Baltimore Ravens: Breaking down both sides of the quarterback debate
The Lamar Jackson side of things:
Lamar Jackson is 3-0 as a starting quarterback and that means something. It may not have always been the smoothest operation, and it may not have been conventional NFL football, but it worked. Jackson and the Ravens are hot and their momentum is real. All of the sudden the Ravens are in line for a playoff spot. If the Ravens win just two of the last four games, they will probably be the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. The Ravens are a half game back in the race for a division championship. Jackson has inserted hope and energy into the Ravens season, a season that looked so doomed that Harbaugh’s future became a major talking point. People always say that all you need to do is get hot at the right moment, well that’s what the Ravens did. They did it with Jackson.
Jackson makes an impact with his legs and his arm. He also facilitates the run game. With the defense always having to respect Jackson’s mobility, running the football has become easier for the entire offensive unit. Gus Edwards has exploded onto the scene and the team is churning out an historic amount of rushing yards. Edwards has rushed for 315 yards in the last three weeks. Jackson has tallied 265 yards on the ground as a starting quarterback. Jackson is good for 250-300 total yards of production as a dual threat player. Taking Jackson out of the equation would kill the new found running game for Baltimore. Jackson’s offense is a ball control attack that is unpredictable, even with the heavy dose of runs.
Jackson has shown arm talent. Has he missed throws? Absolutely. He also has thrown some dimes and he’s shown the raw ability to get the job done as a passer. If the Ravens want to see more from Jackson in this area, they have to let it come with experience. Jackson is only going to get better. The Falcons game was a bumpy ride. The truth is however, if Jackson didn’t have so many mistakes against Atlanta, we wouldn’t be having a debate. The Ravens would have to give Jackson another start. It would have made it all but impossible to go back to Flacco.
Jackson impressed in his first two games and the Ravens found a winning formula. In the third game the team played well enough to overcome his mistakes. There’s no getting around that. The question is after three games has there been enough positives to stick with Jackson? The answer is yes. Putting Flacco back into the game would make the Ravens predictable. Putting Flacco back in would cost the Ravens the run game and the style of football that has reinvigorated their season.