Lamar Jackson outlined the phrases of his NFL profession earlier than it began with a now-famous draft evening declaration: “They’re going to get a Tremendous Bowl out of me. Consider that.”
However as nice as he has been by means of 2 half seasons, the Ravens quarterback has not discovered postseason success. He did not throw a landing cross till the ultimate 12 minutes of lopsided losses to the Chargers and Titans, and between these defeats he tossed three interceptions and misplaced two fumbles by means of the primary three quarters.
Jackson’s subpar efficiency in opposition to Los Angeles two years in the past established an unlucky narrative about his big-game play. His lackluster effort in opposition to Tennessee in January undermined an MVP marketing campaign meant to double as a tour to embarrass persistent doubters. This 12 months, then, is a irritating third try to definitively show to the general public what his statistics already present: He’s an all-around famous person below middle who deserves much more reward than he has obtained up to now.
Jackson will, in fact, be judged by what he does past Week 17, however regular-season matchups equivalent to Sunday’s rematch with the Titans will not be utterly meaningless in shaping how he is perceived. Consider every scintillating exhibiting he delivers as bonus fashion factors for his final championship aim. There would little question be nice satisfaction taken from selecting aside Mike Vrabel’s protection, and a powerful efficiency in opposition to a possible 2020 playoff opponent would offer a confidence increase for your complete Baltimore roster.
Neither the Ravens nor Jackson have been as tidy of late as they have been after they went 14-2 a 12 months in the past. A shock loss to the Patriots final weekend underlined their vulnerability. At 6-3, they’re three video games again of the Steelers for first place within the AFC North and in a battle for second with the Browns.
Jackson’s passer ranking is down from 113.Three to 95.6. After averaging an NFL-best 6.9 yards per carry throughout his MVP run, he’s averaging 5.eight yards per tote this season. He feels the offense isn’t punishing opponents with the ruthless effectivity it did final marketing campaign.
“We have simply acquired to complete,” Jackson stated. “It is the little issues on tape the place it is like, we might have put them away.”
Jackson doesn’t publicly view Sunday’s contest in opposition to the Titans as a revenge sport. He instructed reporters of Baltimore’s playoff exit 10 months in the past: “That was final 12 months, we simply fell brief and we are able to’t do something about it.”
And the way might it’s a revenge sport?
If Jackson dominates, then the anticipated blended response on social media would reveal the maddening actuality of his profession. His constantly above-average regular-season play is nearly all the time met by reminders of two dangerous playoff video games. Predecessor Joe Flacco’s mediocre play, in the meantime, was ceaselessly accompanied by chatter about 4 wonderful playoff video games in 2013.
However as a spicy appetizer for a win over the Titans when it counts afterward? You possibly can imagine Jackson would get pleasure from each little bit of that.