’re blown out or anything like that. I think it’s gonna be a really close really competitive football game. No matter how it plays out. Luke

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:48

Jones is here you can find him at Baltimore Luke, you can find me at fade Lee’s on Wednesday, you can find Santa’s coming down your chimney on Monday. Please take care of all of our sponsors. All of them have crabcakes to go last minute if the dog eats the ham or the turkey I get you some crab cakes from one of our places. And we’re going to be doing the biggest promotion we’ve ever done. Radio row week in February. I’m putting that together through the holiday so I’m excited about talking about that last thing for you and keep this relatively short because you you’re the one brought monkeying up, man I don’t think much about Kyle Shanahan right like he almost became the Ravens offensive coordinator at one point he was interviewed for hardball with that job. He was out in Cleveland took the Cleveland job with Johnny Manziel was out there and poor pet and got thrown out and he was Benton’s offensive coordinator and apparently they didn’t get along but a lot of it had to do with the front office. He went out to San Francisco Super Bowl lost the championship game lost the championship game last quarterbacks won with Jimmy Garoppolo nobody wanted him now he’s winning with a Mr are relevant, like a legitimate last last, a guy that David Modell used to pick when they had the last pick of the last pick. Right. And they’re winning with him. I mean, she needs a little bit of genius. You know, I I didn’t know much about him going to college in Texas and catching balls from major Applewhite and playing with Quinton jammer. You know, like all the the background of him he has sort of appeared in the arts as Mike Shanahan’s kid. And then he wound up in Washington, you know, working for gang back down there with his father was working there. But he was always sort of like thought to be a genius in some way. He got the job. He’s there. He’s got a four year extension. They’re really good. They’re the best team in football. We’re the seventh round trip because a quarterback like it Mike Tomlin could pull that off. I mean, Belichick pulled it off for 20, Belgium’s go into the effing Hall of Fame with a sixth round quarterback right? I find this a fascinating one thing to say. We’re gonna take the young, African American quarterback and nobody else wants to play this style of game that nobody else wants that nobody understands. Like all of that. It’s a different thing to take a seventh that people say well, he wants to Heisman some pretty good, you know, but to take a seventh round quarterback and be playing this way. And to have our defense and every defense say, we’re gonna get beat by that guy. It’s one thing to get beat by Matt Stafford or Trevor Lawrence. This is a guy nobody thought about nobody wanted and thought the franchise was left for dead like 14 months ago when you haven’t like our franchise has been left for dead twice with Tyler Huntley. Nice fellow and all that almost beat Cincinnati as we pointed out last year, but I thought pretty was that guy I thought, all right. It’ll be cute for a week or three or a month or two months. I just think we’d be in season two of number one seed of Brock birdie, and I don’t think anybody in football believe that.

Luke Jones  30:39

And let’s be clear. He’s playing great football too. I mean, this isn’t like they have this historic defense and historic running game and he’s handing the ball off right. I mean, this isn’t he’s not Trent Dilfer in this offense he makes plays now. Does it help that he has Christian McCaffrey? Of course does it help that he has Brandon aiyuk and debo Samuel and George Kittel? To throw to of course, there’s no doubt about that. He has a great offensive line. But Brock Purdy still 29 touchdowns, got seven interceptions. He’s playing football at a very high level. He’s the MVP favorite right now. Does anyone actually think he’s the best quarterback in football? No, but he’s still having a phenomenal season. And he still deserves credit for that. But just the operation in its entirety is just so tough. And I think what’s going to be so what’s so challenging, but if you’re a Ravens fan, where you do take some optimism is you look at how they like to play, you look at their personnel. They like the ravens, although not as much because Patrick records really become much more of a inline tight end. In this offense. He’s not really a fullback anymore. He lines up as a fullback still and then you still think of it that way but they use Kyle use check and former Raven longtime fullback now Pro Bowl fullback for the 40, Niners. He’s on the field towards kiddos on the field. So they like to use big personnel. But the problem with that is how teams match up with that big personnel is to what play base defense problem is base defense. You don’t have enough athletes on the field to hang with all of their receivers their tight ends. So it creates this matchup problem. That’s why I’m going to come back to a guy that I’ve talked about a heck of a lot the last couple of weeks and we talked about him a lot last week because he was banged up even he even though he ended up playing every single snap. Kyle Hamilton is the kind of guy that can be the X Factor in not stopping the 40 Niners offense because I don’t think you can stop them but slowing them down to Hamilton has that player why because I’ve talked about it defenses because of how heavy the 40 Niners personnel is. They tend to play more bass defense and have more linebackers on the field. Well, that doesn’t work out then when Brock Purdy uses play action and they use motion and they start throwing the ball. So Kyle Hamilton is that guy that we’ve said you play him at Nickel, but he can basically gives you another linebacker there. So you’re you have a nickel look in terms of having five defensive backs on the field. But he gives you that physicality that size that he can play like a linebacker. So he’s going to be huge for them whether it’s certainly talking about Kiddle whether it’s talking about McCaffrey out of the backfield, you know in coverage, whether it’s talking about someone like debo Samuel, I think you’re gonna see him doing a little bit of everything. Well, on Monday night, that’s why I it was good to see that Marcus Williams was on the practice field early in the week, you know, hoping that he can play you know, despite having the groin issue last week, because they need Hamilton to be as versatile as multiple as he possibly can in terms of moving around because Kyle Shanahan is that great. Going back to your original question, he is that great at attacking every level of the defense. And that’s why it’s so wild. Even though you know, all these names, you know, the 40, Niners skill players are such household names, yet, week by week by week, you see those guys wide open, not just open, wide open against opposing defenses because they scheme so well. So that’s where you look at someone like Kyle Hamilton, who is rapidly being recognized as a one on one kind of guy. Because of the size and the physicality, the athleticism and coverage, all the different things he does, he is going to be the biggest X Factor and trying to contain and slow down that 40 Niners offense. And, you know, if he’s that guy, that’s that X factor. That’s where I still like the Ravens chances to be able to slow them down a little bit more than other defenses can. So again, I’ll go back to and I’ll leave you with what we said at the beginning of this conversation. This is such a great matchup, this would be such a great Super Bowl if these two teams take care of business and they both have a long road to do that. But I just think they match up so well. I think there’s so many good stories on both sides of the ball and so many great players and Hey, let the best team win on Monday night but as I said, a game played on Christmas night is not determining the Super Bowl as Lamar Jackson said that games played in February but would not shock me if it ends up being a preview because you’re talking about two great football teams going at it on Christmas night.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:16

I’m like Pedro Morales I’m ready for any kind of action. Luke Jones it’s holiday weekend Sanders coming down the chimney we got eggnog we got good cheer family and whether you like it or not, cousin Eddie on the TV and in Ralphie all that stuff going on. Have a beautiful holiday out there. Everyone watch a lot of football. A Luke and I are going to come back on Tuesday. Wrap it up. If you’re listening. You’re gonna hear a lot of crabcake tour. Greatest Hits but also that a lot of work here this week. We had an incredible conversation with Tom Kelso. Luke and I have not even talked about the Orioles Camden Yards think of Tom Kelso when I beat it up for two hours lots of stuff out at Baltimore positive for you to enjoy we’ll be at fade these on Wednesday morning with Maryland lottery scratch offs as well as or window nation hat fun hat that I got to wear the other day 866 90 nation and Jiffy Lube multi care I got to get my oil change before Christmas. I gotta get out and do that. Look, take care of your family. Enjoy your nice and put good pictures up drink some eggnog Alright. Sounds good. Merry Christmas. All right. Merry Christmas Ravens have 40 Niners on Christmas night from Santa Clara whether it be in the upper 50s It will be a little chill in the air in the Bay Area. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive and Merry Christmas.

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