The young and multi-talented signal-caller has been on the short end of two playoff losses and did not perform well in either contest.
Will the third time be the charm for exciting quarterback Lamar Jackson? The Baltimore Ravens are in the playoffs for the third straight year and his recent play has been a major catalyst. But now comes the postseason, which has been a sore spot for the young performer albeit a short sample size.
There was a 23-17 loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2018 AFC Wild Card Playoffs. Jackson hit on less than 50 percent of his passes (14-of-29) for 194 yards. And while he threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final six-plus minutes of the game, he was picked off once, lost one of his three fumbles and was sacked seven times. The then-rookie signal-caller ran nine times for 54 yards in the six-point setback.
A year ago, the Ravens entered the AFC Divisional Playoffs with the best record in the NFL (14-2) and a 12-game winning streak. Jackson was the starting quarterback for 13 of those victories – including the last 11 triumphs. He was the 2019 NFL MVP. But at home against the Titans, he once again had his issues. Yes, Tennessee workhorse Derrick Henry ran through John Harbaugh’s defense for 195 yards. But Baltimore’s star quarterback was a smidge over 50 percent when it came to his completion percentage (31-of-59). He totaled 365 yards through the air and connected for one score. And he also ran 20 times for 143 yards. But he served up two interceptions, was sacked four times and lost a fumble in the 28-12 setback.
Again, a short sample size. The combined numbers have Jackson with a 51.1 completion percentage (45-of-88) for 559 yards and just as many touchdown passes (3) as interceptions. He’s fumbled four times and lost two of those drops. There have been 197 yards rushing on 29 carries. But the mobile presence has also been sacked a combined 11 times.
Back to the last five weeks. Jackson has hit on 67.0 percent of his passes for 809 yards, 11 TD passes and three picks. He’s run for 430 yards and four scores. He’s fumbled four times and lost just one of those miscues. And the Ravens have won all of those games and averaged a brisk 36.2 points per outing. He and the team come into Sunday’s clash with the Tennessee Titans with a head of steam. But can he shake off a pair of forgettable playoff outings? Stay tuned.