Generally, it's not a good idea to give another top-end team extra motivation, but the Ravens' Marlon Humphrey just did it to the 49ers.
One of the prerequisites of talking trash about another team is the necessary ability to back it up.
For the 11-3 Baltimore Ravens, who are sitting atop the AFC right now, it appears they can talk whatever trash they want. Their record and rankings in nearly every offensive and defensive category this season warrant the smack-talk.
However, the 11-3 San Francisco 49ers are sitting in the way and are prepared to host Baltimore on Christmas Day for Week 16's finale on Monday Night Football.
Usually, the conversations between top-seeded teams will involve plenty of respect unless they're both heated rivals. Indeed, Ravens defensive back Kyle Hamilton shot down notions of the Niners' Brock Purdy being a "system quarterback."
However, another Baltimore defensive back wasn't as kind to San Francisco lately.
Ravens' Marlon Humphrey on 49ers: 'I don’t respect ’em'
The 49ers have talked plenty of trash along the way, too, including All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel throwing shade at the Philadelphia Eagles and then backing it up with a three-touchdown performance when the two teams met on Dec. 3.
Now, Ravens All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey is doing some shade work of his own.
"I don’t respect them," Humphrey said on the Punch Line Podcast (h/t SacTown Sports) in advance of Monday's primetime showdown against the Niners. "I don’t respect a single person on their football team."
Bulletin board material? Absolutely.
Interestingly enough, though, Humphrey pointed out San Francisco's strengths not long after his lack-of-respect remarks.
"I’m excited for this one, I mean, their defense is crazy. ...They just got key playmakers. Christian McCaffrey scores every single freaking game. Deebo, Brandon [Aiyuk], [George] Kittle, I mean, dang ... It’ll be a good one. I think this might be the game of the year, honestly. Could definitely be the game of the year."
While Humphrey just threw shade at the 49ers with his earlier comments, it sure seems as if he respects them a lot based on how he followed up.
Either way, it'll be up to Humphrey and the Ravens to back up the lack of respect when the Niners host them on Dec. 25 at 8:15 p.m. at Levi's Stadium.
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