Ravens must seriously consider starting Lamar Jackson after bye week
At 4-5, the Baltimore Ravens season is pretty close to being over. Now, the team should look ahead to the future and start Lamar Jackson after the bye week.
The moment Lamar Jackson was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, it became crystal clear that the Baltimore Ravens were ready to move on from Joe Flacco. Now sitting at 4-5 on the season, the organization may be leaning towards blowing the organization up entirely. John Harbaugh’s seat has been on fire for a while, but almost no one on the coaching staff’s job is safe right now.
So with that being said, the time is now to start Lamar Jackson, something that sparked controversy after last week’s loss to the Carolina Panthers.
This decision becomes more likely to happen should Harbaugh and company be fired during the team’s bye week. Should they stay, it still wouldn’t make perfect sense to stick with Joe Flacco at quarterback. The Ravens aren’t officially eliminated from the playoffs, it’s just extremely unlikely, and that’s because of their quarterback play.
Besides, Baltimore knows exactly what it’s getting out of Joe Flacco. Flacco has tossed an impressive 2,468 passing yards through nine games, but has just 12 touchdown passes to six interceptions. At this point, we should be done making excuses for him. The front office added plenty of weapons for him this off-season and he started off the year hot with an offensive scheme that fit to his strengths. Flacco has simply come back down to Earth and has regressed to the Joe Flacco we’ve all come to know.
Insert Lamar Jackson:
Meanwhile, the Ravens offense tries to get cute and gimmicky by using Lamar Jackson exclusively in running situations. Opposing teams have caught up, too, as Jackson’s effectiveness diminishes by the week because he’s only expected to run. This needs to stop.
Why does the team consistently pigeonhole Jackson? His athleticism and potential are unmatched compared to anything Baltimore has. Honestly, Jackson might be John Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching staff’s best chance to save their jobs. Joe Flacco isn’t winning you games by himself, after all. Who’s to say Lamar Jackson can’t be that guy, or at least one day become that guy?
We certainly can’t expect Jackson to take his first start and play like 2012 Robert Griffin III, but he changes the entire dynamic of the offense. Jackson has a solid arm and can stretch the field with his receivers, but the run game could become more effective because it would force defenses to respect Jackson’s running ability. Suddenly, Baltimore’s offense goes from bland and stale, to exciting and explosive.
Joe Flacco lovers should put down the torches and leave this fight to rest. There isn’t much of an argument at this point. I myself have been one of the biggest Flacco apologists throughout his career, but I can no longer stand behind him when the future is sitting right behind him. If the Baltimore Ravens are ready to move on, and they should be, then now is the time to start seriously considering starting Lamar Jackson.