Sport Opinion: Jackson being unfairly criticized for Ravens' loss
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Lamar Jackson and the No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravensby the Tennessee Titans, and the young quarterback has taken a lot of heat for his performance.
The big picture: Jackson did turn the ball over three times and was not particularly sharp as a pure passer. However, reflecting on the overall scope of the game, it’s clear that the burden of blame shouldn’t fall so heavily upon the shoulders of the presumptive 2019 NFL MVP.
The performance: Jackson wasn’t sharp. He racked up a ton of yardage but also made key mistakes, including a couple of indecisive runs on fourth down which were ultimately shut down by the Titans.
Will Lamar Jackson change the NFL?
Will Lamar Jackson change the NFL?Harbaugh was entering his 12th season as an NFL head coach. And with training camp still nascent, he’d admit, he wasn’t sure what his 12th NFL offense would be. What he did know was that it would look nothing like the others. He had a vision, one that had thus far guided the Ravens’ offseason. And on this midsummer evening, he relayed it to his players.
- Jackson completed 31-of-59 passes (52.5 percent)
- Jackson turned the ball over three times, throwing two interceptions and .
That’s the negative. Now here’s the positive:
- Jackson , becoming the first person ever to pass for 350-plus yards and rush for 100-plus yards in the same game.
- Jackson had no support from his running backs and was forced to carry the load, rushing for 143 yards on 20 carries.
- Jackson and Marquise Brown , and the quarterback finished with 365 passing yards.
The criticism: For many, Jackson’s frustrating outing was proof that his game is still gimmicky and that he isn’t really a good pocket passer (and probably never will be).
Theshowed that many feel this way. Heck, even the official NFL Research Twitter account highlighted his postseason struggles after the game.
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Ozzie Newsome no longer holds the official title of GM for the Ravens, but his fingerprints are all over the top-seeded AFC team.Newsome still comes to work every day at the stately team headquarters that looks like some compound from the Medieval era. He just missed his first practice session of the season this week, lured out of town for Pro Football Hall of Fame committee work. He still reviews every practice on videotape. Still grades every player. Still studies the NFL to glean institutional intel.
Lamar Jackson in 5 NFL playoff or college bowl games:
• 1-4 record
• 10 touchdowns
• 10 giveaways— NFL Research (@NFLResearch)
The truth: We, because his three turnovers were brutal. But this young quarterback isn’t the biggest reason the Ravens lost to the Titans Saturday.
- One of the biggest reasons Baltimore’s offense was so explosive in 2019 is that the team’s tight ends were dangerous weapons and Jackson’s preferred targets in the passing game.
- Mark Andrews was nowhere near healthy with a gimpy ankle Saturday night, and run-blocking star Nick Boyle was knocked out of the game with an injury as well.
- On top of that, star running back Mark Ingram (15 touchdowns in 2019) was not healthy trying to play through a calf injury.
- Then, of course, there’s the matter of Baltimore’s defense .
The future: Asduring the regular season, they have the ammunition to get much, much better overall during the offseason.
Jackson vs. Henry: Who poses the bigger challenge?
Defenses know they’re coming, they know what they’re going to do, and there’s still little they can do to stop Derrick Henry and Lamar Jackson.“He’s from Mars,” Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. “He’s definitely an outer-space guy.
Despite Saturday night’s loss, Ravens are in strong shape for the 2020 season. Every Ravens’ offensive starter is under contract for next season. Ravens also are $45 million under next season’s salary cap. And the Ravens currently are scheduled to have nine draft picks.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
The bottom line: It’s unfair to put Saturday’s divisional-round loss on the shoulders of Lamar Jackson.
As we detailed after the game,for its role in the stunning defeat. Injuries aren’t an excuse, but they do matter. And let’s be honest, we’re still talking about a 23-year-old man who just finished his second career NFL season.
The sky is not falling. Lamar Jackson is not a fraud. He’s the same guyfor 15 games this past season and who will win league MVP.
Was it frustrating that the best, most exciting team during the regular season went one-and-done? Hell yes! But if we’re being honest, the Ravens may have overachieved this year. There is still plenty of work left to do on the personnel side to build up a complete team while Jackson is still on his rookie contract.
Winners, losers from Titans' stunning divisional round win over Ravens
Watch the highlights from the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens in the 2019 Divisional Round.
The truth is, next year, the league may really have a problem with a Ravens team that can build on its success in a big way.
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