Lamar Jackson outlined the phrases of his NFL profession earlier than it began with a now-famous draft night time declaration: “They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me. Believe that.”
But as nice as he has been by way of 2 1/2 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 way of the primary three quarters.
Jackson’s subpar efficiency towards Los Angeles two years in the past established an unlucky narrative about his big-game play. His lackluster effort towards Tennessee in January undermined an MVP marketing campaign meant to double as a tour to embarrass persistent doubters. This yr, then, is a irritating third try to definitively show to the general public what his statistics already present: He is an all-around celebrity underneath middle who deserves way more reward than he has acquired thus far.
Jackson will, in fact, be judged by what he does past Week 17, however regular-season matchups reminiscent of Sunday’s rematch with the Titans should not fully meaningless in shaping how he is perceived. Think of every scintillating exhibiting he delivers as bonus fashion factors for his final championship purpose. There would little question be nice satisfaction taken from choosing aside Mike Vrabel’s protection, and a powerful efficiency towards a possible 2020 playoff opponent would supply a confidence enhance for the whole Baltimore roster.
Neither the Ravens nor Jackson have been as tidy of late as they have been after they went 14-2 a yr 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 score is down from 113.3 to 95.6. After averaging an NFL-best 6.9 yards per carry throughout his MVP run, he’s averaging 5.8 yards per tote this season. He feels the offense shouldn’t be punishing opponents with the ruthless effectivity it did final marketing campaign.
“We’ve simply acquired to complete,” Jackson mentioned. “It’s the little issues on tape the place it is like, we might have put them away.”
Jackson doesn’t publicly view Sunday’s contest towards the Titans as a revenge recreation. He informed reporters of Baltimore’s playoff exit 10 months in the past: “That was final yr, we simply fell quick and we are able to’t do something about it.”
And how might it’s a revenge recreation?
If Jackson dominates, then the anticipated combined response on social media would exhibit the maddening actuality of his profession. His persistently above-average regular-season play is nearly at all times met by reminders of two unhealthy playoff video games. Predecessor Joe Flacco’s mediocre play, in the meantime, was endlessly accompanied by chatter about 4 wonderful playoff video games in 2013.
But as a spicy appetizer for a win over the Titans when it counts afterward? You can consider Jackson would get pleasure from each little bit of that.