Watching the rest of the AFC meltdown from the couch

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It was quite a bye weekend as the first-place Baltimore Ravens picked up ground across the conference in their quest for a No. 1 seed and January bye. Luke Jones and Nestor get ready for Matt Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams after a weekend on the bye week couch watching Joe Flacco throw.


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Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back wn S T, Towson, Baltimore. And Baltimore positive we are positively through the bye week. We got football the rest of the way. It’s the holidays, all that good stuff going on in the Maryland crabcake door back out on the road. We will be at state fair on Tuesday morning this week, had a very, very busy week around here with the baseball winter meetings going on. Luke will be monitoring all of that he will also be out in Owings Mills. He said a few days off, although you’re really never off when you’re watching college football. You’re watching pro football when the Orioles can do something even though they haven’t done anything yet. We welcome him in he is our defending champion. He is Baltimore Lukey find his work out on the interwebs anywhere Baltimore Luke travels and of course the home repository over Baltimore. How was your weekend off? How did that go for you? I mean, I wasn’t a weekend off for a bunch of teams. I mean, the chiefs took the weekend off a bunch of teams got out of the way AFC North it was a it was a good weekend of football for them. It was a really nice weekend to sit on the couch and watch ball.


Luke Jones  00:59

Yeah, fruitful weekend for the Ravens who had the bye week. Rest up, get some guys hopefully fresh for that for as fresh as they can be for the final stretch run. But you come out of the weekend with a bowl to game lead in the AFC north with both Pittsburgh and Cleveland losing Kansas City loses on Sunday night. They’re no longer technically in the number one spot, because of the conference record tiebreaker with Miami. But we kind of knew that that was going to happen. And of course, pending the result of Jacksonville Cincinnati Monday night but a good weekend for the Ravens. And I think you look around the league. There’s still plenty of question marks in both conferences, quite frankly, to varying degrees, but a lot of excitement. As you mentioned college football, of course the playoff set and lots of controversy there but a fun weekend, and certainly for Ravens fans a good weekend as it pertains to just kind of sitting back and seeing what the rest of the league looks like. And I’ll continue to say maybe other than the San Francisco 40 Niners. I don’t think there’s a team in the league playing better than the Baltimore Ravens right now.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:09

How’s your brother in law doing? How’s the family doing after that whole Philadelphia thing? I mean, you know, I mean, that was quite a Sunday afternoon and monitoring that and all the bad weather and then the Joe Flacco thing and I’m not wearing orange for the Cleveland Browns here. I’m wearing my orange quart curio shirt for for the Orioles and for winter meetings this week, but I don’t know if Joe can still play but he could still throw. Yeah,

Luke Jones  02:35

I mean, I think it was it was a nice story. Look, he didn’t finish that game the way that he wanted to. I know he really lamented the late interception that he threw in that game, but was certainly I think he proved the point that he’s at least still a quality backup in the league and look with so many quarterbacks hurt at this point in the season. He’s better than 15 of the starters. And from what I can see it throwing the football right.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:00

Okay, throw purely throwing shore, Is he better than 15 legitimate starting quarterbacks in the NFL? No, not even starting when I’m saying backup like some of the guys, right, right, better than six of the quarterbacks we’ve seen on the Ravens schedule this year by far. And he’s by far the best quarterback on their roster that’s healthy, that could play and he wasn’t even elite two weeks ago. So I mean, we talked about quarterback issues. And dude’s got $200 million in the bank. He doesn’t need to be slapping around for the Las Vegas Raiders to be desperate for a job. I mean, if I when I get together, if I get together with him, when I get together with him. I’ll ask him about this because it’s a fascinating thing that he waited out and joined the team with a chance to make the playoffs and they could have won on Sunday. And you know, everybody knows I’m a Joe defender or whatever. I mean, he only won the Super Bowl here that mean that’s I like guys who win the Super Bowl that year. I usually liked them forever, except for Terrell Suggs, but most of them I like forever. In the case of Joe, you know, he’s sitting on the sidelines of being a little bit of a punch line and rolling around. I mean, he went out and played pretty good football on Sunday for being a guy who hadn’t played football a long time, and certainly for a team that needed to win and play. Well. He gave him a chance to win. He really did. Yeah,

Luke Jones  04:15

I’ll agree with that. I think for me, watching him play what an indictment on the New York Jets considering they lose Rodgers like three snaps into their season. They pretend they still love Zach Wilson for half the season before they finally bench him because he was so terrible. And yeah, they’re cycling through more quarterbacks now. I mean, luck

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:42

is flat on the show would have run out and run and play for the Jets in week two. I don’t know that. I think

Luke Jones  04:46

he would have wanted to play I mean, I was I don’t think there were a lot of teams blowing up Joe Flacco phone all season long. I said to Joe, you’re not gonna play. You’re gonna come in and hold the clipboard for this kid. You can’t point but that’s their problem. That’s why the Jets are where they are. That’s my point. If if they had resigned Flacco in week two, getting him ready to play by week four, let’s say and remember he was there last year, jets would probably have Yeah, they have a couple more wins at least now. This is where we get into what is Joe Flacco at this point in his career? Are are the Browns Super Bowl contenders with Flacco quarterback No, not even close. For one thing, their defense has faltered the last couple of weeks, you know, which is kind of the dirty little secret for them. If they’re going to be this playoff team, that’s going to be interesting in January, they need their defense to continue to play like how the Ravens defense is played. And they’re suddenly not doing that the last couple weeks. But the point is, and you said this and I totally agree. Are they more viable with him at quarterback then a Thompson Robinson or PJ Walker? Yeah, no question about it. Would the Jets have been more viable with Flacco than Zach Wilson? Sure. I’ll also say this. And it was a good it was a solid performance. It was admirable how he played considering he was there two weeks. If you look at Joe, the last couple years in the league, he’d he’d be good for a game or two, and you’d see this and then you’d see it not look so good. So I’ll also

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:13

throw that out there. But the point looks like he’s in shape, though, in a way, like it. Why don’t What the hell he’s been doing the last 12 weeks. But clearly, he’s been throwing the football and running around. He looks strong. He looks fit in a way that he didn’t. He looked old and tired. The last couple years. He didn’t look old and tired to me on Sunday. He really didn’t. He looked slower. He’s 39 years old. But he didn’t look like he didn’t. He didn’t look like Johnny, you run around for the Chargers? For sure. I mean, I’ve seen a way, way worse quarterback play from young guys who cannot play the game and cannot throw the football and look completely overwhelmed. I mean, he looks like a guy who started to wonder football games Italy.

Luke Jones  06:51

Sure, sure. And that’s part of this is where you get into what a team is looking for at that position. As far as where a team is in terms of are you a Super Bowl contender Are you a playoff contender? Are you a team that’s going to be seven and 10? Or are you a team that’s playing for the number one overall pick? When you have a 38 year old quarterback? There’s a limited number of teams that are going to be interested you just inherently because they want someone younger, cheaper. Somebody might have some upside, someone who you say okay, he’s not very good right now. But like, for example, Thompson Robinson for Cleveland. We think that’s the guy that can develop into Deshaun. Watson’s backup, right, so I mean, you’re always looking for different things for players at different stages of their career and Flacco yesterday, he’s gonna be 39 in a month, right? I mean, he’s almost 39. So five

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:40

kids and didn’t want to go to training camp and be a third string quarterback for the Jets. Right? I mean,

Luke Jones  07:46

I mean, see, I see that’s where I’m not so sure. Because I mean, he was the Jets backup last year and barely played. So I mean, I think he wanted to play I don’t I don’t know if the phone was ringing for him, quite frankly. And I think it finally did ring and it is a decent situation for him. And we’ll see how it plays out the next couple weeks. I assume he played well enough where the Browns are gonna say yeah, we’re gonna go with him. And least until he proves he shouldn’t be the guy.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:14

When I mean that last pass was awful. And you know, you can write the book on Joe one way or another, but he could have won that game.

Luke Jones  08:21

Sure. Yeah. I mean, he, like I said he played solid football night game and wasn’t a way that he wanted to finish it. But like I said, their their defense needed to play better. I mean, the Browns are. They’re all about their defense, right? I mean, it’s been this debate for the better part of the last couple months who has the best defense in the league, the Browns are the Ravens. And the last couple of weeks, the Browns defense has not played like the best team in the league best defense in the league. So yeah, we’ll see how it plays out. But bringing it back to the ravens and what it means for them. You know, if I’m the Ravens sitting there, not overly worried about Pittsburgh, and we’ll get to them in a moment. Sure. Certainly. And I look at the browns and say, okay, are they better with Joe Flacco at quarterback than DTR? Shore? Are they going to be good enough to the point where we’re really overly concerned now with two games, a two game lead with five to go. John Harbaugh is not going to say this publicly. Mr. Jackson is not going to say it publicly. But I see that and I’m not overly concerned. If I’m a raven, I’m saying hey, I’ll take care of our own business. I’m not that worried about Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Cincinnati has done I mean, done done right with Joe burrow out for the year. So it’s their division. I mean, they’re in the driver’s seat at this point. And if they don’t win the division, it’s gonna be a big time failure, quite frankly, when you have a two game lead with five to go, regardless of the schedule. I mean, I get it. They have a tough schedule, but at the same time, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are not as good as the Baltimore Ravens. They’re not even close to as good as the Baltimore Ravens right now. So they gotta go out and play good football starting against La on Sunday, which by the way, don’t sleep on the Rams. They’ve looked better the last few weeks and they want a football game. Let’s just say watching Joe

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:59

Flacco mean You’re watching the rams and if you’re watching the Rams you were scouting for what they’re doing. And they look to be an improved version of where Mack snapper look like it was wonderful his life six weeks ago he looks like he’s gonna get killed. And I think it looks different now and these are five very, very legitimate games that the Ravens have in front of them where they could go one and four, they could go four and one they need to go out here and take care of business at home because they have had some choppy ever I mean, you’re like the Steelers aren’t as good as the Ravens the Browns aren’t they just beat the Ravens they both meet the Ravens so hey, you know it’s there is like but do you really think they’re as good as the Ravens though like the eyeball police not in the ice right. Now the Browns were to sneak in and have a week of first game here and come in here on a snowy day. And Joe Flacco is on that side. Lamar Jackson’s on this side, the weather’s not good. And the defenses are what they are. The Ravens could lose a playoff game to the Browns with Joe Flacco in a way that they could not lose the story and whatever that was name was. I mean, I do think the Browns have some capabilities. They had a better running game. I mean, watching them all day on Sunday, I’m looking at him and I’m saying, Will Joe Flacco play a game in January? I’ve looked at their schedule too. And the rams are one of the tougher games on their schedule left on their schedule, right. So they’re going to have winnable games where their defense surely if their defenses and leading them they’re not going to win Joe Flacco is not going to lead them to the Promised Land. Joe Flacco is going to hand the ball off and play responsible football, maybe not throw the game losing pick, but he put them in a position to win in a way that Dorian Thompson Robinson wouldn’t have been in any position to win that football game. So I look at the next five weeks and say to your point, I’m not worried about the browns or the Steelers. They’re not catching the Ravens. Unless the Ravens really good. I mean, the Ravens get caught. It’s their fault. It’s not because anything the Browns are Steelers did

Luke Jones  11:47

oh, no question about it. And even with the schedule, I mean, let’s think about it. I mean, this thought came to me, as I was watching the Sunday night game and Greenbay doing what they did against the chiefs, the chiefs now, two straight games, and now they did win against the Raiders a week ago. But two straight games, they’ve trailed by two scores in that game. The Ravens haven’t trailed by two scores all season. Think about that. They have not trailed by more than one possession all season long. And that just speaks to what kind of team they are, what kind of true talent level they are, speaks to the fact that they should probably be better than nine and three, as we’ve talked about over and over and over. But But yeah, you’re right with that. And look, do I think the Ravens could go one and four? No, not even close to that. But could they drop a couple games here? That’s the difference between

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:35

sometimes the quarterback? I mean, that’s true of anyone?

Luke Jones  12:39

No, I mean, you know, that’s that’s the captain obvious statement that you apply to Kansas City to anyone. I mean, if you lose your starting quarterback, and you have a legitimate starting quarterback, I mean, you’re you’re done. I mean, that’s why the no one’s talking about the Bengals anymore, right, because Joe burrow is done for the year. So but yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a tough schedule. I mean, even the Rams coming into Baltimore, Matthew Stafford playing good football. I mean, they still have Cooper cup. Who, okay, maybe isn’t 100% That got broken. Akua, who has been amazing at the wide receiver position as a rookie. I mean, we’ve talked, we’ve given ze flowers, his flowers. I mean, what Nicole has done this year has been nothing short of remarkable as the guy who was a later pick in that draft back in April, so

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:22

not play this week, by the way, based on what we saw the other day. Um,

Luke Jones  13:26

I mean, he came back into the game, so I mean, yeah, it will depend. But it seems, you know, seem to be okay.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:31

I just like saying his name. Who can Akua I like when Taki Taki. chasing him too. That’s my there’s too much.

Luke Jones  13:38

Yeah, no doubt about it. But I mean, the point is, this is a rams team that don’t get me wrong. They’re not super bowl contenders. Are they going to make the playoffs? Probably not. But they’ve been way better than people thought they were going to be and that they could be really interesting even next year, if Matthew Stafford can continue to flight Father Time off a little bit more. But that’s the easiest game the Ravens have remaining. Right. I mean, we’ve talked about it at Jacksonville at San Francisco. As I mentioned, the 40 Niners might be the only team in the league playing better football than the Ravens right now because they’ve just been outstanding, you know, since they’ve gotten everyone back healthy. You see what the 40 Niners are capable of and to your point of people like my brother in law got their feelings hurt yesterday with Philadelphia, you know, the Eagles being on the run they were on and then getting beat pretty soundly as that game went on. So Miami, play the Ravens play them week 17 They’re currently you know, as we go into Monday Night Football and, you know, finishing the week, they’re the number one seed. I don’t know if the dolphins are truly that, you know, that caliber of a team because you look at their schedule as far as who they’ve actually beaten, and it’s pretty flimsy. But there’s no doubt that that offense has so much firepower. It has so much speed. So that game is gonna be another one of those games, New Year’s Eve What the heck is the weather gonna be like? Because that’s going to be crucial for the dolphins coming

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:04

down or scoring points in the rain and DC for Sunday? I mean, it was just, they could have put up 70. Right, right.

Luke Jones  15:10

But but at the same time, every time they’ve gone up against a really good team, they haven’t looked like that. So who’s the real dolphins team? You know, there are certainly a legitimate playoff team are they number one seed in the AFC great, they still have some convincing to do on that front. So that would be

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:27

an issue for the Ravens have to get on a plane and go down there and play in the sun in January instead of coming up here. Maybe not the worst case for the Ravens. But from a weather standpoint, you go to Miami, you’re gonna get what you get. But if they’re at home, and they get a week off that, sir, I mean, Kansas City has played themselves into having to come here or having to go went on the road. And I think that’s as big a shock over the weekend because they are the big bad wolf. Yeah,

Luke Jones  15:53

I mean, and we’ve talked about this. And look, I’ve been the first guy to say, hey, Kansas City, they’re still the team to beat in the AFC and they’ve they’ve earned that over the course of five years. But if you look at how they are playing, compared to perception of what they have, what they are and what they’ve been over the last five years. Yeah, it’s been choppy for them. And I mean, they had a couple more injuries on Sunday night and Patrick mahomes, for as much as he is absolutely the best quarterback in the NFL. In terms of the big picture. Perception. Has he had the best season in the NFL among quote NFL quarterbacks? This hasn’t been mahomes best season? How much of that is the wide receiver position? I’m sure that is a big factor for him. But is he playing the best football of his career now? So that doesn’t mean that that’s going to matter? Come January, because keep in mind, we’re still a month away from from all that. But yeah, this is a Kansas City team that if I’m a Ravens fan, or if I’m the Ravens sitting there Sunday night watching that game, I’m not afraid of Kansas City, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect and that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to come out of the AFC winning go into the Super Bowl. But right now, they have a good defense, they have a really good running game better than than what you know they’ve had in the past. But their passing game, you know, we’ve talked about it. I mean, their wide receiver position is shaky. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. So they’re basically one wide receiver in that offense not not including Kelsey, of course, but wide receivers, that one that most teams would like to have the rest of those guys are doing next to nothing for them. So, you know, you’re the rest of the AFC seeing the Kansas City Chiefs lose on Sunday night. You’re feeling better about your own chances, because right now, that’s looking like a team that still has work to do. And certainly we look at their remaining schedule compared to the ravens, it is much more favorable for Kansas City in terms of the by and you know, who’s going to ultimately be the number one seat overall in Jacksonville and Miami are very much in that conversation as well. So we’ll see how it plays out. But yeah, I think also on the flip side, impressive Green Bay, Jordan love. He got to look like a young Aaron Rodgers. But even the way he throws the football kind of reminds you of how he looks like somebody watched Aaron Rodgers for the last three years. So, so good for Green Bay, but for Kansas City. Yeah, I mean that that was certainly another performance where you look at the chiefs and say, Look, they’re still the chiefs. Don’t be disrespectful. The fact that they look this way right now in early December, does not mean that you’re going to beat them in January, doesn’t mean you should make any assumptions about what they’re going to look like then. But this is not the best version of the Kansas City Chiefs that we’ve seen by a longshot. So if you’re the ravens, you’re the Jaguars, you’re Miami, any of the other wildcard card hopefuls you’re looking at Kansas City right now and saying, hey, it’s feels like it’s still a very much a wide open AFC. And, as I’ve said, I don’t think anyone in the conference is playing better football than the Ravens right now. So feeling good about that coming out of the bye week.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:01

He’s look Jones, we are taking the Maryland crabcakes we’re back out on the road. We’re gonna have tons of stuff this week. So we were cocoas on Wednesday. We were at gertrudes on Thursday, which was phenomenal. Then we spent Friday afternoon up at Hollywood Casino. We did lose our guest Tom Kelso to illness late in the week. We did have replacement up there. I had some fun up in Hollywood casino with Berryville we’re gonna grab Tom this week. Dennis and Bill Cole are gonna meet me over at State Fair. We got great guests going on all week. And I’ve got new scratch offs. Luke, I got sniffers. This is the OH SNAP gingerbread. They smell like ginger but they really don’t need the peppermint. I don’t have talked to John about this. Maybe the overwhelming smell of the gingerbreads ramping out the peppermint payout but we also have unwrapped the cash these don’t smell at all but they do provide winners the Maryland lottery get together with our friends at window nation 866 90 nation as well as our friends at Jiffy Lube multi care a little oil light about to go back on and blink orange again. Get out the Jiffy Lube multi care for oil changes and More work stay fair this week. We’re going to be Acurio next Friday and foreign daughter up on York Road. That’s Friday the 15th also put the date together with wise markets for Christmas week. And we’ll be families just after Christmas, all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. Luke is monitoring all things ravens this week. We have the winter meetings going on in Nashville for baseball. We’ll get to all of that. Lots and lots of stuff going on here and lots of really fresh, great conversations. I’ll put Baltimore positive on Nesta, we are wn St. am 1570, Towson Baltimore. The bye weeks over the Ravens have the Rams stay with us for some great Baltimore positive all week long.

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