There is nothing Lamar Jackson hasn’t done – except this

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Every goal the Baltimore Ravens set out to achieve has been accomplished. Now, on a brutally cold day in their home stadium, they get a chance to earn a home AFC Championship Game. Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report tells Nestor why the Ravens remain team to beat in the NFL playoffs and the expectations of a Super Bowl LVIII appearance.


ravens, team, year, playoffs, quarterback, week, game, baltimore, buffalo, nfl, football, lamar, win, play, day, mark andrews, coach, bill belichick, super bowl, dallas


Gary Davenport, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn S T am 1570 Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive celebrating Festivus. For the rest of us, Luke is out and Owings Mills getting ready for football here this week. We’ve done just a ton of football conversation over the last 10 days. It almost feels old school. I will not be attending the Superbowl this year you can ask Chad Steele the Baltimore Ravens why the National Football League would rescind credentials after 28 years but that’s what we are going to do. We’re doing something called crabcake row it’s all going to be brought to you by the Maryland lottery and our friends when donation 866 90 nation in conjunction with Jiffy Lube multicam for doing five straight days a marathon radio beginning on February the fifth we’re gonna start the party at fatal is that Alexa in the market we’re calling it a cup of soup or bowl we’re gonna be offering some free soup to everybody to come out to make a donation for the Maryland food bank so we’re gonna be doing a lot of cool stuff that will be Super Bowl week I’m not sure if the ravens are gonna be in Las Vegas or not if they are Luke Jones will be there. And either way this guy will be monitoring all things National Football League he is a senior analyst of all things football I love we’re all analyst I guess if things but I love having him on he loves the NFL we only get them on once or twice a year sometimes right around draft time. And, you know, I I sort of I don’t wanna say I didn’t talk a lot of football, but I didn’t go out of town so much during the football season because we’re doing the crabcake tour and doing a whole bunch of other things around here but I love having some good football minds together. I sort of pieced all this together into January to bring Raven alums and guys like Gary Davenport on from Bleacher Report to give us a little view from the outside of all of this rust versus rest and all of this unrest in so many places where you have coaches going back and forth. And a bunch of these tees about the back the old U haul truck up in Owings Mills and take all the John Harbaugh’s coaches out of your have his brother doesn’t do it first. Carrie What’s going on man happy divisional week to you. I know we all all of us sat on her ass a whole lot this weekend. Watch the 10 hours of football every day. And a lot of cold football. A lot of bad football. I hope the games are better this week, right?

Gary Davenport  02:06

Yeah. Well, I mean, they can’t be better for my personal favorite team because the Cleveland made a rather rapid exit from the postseason. It was a fun ride. I mean, made the playoffs was five different starting quarterbacks, but when bad Joe Flacco shows up, you’ve got problems.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:24

Yeah, I thought, you know, the Flacco thing just examined a little more, I thought the defense was awful. I thought the running game was non existent, then Joe had the throw. And that’s when you’re going to hell right. So I mean, running the ball was part of it playing defense was part of it. And, you know, Joe throwing picks, he was doing that for weeks before because he’s not afraid to sling in it. Because he’s already gotten paid. And he’s already gotten to pelt. So you know, the only way to get there I know he would say overnight stay with me is you got to throw the ball, you got to take chances you got you know, like, you got to let it rip. And it didn’t end well. But all things being said for the division itself and for the Bengals to be the left out team and for the Steelers to at least put up a little bit of a fight in Buffalo without TJ watt and without a quarterback and all of that the division still is all the more reason the Ravens need to take advantages and finish the deal three, four weeks from now, because it ain’t always going to be this easy.

Gary Davenport  03:17

No, it’s not first time since 1935, that all four teams in the division finished above 500. So yeah, for Baltimore to have the kind of success they had in a division as hard as the AFC north. And you know, to get that number one seed, which means that much more now than it did before. Because, you know, you’re the only team that gets that extra week off your league. You’re going to have home field throughout the playoffs. Yeah, it’s an opportunity that you’ve got to avail yourself of. And if it makes feeling better, I think the ravens are clearly the best team in the AFC. And buffalo is probably just about the NBA team. I could see knocking them off. I don’t think Kansas City has the offense to beat Baltimore in

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:59

Baltimore. Well, it’s itching for Kansas City because you’re now asking them to do exactly what I always thought it would be hard for Lamar to do. And anytime we talked about Lamar winning a championship I’m like, All right, maybe one year they’re the best team in their division, but that only get them one home game. And at some point they’re going to have to go to Buffalo to Kansas City to Cincinnati, maybe the Jacksonville. Now who knows Houston, we thought the Chargers were going to be good, right? We thought they have a quarterback right? When the season began. We thought the jets had had a Hall of Famer, instead they have a D bag. You know what I mean? Like I don’t like for me with all of this. It’s the quarterbacks in the way and it’s the pathway. And look, Lamar was out of the tournament last year, which clearly helped everybody else right. I mean, mahomes doesn’t want to see Lamar either. And Reid doesn’t want to see Lamar either. Certainly they won’t next week, if even if they win, they’ll come but they don’t want to come. All that being said this thing has been made so much easier mean they sat on the couch and watch everybody else get beat up last weekend. This week. They wind up rookie quarterback ACC rookie head coach, right? So there’s an opportunity here and a pathway to only play one of the homes are Allen and to do it at home. That’s when you got to make this work to your point you got to cash in. Oh,

Gary Davenport  05:11

yeah, absolutely. The wild card round win as well as the Ravens could have possibly hoped. They wanted to play the Texans in the divisional round. That didn’t want to play Pittsburgh, or Cleveland for a third time this season. Because when you play a team three times in a season, that’s when games get weird. That’s when you know upsets happen, because these teams, they’ve seen one another so much that they know one another’s tendencies. They know what they like to do. It’s that much harder to surprise them. So yes, taking on Euston was infinitely more preferable than having to you know, Cleveland went into Baltimore and beat the Ravens with I think PJ Walker at quarterback. You know, the Steelers are going to give it an even undepleted Steelers team with Mason Rudolph, it’s not going to be easy against Pittsburgh. It never is. So yeah, to be able to I mean, CJ shroud has been phenomenal. And look fan tastic against Cleveland this past week. But like you said, rookie, quarterback, rookie head coach, hostile environment, possible possible elements B and you know, a little less than ideal. I think the Ravens will roll this

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:21

weekend. Well, and I think everybody really believes that. And I don’t know that everybody really believed that Dallas was going to survive at home or whatever. But people certainly feel like buffalo even you mentioned like buffalo is the team to worry about at this point. And I think you get more worried about teams that are healthy buffalo is backside of their defense been beaten up a little bit as well. Getting beaten up this time of the year, whether it’s you go out there and play without TJ watt or you go out there and play without Bradley Chubb, right. So if that’s a benefit for the Ravens at this point, it feels like they might have get Mark Andrews back, like they’re gonna have the full complement of health in a way that they really haven’t enjoyed in seasons, quite frankly.

Gary Davenport  07:03

Right. As Mark Andrew has been hurt. And that’s why the wild thing about this ravens team though is that Mark Andrews gets hurt, and a team doesn’t miss a beat. And that speaks to how much different this team is the add the weaponry that this team has in the passing game now with Ze flowers, you know, having such a great rookie season and obj contributing here and there. And Isaiah likely once again stepping in. And I mean, he’s not Mike Rangers, but he was pretty good backup tight end. Zach, the Ravens could be without marketers for an extended period of time that team hasn’t missed a beat. So if they get Mark Andrews back great. But if they don’t, I don’t know that it really changes the math for me at all with well, What’s impressed

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:48

you the most about Lamar? I mean, I guess we could go through this because you come on the show. You’ve been coming on the show since Flacco was here and you know, a long time. So we talked a couple of times a year. Yeah, we’ve been up and down on Lamar and running the football and injuries and putting himself at risk and whether he could be this or whether he might be that or whether they could make him I don’t know if there’s anything they can make him into that he can’t do at this point. Like he’s done everything. Does he always do it? Well, was it always that? No, it’s not that way for anybody, right? Um, so Dak Prescott Salem balls the other night did knock them out of the tournament. So it’s not it’s not any one thing. But I think it’s the variety of things now, that that pocket thing that we’ve really seen him do and do well, in the last eight to 10 weeks because extending the play, I’ve called it the Ben Roethlisberger. You know, when you could pat the ball move out of the pocket, nobody can catch you. Yes, you could take off and run. And now that we learned Josh Allen, you can fake slide and then run 50 more yards, and then they hit you in the fourth quarter after you made the fake slide and you’re gonna get a flag. I mean, I don’t know how it gets adjudicated. But Lamar should be taken advantage of that as well. But Lamar Lamar can do everything. And I think that that’s the scary part. For the doubters. naysayers, I don’t know doubt or naysayer, I was more Missouri I was more like till I see him do it. He’d done it. Now he’s done it.

Gary Davenport  09:13

Oh, absolutely. His growth as a pastor this season has been impressive to watch as a pocket passer as a guy who, like you said, when he does scramble and he’s extending the play rather than just, you know, put the ball down and taken off run and he’s still looking down the field trying to make that big pass play. And when you’ve got a guy who’s as hard to catch as Lamar can be when he’s scrambling, you know that scrambled girl starts that’s how you get the flowers open 35 four yards down the field and you start getting these chunk plays that can just you know kind of break a defenses spirit

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:45

and your quarterback doesn’t have to run across the middle of the field and maybe get hit right there. Ravens

Gary Davenport  09:50

are just the balance the talent, it’s just you look at that team and yeah, you where’s the weak spot? You know where what is there for Houston? We’re in Buffalo what is that spot to exploit that that weakness that chicken the armor? I just don’t see one with Baldwin right now thereby the number one team in the NFL I have them better than San Francisco. I’ll be it narrowly another Baltimore San Francisco Super Bowl would be something.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:16

Gary Davenport is here he is a Bleacher Report you can find him out there as he is an NFL analyst covering the league and all the things that league so you know, for the buffalo Kansas City game if we really think the ravens are gonna win by two touchdowns and their nine point favorites at this point, probably going the other direction toward 10. If you believe that by eight o’clock they’re in and we’re all having a purple party downtown and it’s 20 degrees and waiting on Sunday night. This buffalo Kansas City. This is a real heavyweight fight right? Like of all the games and I guess when the Ravens get together with a winner or whatever, that would be considered a heavyweight fight. But this is moms now and again in Buffalo. This is a must see Sunday night football game.

Gary Davenport  10:59

Oh, absolutely. Ken mahomes with a road playoff game. I mean, this is on we’ve never really seen Patrick mahomes hasn’t had to go on the road and win in the playoffs. All the game has been an arrowhead. I think arrowheads hosted what the last five AFC Championship

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:13

games 15 Oh, now he’s one of these at home. Right? So right, right.

Gary Davenport  11:17

And now he’s gotta go. I mean, I don’t think the environment in Buffalo is gonna be quite as wild as what we saw on Monday, you know, with no flying everywhere. And I mean, I believe the fans will be off the hook for the game. But I don’t know that there’s going to be two feet of snow inside the stadium at game time. But that’s going to be the question Ken mahomes. And the Kansas City offense that has looked limited at times this year. You know, be that those team builds team that’s as hot as any team in the NFL. And you know that Kansas City’s defense is gonna have to stand on its head, which it has, you know, quite a bit for most of the season. I mean, you’d make the argument that it’s been the Kansas City defense that has gotten them this far this year, not Patrick mahomes.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:04

Well, we dropped the ball drops alone, and what that would have done to extend plays and drives and probably their success to win a game or two or three more, certainly at least one game where they get dropped everything.

Gary Davenport  12:19

Yeah, that’s Marquez Valdes scantling has been known for maybe dropping paths or two this season. I can’t argue that.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:25

Gary Davenport is here. We’re talking football, NFL football. You find him at a bleacher He’s out of the fighting state of Oh, hi. Oh, where they’re still licking their wounds and last but the up the road in Detroit. They think they’ve got something there right like this Jared golf thing. Campbell we were all talking about lightning ankles and all the craziness to bite kneecaps and all that stuff that was going on. The lions in the 40 Niners would be an interesting game next week. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. And stuff. Just go. I just I saw the lions get dismantled here by the Ravens. And then I saw the 40 Niners pretty much get this ranch mantle by the Ravens as well. On Christmas night on the road. There’s something about Lamar and the NFC and you’re not seeing these teams and the way they play the game and preparing for it. I don’t know that anybody in Baltimore is even taking the NFC side seriously certainly not Baker Mayfield or Green Bay with a rookie quarterback but there is a tournament over on the other side.

Gary Davenport  13:25

Oh yeah, absolutely. And I don’t think that I wouldn’t have said that Green Bay would have been from shot against San Francisco until I saw what we saw from Jordan love last week. I mean, first ever player to have a perfect 150 8.3 passer rating and his playoff debut. And they went into Dallas and just they didn’t just beat cow was they dismantled

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:46

you go in there and when it’s not too big, there’s nothing big you go to Dallas and win like that. And then

Gary Davenport  13:52

you know you look at what Tampa has done I mean they took it to Philadelphia and Tamar is quietly one I think six or seven so I don’t think the lions are boring owners can sleep on either of those teams going into this week but I still it’s still kind of feels like we’re headed toward a Detroit Sanford Cisco NFC title game and it’d be hard to pick against the 40 Niners at home it’s another team is very balanced you know the weapons on offense stout defense, and I had Super Bowl rematch between the Niners and ravens so with ravens took the first one but I wouldn’t imagine the point spread for that particular game would be more than two and a half three points.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:34

By the time people hear this, there may be hires John Harbaugh and Bill Bella check. So apologies in advance but we are taping on Tuesday this week. So bear with us on that. But the amount of coaching change it does it feels like every year there’s things but not every year. There’s Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick on the backside of saving in the college game and jobs open and money jobs open and free ball getting thrown out and whatever’s gonna happen with Tomlin and Pittsburgh and now Philadelphia. We’re on the other side of that, right like hardball has only really been in trouble one time at the end of the Flacco era of really being. We’re talking about replacing and they talk about Mike Tomlin seems like 364 days a year and all he does is play playoff games every January with third string quarterbacks. It feels like there’s a lot of moving parts and it feels like the amount of pressure in Philadelphia Dallas, it’s I don’t want to say it there. I’d say it’s like the college game. But when you can be an hour away from winning the Super Bowl was the head coach of the Eagles and be the young hotshot and 49 weeks later be the village idiot and they have a quarterback like Baker Mayfield gets jettisoned in Cleveland and as winning games in Tampa, Joe Flacco is left for dead gets the Browns to the playoffs and they spent all this money on Deshaun. Watson, the money, the management, the management style, the ego, the ego, the ego, all of that with Jerry, all of that plays into what Mr. Blank is going to do. And Mr. Spanos is going to do and Mr. Jones is going to do and miss the lorry and, you know, all these billionaires moving these chairs around for their franchises, man when you lose people go nuts, right? I mean, there really is a sense of panic in places where cowboys with the to see they’re pretty good. I mean, you throw everybody out. That’s cool. But be careful on all that throwing people out when you’re already decent this time of year because you’ve lost your mind. I don’t know what’s happening in Philadelphia, but I know there’s going to be hell to pay there. I’m

Gary Davenport  16:36

not all that surprised with McCarthy in Dallas. I think we knew this year that if he didn’t that he needed to do more than just win regular season games. He needed more than just another club win regular season. He needed to have some success in the playoffs or there were going to be grumbles. And then to not only you know to have that 16 game home winning streak, not just snapped but I mean it was snapped and left for dead right on top of the star logo. It’s a bad look. Sirianni surprises me. I’m right there with you to go from nearly winning a Super Bowl to even seven eight weeks ago if you ranked the NFL said coasters from one to 32 for most likely to be fired. To least likely to be fired. Sirianni probably would have come in like 2829 30 Bottom Five, five,

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:26

right. Yeah, absolutely. Right. And now the Get

Gary Davenport  17:30

rid of him. He’s gone. And everyone seems to want to fight over Bill Belichick. I’m I don’t know about the whole hire and Bill Belichick. I had. A lot of people are pointing him toward Dallas and one Howard, he and Jerry Jones good to get along. And to I mean, Bill double check has been doing this great. He’s had a tremendous amount of success. But he’s been doing this a very long time hasn’t had success in the last couple of years. And I just don’t know that he’s the guy that’s gonna turn around a franchise, the way that a lot of fans believe that he will I’m just I’m not a huge proponent. He hasn’t done

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:11

well with it with bad players, right? He’s not high players. And because he hasn’t great had great players. He’s not a great coach when you don’t have great, he’s a great coach. Not a great coach. Great players start debate.

Gary Davenport  18:23

I can see the logic behind like a Carolina hiring Mike rabl If only to give the franchise some stability, which it desperately needs. Because it’s just been all over the place these past couple years. And we saw Bryce young struggle so much as a rookie. You know, if I’m an Atlanta Falcons or something, I think, you know, I want that young up and coming assistant. That seems to be where it’s at nowadays.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:46

Mike McDonald type? Yeah, that’s where

Gary Davenport  18:49

teams are finding success. These teams are getting to the playoffs. retreads, just, you know, we’ve seen that movie before. We know how it ends. And I feel like it’s going to end for a lot of these teams with, you know, seven and 10 or eight, nine, and then two years from now they’re having the same conversation. Only the players gotten that much older and you’re having to hand out big contracts to some of the good players you have. I just I don’t see that. I’m not a retread guy. I’m on more you know, Ben Johnson or one of those guys, one of this year’s young up and coming assistant. I would say Eric be enemy but the way that everything fell apart in Washington, I don’t know that he’s even going to get a sniff. Look

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:36

what happened. Jim Schwartz so good at Dan Quinn, they moved themselves into a position to maybe get interviews towards wasn’t getting interviews at all. And then their defenses implode over the wildcard weekend and there. They are not going to be hired. I think it’s Dan Quinn and after what happened? Maybe it’s I mean, they’re aiming to win the Superbowl. Right, like literally Yeah, I mean, part of it’s getting the chair warm and saying We have the new sheriff of debt. So I’m going to leave you with this Gary Davenport is here. If you’re not watching on the stream, he is wearing a Columbus College Football it’s almost pro football hat out there the team to the north as my dear friend Leonard Raskin if I can find his crab Mel let Raskin is one of our sponsors here Raskin global. His son plays in the marching band at the Ohio State and dotting the eye and Oh, hang on sleeping all that stuff. So he calls the team up north. Look, John Arbaaz lied to me plenty. Jim Harbaugh has never lied to me but lies everybody else and cheats and all that hardball is gonna be back in the league I guess by the time it’s brought you know, like not go back to Michigan. You’re an Ohio State guy that that whole Michigan Ohio State thing and like how you go there you when you cheat at your school now you believe it? All of it’s just weird. The hardball things weird to me. I’ll never maybe that’ll be my next book. The hardball thing.

Gary Davenport  20:54

The i can’t i cannot envision a scenario where Jim Harbaugh is not coaching in the NFL. He’s going to pull up Pete Carroll in a row right when the NCAA is getting ready to drop a piano on the school for teen violations and, you know, takeaway about scholarships bowl ban whatever. He’s just gonna kind of sashay off to the NFL and

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:15

take last Monday night away. He never did that. Right. And, you know,

Gary Davenport  21:20

it worked out for Pete Carroll. He won a Super Bowl so and hard was, it would make more sense to me in day if I’m the Dallas Cowboys to hire Jim Harbaugh rather than it makes just hire Bill Belichick in Dallas. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:31

agree with that. I agree with that. There’s no way Jim Harbaugh was gonna get along with Jerry Jones. Probably not gonna get along with Jed York, right? He’s been in everybody’s airplane. He’s been down to Miami. He’s met with all these guys. He’s he’s had interviews every year with all of these people. He knows them all. And he’s gonna come work for spanners. With zero brand I don’t know. I mean, that seems like a gym horrible thing to say. One day we’ll pack this place will have real chargers fans because I’ve always said that franchise is headed to London or Frankfurt, right? Like literally

Gary Davenport  22:01

the reason that he’s the Chargers is Herbert. They’ve got they have one thing that none of these other coaches coaching openings, except unless Philadelphia and Dallas were opened up then it would change the narrative a little bit. But the Chargers have that thing that teams like Atlanta and Carolina don’t never franchise quarterback, and that that’s a big deal. In the NFL. There are two kinds of teams in the NFL there are teams that have franchise quarterbacks and themes that do not and it can make a lot of difference. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:29

Houston has won and they’re coming in to speak with CJ strap Gary Davenport can be found out of Bleacher Report somebody ID ID sharks like you have all these things you pick fantasy guy back in the day, but tell me what you’re doing on Bleacher Report your work? Oh,

Gary Davenport  22:42

just work in the playoffs in the NFL. You can follow me on Twitter at ITP sharks and I’m still a big fantasy guy since fantasy football season has concluded for 2023. So we’re in there are some fantasy playoff leagues because we have a hard time letting go and we don’t want it to be the offseason yet. But for 99% fantasy season will be over until this upcoming summer when it’ll be time to draft teams all over again.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:07

You know, they say that’s a gateway drug to gambling. So watch out, right? Well, I

Gary Davenport  23:11

might occasionally lay a few bucks on it. It’s legal. Yeah, it

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:17

is very legal. I got a phone to like everybody else. Gary Davenport is here. Go find him at a Bleacher Report. It’s always good to visit with you, man. We’ll we’ll visit again. Well after the parade. I don’t know what the parades gonna be here. But there’s gonna be a parade somewhere and I’ll visit with you after it’s over with All right. Sounds good Bob. Appreciate it. Gary Davenport. You can find them at a bleacher You can find look at Nolan’s mills and if you’re on our wn S T tech service, you will be getting all the breaking news first injuries Mark Andrews who’s playing who’s not as the Texans come in here this weekend to try to pee in our purple Wheaties we’ll see how that goes. The wn S T biggest charity event we’ve ever done. We’re celebrating 25 years of everything we’ve ever done with our friends, Acurio wellness and foreign data, our 25 stories of glory this month. No doubt you were a part of them because you were the ones going on the road trips. You were the ones at the events, you were the ones at the barn, you were the ones buying the roach. Like all of these things that we’ve done, are all up at at Baltimore We’re very proud of that and very appreciative of our friends at curio wellness and foreign daughter for sponsoring that. But we are going to be putting together the biggest week we’ve ever done Charity Week, beginning February 5, we are calling it a cup of soup or Bowl week is crabcake row will take you out on the road to raise awareness for charities and also to hopefully feed some folks at a time when food instability and time of the year we’re at right now it’s cold outside. My wife eats the deer every day in the backyard. So we want to make sure we keep people fed. So I’ll be talking a whole lot about that during the month of February. And you’ll get sick of it and then you’ll donate something you’ll feel good about it and they’ll make you cry unnecessarily. wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive stay with us

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