Baltimore Ravens eliminated by Chargers: Purple perspective check
The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Los Angeles Chargers and the 2018 season is over. Ravens fans should be disappointed but optimism is called for as well:
The 2018 Baltimore Ravens season wasn’t a failure, a Super Bowl just happened to not be in the cards. The Ravens won their division, found the quarterback of the future and were given a reason not to give up on John Harbaugh. The 10-6 run that netted the Ravens an AFC North crown is tempered by the heartbreak of a home playoff loss.
The reason that the playoff loss was most heartbreaking is the way the playoffs are shaping up. The Chargers were the team best suited to beat the Ravens. Not only had the Chargers played the Ravens, but they had the defensive prowess to get Lamar Jackson’s offense off track. After the Chargers though, the Ravens could have had some favorable match ups. The Ravens would have surely had a chance to beat the Patriots.
The exciting thing in Baltimore is the future, and finding hope for that future was the real accomplishment of the season. When Harbaugh put Jackson in as the starter it sparked a 6-1 run. The Ravens changed their entire approach and the players bought into the new ways in Baltimore.
Harbaugh may deserve a heavy dose of criticism for the way he handled the playoff game, but he is without a doubt coming off his most impressive stretch as a coach. The purple and black are headed to the offseason where they should be able to clear up a ton of cap room. This team feels like they are just a few moves away, and some development out of number eight away from something big.
Jackson struggled against the Chargers. His terrible performance doesn’t mean that Baltimore should be dissuaded from the Jackson era. Jackson is the future, and he will grow into the position. There are a lot of people that need a perspective check here. Jackson struggled against a top 10 defense, in his first playoff start, when he was the youngest quarterback to ever have a playoff start.
The rookie quarterback may not have had his best day, but the near comeback was exciting. Jackson had no reason to be confident and he kept going for it. Jackson was unflappable and the Ravens never gave up on this game. Does Jackson have a lot of work to do? Absolutely. He needs to take care of the ball better and to improve on the fundamentals of quarterbacking. Jackson is very talented and the sky is still the limit for him.
The Ravens were the only AFC North team to make it to the postseason. They took a big step forward and hinted at a bright tomorrow. Instead of a massive rebuild, the Ravens are moving forward. Instead of looking at coaching candidates, we’re already in NFL Draft mode. There is still some frustration from the playoff loss, but Baltimore should move into the offseason feeling proud of this team. The future is going to be exciting.