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Late for Work: Mike Florio Eats Crow: 'I Was Flat Out Wrong About the Ravens'

From left: Mike Florio, QB Lamar Jackson
From left: Mike Florio, QB Lamar Jackson

Mike Florio Eats Crow for Saying 49ers Would 'Kick the S—' Out of Ravens

NBC Sports' Mike Florio issued a mea culpa for saying the 49ers would “kick the s—” out of the Ravens, but he insisted yesterday that his bold statement was more about how dominant San Francisco had been rather than slighting the Ravens.

A day after the Ravens dismantled the 49ers, 33-19, in San Francisco on Christmas night, Florio said: "It was all about the 49ers. My belief was the 49ers were significantly better than everyone. Any of the other 31 NFL teams, 49ers significantly better. And I was wrong about the Ravens. And I own it. I admit it. I was flat out wrong about the Ravens."

Florio also admitted he was off base when he said before the game that "if it's a Super Bowl preview, the Super Bowl is gonna suck."

"No, the Super Bowl is gonna be pretty damn interesting if it's Ravens-49ers," Florio said. "It's going to be extremely compelling if it's these two teams again. So thank you to the Ravens for giving us another team that is up there on the upper echelon with the 49ers."

Lamar Jackson and others on the team made it clear after the game that they felt disrespected by Florio’s comments. That led Florio to wonder if he should get some credit for the Ravens' resounding victory.

"That's where this really does become interesting," Florio said. "Did I help stoke the fire?"

USA Today’s Mike Freeman believes the Ravens thrive on disrespect.

"Of all the Ravens' main propellants — the smart coaching, the smart players, the athleticism from the top of the roster to the bottom — the feeling of being disrespected might be their greatest engine," Freeman wrote. "It will likely continue to serve them well as they make a Super Bowl run."

Pundit Says 'No Team Can Win Like the Ravens Win'

The Ravens (12-3) lead the league in victories, but how they win is what makes them special, The Ringer's Sheil Kapadia said on "The Ringer NFL Show.”

"I've felt this way for a while but it really stood out watching [Monday's] game: no team can win the way the Ravens win," Kapadia said. "No. 1, they're the most balanced team in the NFL. They can win with their run game. They can win with Lamar in structure; then all of a sudden you're seeing Lamar out of structure, scrambling for 31, finding Gus Edwards on the dump-off for another explosive play. We know they can win with defense — holy cow what a defensive performance against the Niners. We know they can win with special teams. And so you add all these things up and they are just such a hard team to put away. Unless it is just their worst day at the office, where nothing is working, where they're not getting any bounces, they're going to be in every game. And we've seen that this entire season.

"The second aspect is the Ravens puffing their chests out after the game, Patrick Queen saying, 'We play a brand of football that people don't want to play.' … I generally scoff at 'just go out and hit them in the mouth.' I'm generally like, 'Offenses are too good. I believe in speed. That's not going to work.'  But then you watch that game, and you see Kyle Hamilton, you see Marlon Humphrey, you see Roquan Smith, you see Jadeveon Clowney, and you see every single player on that Ravens defense and it's like, 'OK, I think there actually is some truth to that.'"

ESPN's Pat McAfee also marveled at how complete of a team that the Ravens are.

"The defense: sound. The special teams: solid. And the offense has weapons all over the place and they're only getting better," McAfee said on "The Pat McAfee Show." "Once you start looking at the Baltimore Ravens and you look at some of the wins they've had, how they win, how they go about handling their business, and the culture — that Ravens culture has been set for a long time. … This team is the real deal."

Mike Macdonald Put Brock Purdy in 'Pure Hell'

The Ravens defense leads the league in fewest points allowed, sacks, and takeaways. The unit obviously has an abundance of outstanding players, but Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald has done a masterful job of getting the most out of them.

"The greatest plan in the world is useless without Kyle Hamilton's instincts for breaking on a ball or Jadeveon Clowney bowling over his blocker. There's no success without Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen racking up bone-rattling hits that left no doubt who the more physical team was," The Baltimore Banner's Kyle Goon wrote. "But Macdonald has been the maestro, harmonizing these distinct melodies, finding what each Raven does best and drawing on these talents at just the right moments."

After watching the Ravens defense record five interceptions against the 49ers' high-powered offense Monday night, "Good Morning Football's" Peter Schrager credited Macdonald and said he's "got 2024 head coach written all over him."

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