The Pros and Cons of sticking with Lamar Jackson at Quarterback

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws the ball in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws the ball in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Baltimore Ravens
BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 9: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The Cons to Keeping Lamar Jackson as Quarterback:

  • The Ravens may get less out of the passing game.
  • The Ravens will have the most expensive backup quarterback in the NFL.
  • Jackson is less battle tested than Flacco

The Ravens spent the offseason fixing the passing game. It was a project that paid off. John Brown, Willie Snead and Michael Crabtree are having respectable seasons. Mark Andrews looks like a tight end that is just starting to show how good he is. That investment in the passing game could go out the window with Jackson as the quarterback. Jackson can throw, and he’s better at it than most people give him credit for. Still, he’s a rookie and the passing game is a real work in progress.

The way the Ravens beat the Bengals will be hard to replicate. While it probably wasn’t planned that Jackson would run the ball 27 times, that should come as a red flag. Jackson took what the Bengals gave him, but other teams may not be so generous. If the Ravens get into a shootout with the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons or the Los Angeles Chargers, Flacco gives them the more tried and true path towards victory.

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Flacco has had a decent season with a couple of bad games. That’s par for the course. However if the Ravens are going to make a push for the playoffs, that’s where Flacco has made earned his money. Jackson is far less battle tested than Flacco. While it’s hard to bet on either quarterback to play mistake free football week to week, Flacco is nuanced in the NFL passing game. It would be perfectly understandable if a coaching staff on the hot seat trusted an 11 year pro over a rookie passer.