Don’t Pin This On Lamar

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Don’t Pin This On Lamar

Jack Corcoran, Staff

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During and after the Baltimore Ravens’ 23-17 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, fans throughout the stadium voiced their displeasure, particularly at the team’s offense. Throughout the first fifty-five minutes, the Ravens offense was putrid, with a field goal providing the only points as the team fell behind, 23-3, entering the fourth quarter.

Despite two late touchdowns to narrow the gap, many fans weren’t thrilled, particularly with the way ROOKIE quarterback Lamar Jackson played, evidenced by the way many fans were calling for recently BENCHED Joe Flacco to come in and save the day.

While Jackson didn’t play particularly well, with three fumbles, an interception, and a sub-50% completion percentage, the Ravens usually don’t even make the game remotely interesting if Flacco plays. Remember, despite playing awfully, the Ravens had a chance to win the ballgame with a late touchdown drive.

On those two late touchdown drives, Lamar kept said drives alive by scrambling around the pass rush, stepping out of sacks. Does Flacco make those plays? Of course not. Jackson has elite athleticism that has bailed the Ravens out more times than not, whereas Flacco has shades of Eli Manning.

With how poorly the offensive line played, no quarterback could have won that game. Jackson was sacked seven times and was pressured on over half of his drop-backs. “January Joe” Flacco certainly doesn’t.

And let’s talk about that “January Joe.” Flacco earned that moniker, rightfully, for his borderline legendary playoff run that led to a Super Bowl championship in 2012. But that was six years ago. Since he received his mega-contract that held up a lot of the Ravens’ cap space for future seasons, Flacco was borderline average, battling injuries these past few seasons as the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs.

Even this year Flacco started off the year hot, but significantly cooled off as the Ravens’ offense stagnated en route to a 4-5 start, creating hot seat talk surrounding head coach John Harbaugh as the Ravens’ playoff hopes seemed lost.

What did Lamar do? In his first start, he beat the Bengals, a team that Flacco only had a 9-12 record against. With the Ravens’ league-best rushing attack, the defense that seemed gassed and inconsistent during Flacco’s start was suddenly rejuvenated, helping to the team to a 6-1 record and an AFC North title.

That’s what these fans are forgetting; that Lamar led us here. So, don’t boo at the guy or clamor to have them put an average QB in; instead, maybe you should boo at the coaching staff who has seemingly made no adjustments to the offense since Lamar’s first start. Boo at the offense lineman who gave Lamar no time at all to make plays, or when he did, it was at the cost of taking a vicious hit from a Chargers defender.

Don’t pin this on Lamar: be appreciative that as a rookie, he was able to give us a chance to win a championship. Don’t act like this is the end of something, or this is as good as it’s going to get. If the Ravens can get the proper coaching staff in Baltimore to help him develop, Jackson can turn into something this league has never seen.

Instead of talking about the Tom Brady-led Patriots dynasty, they will be talking about the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens dynasty. He’s only 22- he just needs time.