The Lightning Round Podcast #170: Baltimore Ravens playoff preview


On. So they mold. This is the lightning round podcasts with your hosts Garrett sixty and Jamie, voile, go chargers. Go. Welcome everybody to the first ever playoff. Addition of the lightning round podcast. I am gear. Sissy? Edgar sec- on Twitter. Jamie Hoyle is here. Jovial Jamie Hoyle that lightning underscore around. Let's just go ahead and fire off these donations and get right into it. The first donation was from Joseph Alinsky said I'm the guy who asked for the podcast before my flight. I thought you were legends. Then I think you're legend now. No. But seriously love the pied backstory on that the tweeted at us a, hey, I got a board. My flight about an hour. Can give me the podcast. I said sure and we did. So we got that podcast early. Listen to on his flight, and we are now legend. So here's our remembered legends never died. That's good. Thank you Joseph. What we always legends. I thought we were always ready at least our minds, right? Joseph firming, that fact, yes, absolutely next. Next donation is from Ian Harper. Ian, says charters had awesome season. And so did you guys? Watching them exceed everybody's expectations and overcome all the data has been a fantastic ride. Thanks for being a great, listen when or lose thank you, Ian. We appreciate it. It was a fun season. And by far the best season. We've done with the show. Yeah. And he was talking about us when you saying watch them exceed everyone's expectations overcome all the doubters benefa- task. Right. I soon he's talking about the podcast. They're not so much the chargers. But anyway, the last nations from Adrian well now he says very very late. But to honor a tweet, I sent out said drinks are on me. The Garrity knowledge if you weeks ago, pop some beer, bottles and cheers as always I enjoy this podcast and wish you guys happy holidays and a great two thousand nineteen from Tijuana Mexico, and whenever you wanna taste TJ craft beer and tacos, give me tweet you guys around some places your friend Adrian now he tweeted that he was going to get us some beers. I assumed he was going to meet us at a bar in by some beers. But no, he's going to donate realizing he's now in Mexico. Oh, so we won't get that face to face unless we wanna go down. TJ, jamie. Make a trip of it and go get some tacos and beer. It sounds like fun. But I haven't been at TJ since I was like nineteen or twenty so general rule of thumb Adrienne no offense. But once or Twenty-one, there's really no good reason to go to Jay sorry. First of all eighteen because you can bring there you can get in there before twenty one. No, I'm saying once you're twenty one Igli here. All right. Whereas reason there's no good nothing. Good comes from going to J. I've had some bad experiences down there. So. I have to. But I don't know those tacos might be worth it. I'm sure Adrian. I'm sure it'd be worth it to visit with Adrian. But it was not a good one. And I swear not to go back. So. So thank you so much for the three the donated this week, again, don't forget, we're on pay pal were on. Then MO you know, how to get a hold of us were lightning round on both of those. So if you want to donate feel free if not no worries thank you so much for all the support this year and before we're getting his breakdown. Let's just talk about some injury news for the bad. The chargers lost linebacker to take his Brown. Linebacker those kind of merging once Kaiser white went down. He is out for the year with an ankle injury. They will not have to take his Brown for the playoffs. Which means as polite will be the replacement in base packages will of talk about some other replacement and other packages when we get to this preview, but for now no details Brown going into the playoffs. They'll be little short handed in the linebacker group. Also hunter Henry we got a little bit of an update. We'll see how hunter Henry does this week. But we have a little update on the chargers tight end. Yeah. Yeah. So aarc Williams of ESPN wrote an article about it today where he kinda dressed the injury and the expectations that hunter would play. And basically what it comes down to is the chargers apparently very quietly activated the twenty one day. Well, let me back up so the chart so because hunter Henry is on the pup. He has to be activated. They had they they have to add him to the active roster, and he has to be they have a twenty one day period to evaluate him before he can be before he has to be activated or or shut down for the season. They started the twenty one day window on December twenty seventh which means doing some quick math. He has to be activated by January seventh or shut down for the rest of the year. And basically what Eric Williams said was is that there's no guarantee he's going to play while he will is expected to practice with the first team for the first time this week. He's not had a full practice yet. And they are not sure that he's ready to play while Anthony Len did say that he thought that the knee was stable and healthy both he and Tom to Lesko were quoted basically saying were we need to see more from him because he hasn't had a full padded practice yet. And we don't we don't know for sure that he's going to play. So take it for what it's worth it could be that they are being coy. But it sounds to me. Like, maybe things aren't a certain for him to return as we'd all like to think they are. So we'll have to wait and see what happens there. Yeah. There are some reports that one hundred hundred was sprinting before the Denver game in week seventeen. And maybe they are being little tight lipped with the playoffs coming as of today. We don't know if hunter Henry we'll be playing on Sunday against the ravens. So we won't get too much into that. But we'll touch on a little bit. And because this is a playoff podcast, we're gonna do things a little bit different, Jamie. And I went back and watched some more gains from this ravens team. Of course, rewatch the matchup from week sixteen against the chargers, and we both kind of focused on either side of the ball. We're going to talk about the ravens offense. We're both going to give some strengths weaknesses and get some keys to the game. Same defense strength weaknesses. Also the game. After that. We're going to give our prediction for whether we think the chargers will win or lose. And after that, we're going to give you our preferred path the Super Bowl. I know that. Wishful thinking, and I know people are more focused on this wildcard around. But if we were to choose our path Super Bowl for the chargers, we will tell you what we would like for that match up to be. So let's just jump right into Jamie. This is the playoffs. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's do it. All right. Let's talk about this offense. All right. So let's just go ahead and start I guess with their new star quarterback. Lamar Jackson somebody who covered in detail on the draft process last spring and watching the passing game watching the more Jackson. You know, the ravens work really hard to simplify the passing game for Jackson. They reduce the number of reads for him and trying to create big passing lane. So he doesn't have to fit the ball on the tight windows. Looks to me like Jackson right now is pretty much doing the same thing. He was doing in college. Which is he's going through one two reads most times, the I read is generally something between the hash marks. Maybe a slant or a hitch or something designed to get it out of his hands quickly and pick up five to seven yards and just keep the ball moving and get them ahead of the chains. And looks to me watching him on film that he really needs his look his he really needs the windows to be perfect. He's not putting the ball on the tight windows. He's not taking any chances with the ball. Even on some throws where I thought he has played to make. He's pulling the ball down. He's doubled pumping at times hesitant to throw the ball. And the traffic if his guy isn't wide open with a big window. He's probably not going to throw it. So we'll get keys the game a little bit later. But it seems to me like you wanna make tight windows for him and force him to make uncomfortable decisions were guys aren't wide open. I think you know, watching them throw the ball Jackson, in my opinion is really accurate between the hash marks. He's kind of accurate from the hash marks to the numbers. But the further he gets away from the hash marks the less accurate. He tends to get and his foot work is not great which contend Abro tend to create problems throwing the ball consistently outside the numbers. Particularly driving into the boundaries. And he's really Radic to the boundaries generally missing high. And inside we saw a couple of throws against the chargers in week sixteen where he was trying to throw the ball not necessarily the boundaries. But outside the numbers, and he was leaving the ball inside and short consistently because he just isn't getting his work there. And he's not driving the ball where it needs to go. You see a lot of hitch and slant and swing routes from Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead underneath again. Just trying to get the ball out of Jackson's hands as quickly as possible and a heavy focus on those quick easy. Reads between the numbers between the hashes where they they can just pick up five yards and get the get the ball moving. I think you get a pretty good idea of what they're going to run the ball or pass the ball, depending on which tight ends are on the field. They're generally looking to pass the ball of Mark Andrews is on the field. He's their big play tight end option really their best receiving option at tight end. The ravens liked to get Andrew. Up the scene particularly against linebackers from the slot and uses sized their advantage kinda give Jack Jackson that big target over the middle of the field. And I think they're starting to show some ten some of the same tendencies with hidden Hearst over the last few weeks, but again, easy throws big windows. And as we get into the keys of the game. We'll talk about the importance of tightening those windows down and making things uncomfortable for Jackson. Yeah. You know? They're definitely keeping it simple for Jackson. That's why they're getting almost every tied in they have involved. It's the big windows. It's the middle of the field. They've got Nick boil Mark Andrews Hayden her smacks Williams, trying to get those big bodies open. A lot of the big plays are up to seem. Yeah. He doesn't go to the boundary very often. And he is a guy that has one two reads, and then it's tuck and run type of quarterback. And the chargers did a really good job. But containing Lamar Jackson last time on the ground. He had his lowest total since becoming a starter. Thirteen carries thirty nine yards. A lot of that. Was aided by ager Phillips who was the spy defender from his linebacker spot. We kinda talk about when we reviewed the last matchup. They had we'd sixteen. Now, the details Brown is out. I looked back to that Browns matchup with Baker Mayfield. And they threw out racial Jacobs in that linebacker spot. We might see that with an extra db to kind of keep Hades Polat off the field a little bit more be a little bit of a spy. He was pretty good against Baker. And I think we might see a little bit of that on Sunday. We talked about how they wanna simplify it. If you want to close the windows like Jamie mentioned the point being you want to force the mar- Jackson to throw the ball. We're gonna get in the run game. But if the chargers can put it on the Mars arm. That's a good thing. Maybe a mistaker or will happen because since becoming a starter the mar- Jackson has fumbled at least one time in every single start. We saw one fumble. I guess charters Asia Phillips tackle Lamar for a big loss. But he will turn it over. He's got five touchdowns three. Interceptions since week eleven we became a starter. He hasn't thrown a pick and five straight games. But if you make him throw it a little bit more than he wants to he will be susceptible turnovers. But just since we're talking about Lamar Jackson. They have got to contain him. They have got to stay disciplined. They cannot let him be a rusher not only in design rooms, but as scrambler because like you mentioned having it simple. It's only a couple reads. And if it's not there he's taken off. And we saw some charters for having some troubles bringing them down in the first matchup. They just got to contain him. They did a very good job last time. So keep him in the pocket putting on the mar Jackson's arm and let let the defense take care of it. This is one of those games. And we saw it in the first matchup, and I think it will be even more important in. This matchup is people are going to focus on Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram getting pressure off the edge. And I don't think edge pressure is nearly as important with large accent as interior pressure. It's going to be. Really on guys like Rochelle and Filon and me being and Justin Jones and anybody else they try to line up inside. Maybe he sees some of Joey reducing into three tech. It's going to be on those guys to drive that pocket to drive that interior line back into Jackson's lap. You wanna have very tight very disciplined. Rush angles and rush lanes. You don't wanna give him big gaping holes in the line where he can find open receivers or find running lanes. You wanna make you wanna make him feel the interior pressure because when he feels the interior pressure his eyes drop, and he looks at the he looks at the line instead of down the field. So you can dictate how he's playing as a passer, and you can trap them in the pocket as allusive as he is. If you get that immediate interior pressure. He will pull the ball down and he'll dance and he'll retreat instead of trying to scramble for yards. So we're trying to buy time. And in some cases, he will cost his team yards doing that. So very important to get that into your pressure drive. Those back into his lap and keep him from stepping up in the pocket or keep from creating lanes for him to escape through. Yeah. And a big hot topic. When we're talking about Lamar Jackson draft podcast was his footwork. And how shoddy it was. And when you talk about interior pressure. You see a little of that fallen back to his college days where if you arguing that interior pressure in your at his feet. He's looking down the line and he's trying to take off. Now it bit Cleveland in the ass last week because the gaping hole open and Iran in for a touchdown. But that's when you gotta stay disciplined. That's why you got to have gap integrity. So obviously, you know, creating pressures big deal for the charter defense. But also staying disciplined interior pressure will be a big deal to. So let's talk about this running game because this is a big focus part of their offense as well as talking about these running backs. Yes, they're they're running game is really centered around a lot of movement. A lot of motion up front a lot of pulling guards. They really like to put a lot of bodies in a small area and create as much chaos as possible hoping they can pull somebody out of there gap. Just get that. Little wrinkle of space to have somebody burst through and for a big gain. And that's really what they rely on is they relied on the fact that they're going to be more disciplined than the defense. And that when that crease when that gap presents itself their backs or Lamar or going to find it and get a big gain. And these backs are very good once they get going downhill their heart attack. Oil Edwards is the power back. He's the guy that's going to run over you three. You Dixon can run with power. But he's got a little bit more wiggle. He's a little bit more allusive in tight quarters. He's he's really the big play home run hitter of the backs. And then, of course, Lamar is just electric give him a wrinkle. He could take sixty in the flash of an eye. So you really have to really have to set those hard edges. You have to get interior penetration. You destroying out those runs keep those guys running east west instead of north south and hope that your your team can gang tackle. And chase them down before they cut up field and make a play if. You start drifting out a at a position, you know, kind of reacting to some of the window dressing. They do with the motion with guys like John Brown and the tight ends at times and even Willie Snead if you start reacting to that you're gonna leave your spot, and you're going to give them a crease to run through. So you really have to stay home. You have to be extremely disciplined and trust. What you're reading and make a play when you have a chance you've got to get that first guy on the ground. You can't miss the first tackle, otherwise you're going to get hurt. And we saw early on the run defense struggling for the chargers, especially with Gus Edwards who broke a forty plus yard run on his first carry more of the power back Dixon, more of the elusive back like you mentioned. But this run game is a big priority for this offense. They are a run heavy attack. And you know, we were talking about maybe giving the ball to Lamar Jackson and making him throw a little bit more. I mean selling hardware talking about the game. But big priority. Here is going to be selling hard and stopping this run. And they did a pretty good job. Job the first time around they forced a fumble on Dixon charged. Did Melvin Ingram recovered. So they're going to have to stop the run. They kind of settled down off the first quarter. The run defense did for the chargers, and they'll have to do it again on Sunday. Yeah. I think playing them a second time, and what three weeks is going to be very big for them because they've already seen it. You know, we haven't seen how this run game looks when they play somebody for a second time and to play them for a second time in three weeks. The chargers, I think have the advantage here because they've seen it. They understand what they're trying to do. And they know what they have to stop it. And they made a lot of those adjustments. Like, you mentioned after the first two or three drives. It seemed like they really settled down. They started making clean tackles and getting guys on the ground and getting the ravens behind the chains. So I think it's going to be important that they go back, and they watch that, and they kind of repeat some those adjustments they made, and I think one thing you really wanna pay attention to alluded to it earlier is how. They use their tight ends because they're throwing more often than not to Hayden Hearst and Mark Andrews. But Nick boil is basically like an extra offensive lineman for them. He's on the field a lot. And when he's on the field. They're generally running behind him. And if they've got Boyle and MAC's Williams on the field together, they're probably motioning Williams across the four eight formation or using him as a fullback h back role as a lead blocker and they're running directly behind oil. So those guys really fuel that running game. They're pulling runny Stanley allot. They're pulling the rotating three guys at left guard right now. Alex Lewis, Bradley, bozeman and. Somebody thinks last name is Hearst. I'm blanking on his first name, James Hurst. Yes. Yes. So they're rotating those three at left guard and there they really they run right quite a bit. And when they're doing that, they're usually pulling the left guard and left tackle across the formation. Having Williams lead lead through the whole. And like I said creating those uncomfortable that chaos with maximum bodies in one area trying to find a crease so you really have to watch who's on the field at tight end, and that's really going to tip their hand as to what they're looking to do on the ground. So you've mentioned a couple of wide receivers Brown Crabtree. Snead. Let let's talk about this receiving core. I don't think this is a very good receiving core to be honest with you, you don't think. No, they're not. I don't think it's easy to point to and say, well, they don't they don't pass the ball very often because of the more Jackson as not on the receivers. But look there's not a lot of athleticism in this receiving core. Michael Crabtree is not moving very well anymore. He's not very dangerous. They might throw the occasional jump balled him in the end zone. We saw that two weeks ago. But really he's running slant and hitches easy. Quick patterns or not pushing him down the field at all John Brown is their deep threat from the slot more often than not, but he's not much of a possession receiver. He's not a guy who's gonna make volume catches. He's gonna make a couple of catches. And hope they're big plays down the field and Willie Snead. It seemed like they use him more like a tight end more often the nineties lining up in line as an extra blocker in the running game. And if he's making plays it's generally from the slot on a quick slant or something there's just nothing nothing about this wide receiver core. My opinion. That really threatens you a whole lot. And I feel like the charters matchup really well outside. You know, you start looking at maybe playing a lot of man coverage on the outside. He put Casey Hayward on on like John Brown you go size for size and put Michael Davis on Crabtree. Because you get a little more th- lettuces them in a little more length with Michael Davis and he matched up really well with Crabtree. In the first match up. You broke up jump. All. You're talking about earlier. He sure did he broke up. Yeah. He had a couple of really good reps versus Crabtree. And then I think, you know, obviously king in the slot with whoever's in the slot. Whether it's Braun or Snead or whomever and maybe play a little bit more zone at the second level with with your linebackers and your safeties try to kinda clog, those passing lanes a little bit tighten things up and make things on comfortable for Lamar don't give them those big wide open passing lanes. So I think you're gonna have to mix up your coverages and try to confuse him. But I think the chargers match really well man for man with those receivers I just I don't see much of the threat, and with the exception of Andrews who hurt them in the last game. But I think you can erase him with with Adrian Phillips or during James, I just don't see a match problem with their wide. Receivers tight ends that I'm overly concerned about hurting them deep or chewing chewing up yards. This is not there. I mean, the only thing that would if you want to call it a threat is the speed of John Brown. He and even that I don't think is that big of a deal. This just seems like a I mean, it is it's a bunch of castaway wide receivers. You got John Brown? Who's a former cardinal? He's got seven hundred fifty yards on the year. And that's he's leading receiver will lease need Crabtree. Bolton eclipse seven hundred yards. Neither of them were threat last time against the chargers last time they met the leading receiver was John Brown with two catches for twenty seven yards. So they didn't have any problems on the outside. Like you mentioned the one of the game. The problems is Mark Andrews to catches eighty three yards and the touchdown on that broken play Jalil die. Couldn't bring him down the end, and that was his career high Andrews is only broke fifty yards like five times this year he's gotten some chunk plays. But not a ton. You know, he's no hunter Henry. But like I mentioned earlier in like you're kind of talking about if you want to erase the guy like Andrews. Maybe you do see Ray Sean Jenkins in with details. Brown out. Maybe you see more mashed up on him. You've got Adrian Phillips who's a who's a beautiful matchup for. These titans. So this is a very very good match with the wide receivers. Verse TV's for the chargers. Yeah. I totally agree. And I think you have the depth and length and the athlticism to be able to mix and match against the tight ends and play a little bit zone in the back end and try to confuse the more. I just think you don't want to give these guys space. Oftentimes you see the chargers with their cover three zone. They're backing corners off giving those quick slants up in the middle of the field, hoping the linebackers are going to drop back and break them up. And it's not happening. I think you wanna bring the corners up particularly outside. Bring those guys up on the line of scrimmage, get them right up onto the wide receivers chins post up having get their hands on them. I mean Davis he played really well in Denver and playing better and better and better he gets his hands on somebody. He's a racing them. They're not they're not breaking free when he gets his hands on guys. So he stick him on Crabtree. Haven't beat up Crabtree. Physical with him. You take him out of the game. And I just think I think it's easy match across the. Yeah. Rewatching that game. You know, we're so used to hearing microbreweries name in a positive light when he was with the raiders, and he was almost a net negative because he had that office of passenger fares on a fourth down. Almost gossipy more yards receiving his one big reception came at like the right at the end of the second quarter when they're trying to like eat up some yours to try to kick that really long field goal at the end. But yeah, Crabtree was was nowhere to be seen that game. So this is a really really good matchup for these DB's. And then let's just go ahead and wrap up this Baltimore offensive line. We could talk about the games then. And let's talk about this offense of line. Yeah. This offense of line even other blocking really well in the run game. I don't think this is a particularly talented or good offensive line in my opinion. I kind of talked about a little bit earlier. You know, they've got Ronnie Stanley at left tackle, they're rotating three guys three pretty below average guys at left guard right now between Alex Lewis and. Bradley bozeman and James Hurst their center, Matt Scherzer is also pretty awful. He's been getting picked on quite a bit lately, really Marshall Yanez the best piece in that line. He's very good at right guard. And there I think they're right. Tackle was pretty vulnerable in Orlando Brown junior guy that neither one of us cared for much in the draft. And they took him in the third round. And I think they're vulnerable all up and down that line with the exception of Janda. And I think they have one I think the charters had several good match ups. You know, I think you look at various Filon. He struggled a little bit early in that game in the first game in week sixteen because they had him on the right side of the offense of line, and he was mashed up head to head with Marshall yadda quite a bit and yadda and skirl were double teaming him, and he was struggling but about midway through the second quarter Gus moved into the left side of the offensive line. And he started just eating the left guards lunch. I mean, he was killing them and skirl couldn't block him bozeman and Hearst couldn't block in. It was a nightmare. So I still don't think they have an answer for file on. I think that's a really great matchup. I think the pieces are there for the charges to be able to drive those interior linemen back into into Jackson's lap. Like we talked about. And I think there are some vulnerabilities tackle too. I think even though Stanley's played pretty well. He shows some vulnerability to incite counters, in my opinion, he can beat around the edge both Stanley and Orlando Brown junior in my opinion bay struggle with nickel blitzes you send multiple rushes at them. And they both kind of get confused and they struggle. So I think there are ways to get after Jackson in key situations there by confusing there tackles and sending multiple rushers, but I think this game where you're probably gonna see. More four and five type five-man type pressure packages. Dropping more guys back and trying to confuse Jackson. Yeah. I got a little bit different opinion on the office of line. I think you're right about the interior. I think they're very susceptible in the middle. I don't think the tackle plays. All that bad. I thought Ronnie Stanley set a pretty good year the games we watched. And I thought Landau Brown was much better than expected. I also didn't think he was very good coming out of the draft. So take that for what it's worth. But you know, watching them I didn't think he was all that bad in going back to that game in week sixteen. It didn't seem like they're a ton of pressure coming out. Lamar jackson. I thought their run game was pretty good. I think they get some pretty good push up front. The run game pass blocking. I think there are some weaknesses for shirt on paper. I think there are some really good match ups. Like, you talked about dairies Filon Joey Bosa moment Ingram on either end is obviously a good matchup. I think you're right. I think they do drop a little bit more zone. They rush five. I don't think. Gets too aggressive only because of how slippery Lamar Jackson could be. And you don't want to send too many guys leave too many holes open. So, you know, obviously, this defense of lines got a winner matchups. They got to stay disciplined collapse that pocket we talked about interior pressure. Hopefully, close the walls in on him on Lamar Jackson be it's more. It's more to stay disciplined close walls and get interior pressure than it is send the house and get him quick pressure on the Mark Jackson. So when when we're talking about getting pressure on the Mark Jackson. It's not hey, man, sender when and Dez off the edges because you'll be in trouble, then because he can have his quick read, and he'll be okay. And then you know, if anybody's out of line, then he's gone for twenty plus yard. So it's all about staying disciplined, hopefully closing the walls and on the edges from Bosa Ingram. Filon Crain's interior pressure on Lamar Jackson. Yeah. I agree with that. So let's let's go ahead and talk about some of these keys for the charter defense. All right. Well, I think. Obviously, you know, they're going to be run heavy and they're not looking to put the ball in the air too much. So I think you're looking to have seven eight guys in the box as often as possible we talked about walking the corners up to the line of scrimmage and having man coverage on the outside across the board. You can mix and match a little bit with Andrews take him away Phillips Derwin and maybe a little bit of ratio on Jenkins. I think from a linebacker standpoint. The they use Jenkins quite a bit at linebacker. And it seemed like the even using him as kind of a slot corner at times in Denver, some some interesting with him. So I think we'll probably wind up seeing is some kind of a mix and match with Phillips Jenkins and Polat at times at linebacker. And maybe even seeing some of. New oh Soo at at Sam at times just when they're looking to rush the passer or if they feel like they need to go big because they have multiple tight ends on the field. We talked about jamming receivers creating tight windows in the middle of the field mixing up covered with the linebackers trying to get as many bodies back into those passing lanes as possible. And really I mean, you got to stop the run and it comes down to setting. You gotta stay home. You gotta sit a physical edge and maintain that edge. Got a string the runs out get those guys running east west and then gang tackle. And you gotta make the first tackle you can't miss tackles. We're going to eat you alive. Yeah. No. Of course, stopping the runs gonna be a big deal there run heavy attack. Not only Gus and Dixon. But also Lamar Jackson. We mentioned it got to stay disciplined. We talked about pressure where you hope to create pressure from the edges create some interior pressure. And obviously can't be too aggressive with the blitzes. Gus can if you do stop the run, it's two fold you're taking away their string. Because there are run heavy offense. But you're also making Lamar Jackson throw the ball. And we talked about how they're trying to simplify that offense for the mar. And if you keep it a little complex, and he's got a throat a little bit more often than he needs to or has in the past. He'll be susceptible to some mistakes. You'll you'll get a turnover. He's gonna fumble. He has every game. He started. So created some turnovers will be good. We talked about man on the outside is easy. It's great matchup and having guys like Ray, Sean Adrian Phillips, and then even hateful ARD in the middle of very good rotation. Especially with these three or four tight ends. We're going to run on Sunday. Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree. I think all that makes a lot of sense. And one thing we haven't mentioned, well, you've mentioned that Lamar fumbles. I think if you do get home on the more and you have a chance to make a play. Everybody needs to be ripping it that as you're bringing him down get your hand on the ball. He does not have very large very strong hands. And he does have a tendency to cough up the ball when he gets hit. And sometimes he coughs it up even. When he doesn't get hit. Yes. So a lot of those fumbles are just hands off during those RPO's. They're not even going back and tripping over himself or being tackled. It's he's trying to tuck into Dixon and canton. It doesn't have the strong fans in it fumbles all the time. So yeah, definitely. Yeah. So I think that's the game plan. All right. So Baltimore defense charters are going into Baltimore. This is the NFL's number one defense. The both were allowed the fewest yards and fuse points per game. Let's start up front. We'll talk about this defensive line. They run a three four the middle. It's one of the best run stuffing nose tackles and the game. Brandon Williams big fan of his life. Tim during one of our free agent podcast. But he ended up getting a lot of money. So good things to go. He's major contributor stopping the run. Specially last time against the chargers. The ends Michael Pierce Brenner urban Pearson urban or having excellent seasons. I think pierces probably the front runner for the best man on that line. He's looked really really good. He's been sharp. Most of two thousand eighteen urban got the best Scofield on their last match. Oh, man that was bad and half a sack last time the two met, and it's going to start with those three offense of line really has to have a better showing that was a terrible showing especially from the interior guys. Dan, Feeney, Michael Scofield, even your pro bowler. Mike pouncey, so they're going to have to help out front and they're gonna have to help out in the run game. They're a very good team defending the run two weeks ago. They had no answers up front. They average three point two yours per carry during that game. Gordon had forty one yards on the day. Awesome wasn't part of that group. He'll be there on Sunday. The. Line was getting pushed around, you know, it just seemed like rivers had no time all game. And not only was that there were showing in terms of pressure because rivers was pressured over forty percent of his drawbacks on that game. But the penalties just piled up and they were getting grabby. This is a blitz happy defensive. We'll talk about it. But man every time that offense was starting to get going and converting third down. Okuno got a penalty. Tevi got a penalty. Scofield got a penalty, it just piling up and piling up piling up. It was a very bad day for that offensive line the interior guys on this line are really good. You mentioned worm Lee Williams urban and Pierce Pierce right now. I think is the number six rated defensive tackle on PF. I believe he's playing extremely well Williams. I don't think as far behind. I think Williams's he's the thirty fifth ranked defensive tackle right now. So those guys are all playing pretty well. I think worm Lee is a guy that. If he's on the field you can run at him. He's not nearly the the threat in terms of pushing guys around and clogging lanes is urban and Williams and Pierre Sarr, but I think you have to stay committed to the run you can't give up on the run. The chargers felt really one dimensional in that game. In week sixteen seemed like they just went to that seven step drop. Let's put the push the ball down the field as much as we can. And there was just no commitment to the running game. And even if you're only getting two three or at a time, you still gotta run between the tackles, at least to keep them honest, and at least try to wear them down. So I don't know that the chargers have any answers man for man front for those guys. They're going to have to probably double team and chip and do whatever they can to get creative and keep those keep those guys off rivers. But I think there are more opportunities to run the ball effectively outside against his defense. And there are inside against his defense. I think they're edged guys are good. Good. But not great against the run. And I think there are there are a lot of opportunities on a matchups you could win with those guys running off tackle in particular. Yeah. Yeah. Totally agree. I think they're more pass rushers than they are run stuffers there guys yet, especially with as much as this team blitzes running on the outside and running at them. We'll definitely slow them down. They like the rotate their pass rushers and they were pretty effective. Bring rivers down last times dairy Smith half a sack or second half, actually, Terrell. Suggs, he had a really good hit on rivers on a pass that following incomplete soak. Smith kind of their headliner pass rushers at the Sam got Matt Jude on he's pretty active. He's a pretty good pass rusher as well. He's tied second team. He's got seven sacks. There will linebacker Patrick a one so who had to sex that game at the Mike. They've got the veterans CJ Moseley. He's again got one hundred tackles this year lease the team in that category. Another key cog and. Stop in the run the ravens really disguised their looks. And the charters just didn't have any answers heavy blitzing team. They had stunts twists and that'll line struggle. Keep in the pocket, clean rivers. If they're going to win this game. And I guess we'll get into it. But they have got to keep river's clean. This offense of line has gotta communicate much better than they did last time around. Absolutely. Yeah. And I think one of the things that really hurt. The chargers was they at times the ravens were kicking Jude on Daria Smith inside of the three technique and just letting them tee off on Scofield and Phoenix. And the chargers never like you said they had no answers. They'd never figure out stop that. They lineup Smith and Jude on on the same side, moved one of those guys inside one of them outside and they'd start and twists sometimes they just shoot straight up the gap. They couldn't get hand on them. And if they did it was usually holding. So they've got to figure out how to handle those guys when they're reducing inside when they're playing on the same side of the line, and they have to keep river's clean. But I think a lot of that also comes with keeping them honest. And we'll talk to the game here. But the gotta run off the edge. You gotta run at them. They're going to have to run some draws people here in that they're gonna have to run some draws to keep them honest. They're going to have to run. Some screens slip. Screens tight end screens anything. They can to get the ball out of rivers hands relatively quickly and make them think twice about coming all out on the blitz. And I think also keeping the backs involved in passing the ball down the field, not deep but in that five seven yard range right at the linebackers in space that's going to be important to if they're going to bring those guys make a pay for it throw throw behind him. So they have to do a better job. They have to have a better game plan. They just it just seemed like they weren't prepared in the first game. They had some opportunities to make some plays. I thought early in the game rivers missed a couple throws couple opportunities for big plays. You know, leaving the pocket on even on. The second possession. There were two straight throws where I thought he had good protection. And he had opportunities to make plays. And he fled the pocket when he didn't really need to took one side of the field away and miss an opportunity to make a big play. So he's got to be better. I know he got hit hit hit a lot in that in the last game. And he's been hit a lot in the last few games. Hopefully, it's helping them prepare and they are more prepared for that in the playoffs. Because. They can't win rivers is an upright. Yeah. It's pretty simple. So then moving onto the DB's. This is a pretty talented back end here. Corners are pretty good. At least one of them is Marlin Humphry is really good looks like a rising star, man. He was really really good. He won the ravens two thousand eighteen and VP award for his play this year. I liked what I saw him on the matchup or the last couple of days. We watched of the ravens Brandon car Jimmy Smith. The other two corners cars had a solid issue here for the ravens. He had the interception on that. I play the you talked about from scrimmage Humphry that second pick actually in the end zone at the end of the game riverside to interceptors that game. But you know, car is veteran, isn't that? Good. I think they're very susceptible in the middle of field. We'll talk about that in a little bit on the back end. Of course, serach Weddell, we know all about him. And Tony Jefferson was maybe these star that defense on Sunday. He was. All over the place. I don't know if he was fired up because he was a San Diego kid and grew up watching the chargers, but he was really really good. He had a taco for a loss of pass deflections. He was good. He had a really bad penalty late hit out of bounds on Justin Jackson better than that. He had a real clean game. This db group is pretty good. But that middle of the defense man, this is going to be a spot to attack. They can't run underneath Keno was open those dinks and dunks to Justin Jackson Melvin Gordon rope. An all day making these linebackers covers going to be a big deal because you also help slow down the pass rush to Keenan Allen had five catches fifty eight yards. Justin Jackson, Gordon, had ten receptions for sixty years combined. So that middle field was open. Maybe can chip away in the middle of the field. Take a shot deep later, keep them honest. And we'll talk about the game. I keep wanting to talk about it. But. But yeah, there are some good good talent in this db group. Yeah. I think outside they're in pretty good shape. I think the guy's playing the slot and come on their sub packages of the guys that you really wanna go after tae-bong young has had some issues covering the deep ball in recent weeks. He has a lot of trouble. With those deep intermediate in breaking routes between the numbers between the hash marks. Jimmy Smith is a guy who gets really grabby wants to take him down field. He's been struggling lot this year with those deep routes you watch the Browns game they spread them out. They threw the ball over the top right down the middle of the field. Kind of tried to find that soft spot between the linebackers and the safeties. And it was there all day and they had the Browns at several drops. It probably should have gone for touchdowns that defense got picked on a little bit. They won the game. But they got picked on a little bit. With those deep intermediate routes in the middle of the field. That's something. The chargers are really going to have to try to find a way to hit. And I think they were trying to do that in the first game. And they. Couldn't get enough protection to be able to execute. But I think you wanna find I think this is a matchup game. I mean, all games are matchup games. But this is a huge match of game. I think you want a lot of Keenan Allen versus Tehran's T-Bone young and Jimmy Smith in the slot. I think you want a lot of Melvin Gordon in Austin neck ler versus CJ Moseley and Kenny young in the middle of the field. Mike Williams that times Eric weta was lined up man for man on on Mike Williams in the first matchup and the charters just couldn't get the ball, Mike. So I think you wanna find ways to get Williams matched up versus Weddell and Jefferson in the slot down the field in the middle of the field. And if hunter Henry returns and plays in this game. He's another guy you wanna get matched up in the slot with Weddell in Jefferson and uses size to your advantage in the middle of the field. I think there are pleased to be made behind the linebackers in front of the safeties in the middle of the field against his defense. You just got to keep upright and give them a chance to make the play. Yep. So let's move on to the keys the game. Then and like I mentioned earlier, obviously keeping rivers upright. Like, you mentioned the big deal. They are going to send a lot of guys. And it's going to be important for them to communicate in the interior because they just didn't last time were around. They have a lot. Exotic looks blitzing the front seven what I would like to see the chargers. Pick up the passing game make a little bit quicker because the last time around like we talked about wiz was having Philip rivers seven step drop when the pressure was coming interior offense flying couldn't take care of it. And of course, the outset Tevi Oku, much better. But there was pressure all day and you're asking rivers to take seven steps. How about opening that up? How about a game plan like they did against the Browns. How about running at that rushing attack run right atom like with Myles Garrett? Get the ball out fast on some quick passes. You've got Melman Gordon off the neck, learn volved, equa obvious wasn't there. Last matchup. Get them involved. You run run. The pass rushers. You slow them down. It's going to open up the passing game. If wiz is going to ask rivers to seven step drop their playing rightness to raven strength, and it's going to be a long day again on Sunday. So they can't do that one thing that obviously seems like I don't really say this on this podcast. But they gotta limited turnovers last time they play there's a number one defense, but Baltimore is three league and getting turnovers. They have fourteen on the year the charters had three turnovers two interceptions and the Tonio gates foam ball recovery that tape on young return for touchdown. Even though it wasn't the offensive line's fault. So much on those two interceptions. Because one was under thrown pass. Mike Williams was end endgame to travel, but the they they have got to stop with those turnovers because even those defenses number one, they don't get a lot of turnovers and the chargers just gifted him a bunch last time I like to see the chargers come out of the gate firing because they've been sleepwalking through the first quarter a lot. How you do that? Because Lynn hasn't got them. But maybe with the play offs. He lied to fire little bit. You just got to start fast this time, hopefully because you start fast then you got Lamar Jackson having to throw the ball little bit more because he's got to play catch up and hopefully rivers is thrown another turnover in the first possession again. Or at least I drive this team leans on their running game to this ravens team. So if you do jump out to an early lead your then taking the running game, you're having the mar Jackson throw it. That's a good proposition for the chargers. I just think that if they can communicate and do a little bit better with the offensive line. But haven't whiz helped him out a little bit? With the quick passing game, though is slow it on the pass rush attack. Those linebacker in the middle of field, the slots acceptable. Like you mentioned get those running backs involved in the passing game. Limit the turnovers try to get to an early lead. I mean, those those are my keys in those obviously sound easy and some of may be obvious. But it's not it's not. Not that hard. This isn't that complex as a team. If you get a lead you can pound on them and win. And I think there's a lot of favorable masses for the chargers. And the chargers, quite frankly, had maybe they're worse game all season and nothing went right for him. So if they limit their mistakes a little less than they did last time around I think good chance, I just feel like. You look at the way they played the Raymond's the first time it reminded me. A lot of what happened for the chargers in Kansas City, and in Pittsburgh where everything just went exactly the way they needed to to win those games. And I think that's what happened for the ravens. I don't. I mean their defense played great. I don't think their offense was all that great. You know that you've got to one score game going with three minutes left in that game. Rivers has the ball. You kind of had a feeling he might drive and give them a chance to win that game. And if they're not shooting themselves in the foot, they probably left I dunno at least fourteen points on the field if not more. Yeah. So there are under thrown ball on the first play. He leads Mike little bit that might be touchdown because Jefferson was late getting over there all kinds of plays just came up like an inch afoot short. And if they're another one score game with the ravens again, I don't know that the ravens can win that game again because you got to figure things are going to flip. And the chargers are gonna make one or two of those plays. Got called back during the during the first game. So I don't I don't think this is bad of a match for the chargers as people think it is granted there are some bad matchups up front and that is concerning. But I think the charters can offset those things with a better game plan to some extent. So mikey's. I think the chargers really felt like they tried to beat the ravens at their own game. And that first game there were a lot of twelve twelve twelve man personnel groupings. There are a lot of twenty two men twenty two personnel grouping. So one back to tight ends to backs two tight ends for those who don't know what that means. They tried to really match up with the ravens in a phone booth. So to speak and ran the ball down their throats and just win straight up man to man, and they couldn't do it. So I think he got a one of the big keys is going to be diversifying the personnel packages. Spreading them out. Maybe seeing more eleven personnel. Groupings ten personnel. Groupings maybe even some twenty personnel group. With two backs. Maybe get equa out wider in the slot. Matched up against a guy like achieve on young or a linebacker in the slot. Find ways to spread them out. Get guys in space and get the ball and rivers hands quickly. That's going to be really important. I think because the game is probably going to be close. Again. They also really need to stay committed to the run. They can't let the ravens bully than out of their game plan and let them abandon force them to abandon the run in the first or second quarter because then rivers is gonna get killed. You just they don't have the offense of line to be able to drop back seven steps and try to throw the ball deep if they fall behind. So they have to stick to the run keep these guys honest run downhill at these edge defenders because I think to me suggs, even though he's a talented edge rusher. I think he's a guy who looks like he's a little long in the tooth plant a little slow. He's not very good against the run Jude on and Smith, both those guys can get bullied and the running game a little bit. I think the good matchups with teddy and. An Oku as run walkers against those guys in particular. So you got to run outside and you got to get back to doing what you do best. Which in my opinion is working in the middle of the field. Like, you said Garrett, I think you have to get the ball quickly. And you have to get the ball quickly in the middle of the field in space and make them tackle in the open field dumping the ball behind the line of scrimmage. That's nothing to do. Good because his team's fast. They come down hill, and they can tackle. So you have to get the ball down the field out quickly. And in the middle of the field, and they had some success doing that in stretches in the first matchup. It just wasn't consistent enough so spread about I wanna see more three and four wide receiver sets. Maybe one back sets, maybe some empty backfield's. Get that get that ball moving and I gotta play with more tempo. Garrett said start fast, you know, get. Get the get them in the personal groupings that you create the match ups that you want and keep them on the field and keep them working and breathing heavy and keep them, you know, keep pace up because if you start slowing the game down, and you're snapping the ball at one to two seconds every time they know. In the snap is coming those, Ed. Russia's are going to kill you the defensive lineman or EU alive and you're playing right into their hands. Because you're slowing the pace down. They want the game to be short. They want that clock to bleed so snap that ball with fifteen seconds left. Twelve seconds left. Get the tempo up. Get them breathing. Hard early gets points on the board early. And then try to build and snowball and worked downhill because if you are playing slow, and you're letting them come off the line and beat you off the line, you're gonna get killed, and then you've gotta work pillow game. And we know that doesn't one. Yeah. All right. So we talked about the keys on offense and defense for the chargers. Let's talk about who we think's going to win this game. I already looted to it. I think the charters are gonna win this game. I the ravens are a good team. I, but I just I think the chargers actually, I was thinking about this tonight. Watch rewatching the Denver game. I'm kind of happy the charges are kind of getting bogged down on offense late in the season. Not that it's ideal. But I think playoff games more often than not are one ugly. And the chargers are having to find ways to play and win ugly. And I think that benefits you down the stretch more than rolling people up and winning big. 'cause you're just not gonna get wins like that in the playoff. So I think it's a close game. I think it's probably somewhere in that lake three ten point range at the most. And I think the chargers win I'm going to say the score is nineteen twelve charters. All right. Yeah. Yeah, we're close people be happy because I think the charge win this game too. I just don't think the ravens beat the charters twice in a span of a couple of weeks. That's really tough to do in the NFL. And I think everything did go right for the ravens the first time around. The defense was good now not taking away from the Baltimore defense, but charge really shot themselves in the foot and. I think that they could correct themselves this time around they just had so much going wrong for them in Baltimore capitalize on almost every bad play that happened. So with all that I say the chargers win it's going to be ugly. I'm gonna say twenty thirteen but we've got the same seven point spread so charters win ugly and they're moving on. So let's go ahead and talk about this path to the Super Bowl then. So we both have them winning this game. And if we if I had my preferred path, and I'm sure Jamie, you'll be on board with this because it's a pretty simple and probably obvious path year of the chargers win I would want the colts to beat the Texans. So they play the chiefs, and he charges would then play the patriots who I know might be sacrilege. But I think they're kind of ripe for the picking right now, they are not the team. They used to be that defense is very bad. Gronk is looking very slow like you should be retiring in the offseason Brady is obviously. They're an age that offense isn't really as good as it used to be except for that running game. That's that's a scary group. But other than that. I think the chargers then face the patriots, which I don't think as bad of a match up as people might think. And if they were to win that obviously I'd want the colts beat the chiefs 'cause that'd be the easiest game. And then chargers get to play a home game to try to beat the colts go to these Super Bowl in the AFC championship game. So you got about the same route, Jamie. Yeah. I think we have very similar thoughts. I think the patriots in my opinion are the ones you want in the second round there looking old and tired. The defense is not very good particularly up front. They don't really have any playmakers at the first two levels of the defense. Seems like they are making the decision to take the ball out of Brady's hands at times down the stretch this season these making questionable decisions taking bad sacks arm. Strength. Doesn't look like it's there. I think that's the matchup you want even if you have to go into England to do it. I just feel like the charters match up really well with them on both sides of the ball. And would find a way to win that game? Even in spite of what some people would probably consider a. Coaching mismatch or a deficit in the coaching skill sets between Bella check. And Lynn, I just feel like the talent. The chargers have I feel like it plays out and they win that game. So I want them to New England the second round. And then even though I'm not necessarily afraid of going to Kansas City in for the championship game. I would much rather have the colts come to LA. So I would want the the colts to win each of their games and wind up with a wildcard matchup in the AFC championship game in LA, which I think the charges would win. Yeah. Same here. Okay. Guys. That's it. Our very first playoff preview of line around podcast. I am at Garissa St. on Twitter Jamie at lightning underscore around. And hopefully, we will see next week. Thanks, everybody. My name is Spencer hall. My name is Jason Kirk. My name is Ryan nanny every week. And by we form, the shutdown awful. Stran- keep telling you this forecast is technically college football podcast. But it's also a show about here disaster regional grocery stores. We love Tennessee Batman, homeowners associations bears in video games. I mean, there's also some actual football discussion about coaches, having huge contracts coaches making terrible decisions coaches, saying really stupid things or the NC double A's saying released. Yeah, there's lots of stupid things in this big dome. Beautiful sport. Sometimes we talk about football games allegedly. If you wanna take college football exactly as seriously as it deserves taken come find us on apple podcasts Spotify or wherever else you listen to podcasts. Like, this this downpo- cats. It's not voltron.

Coming up next