Baltimore Ravens were right to stick with Lamar Jackson in Wildcard loss
After time to sit back and process the Baltimore Ravens Wildcard loss to the LA Chargers, it seems that the team was right to stick with Lamar Jackson.
The moment the Los Angeles Chargers stepped onto the field, one thing became abundantly clear: The Chargers did not plan on being run over by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens rushing attack. LA came in with a clear plan on how to shutdown Baltimore’s offense, and it worked to perfection.
The Ravens stumbled all day long before making a last-ditch effort that seemed too late at the time. However, instead of executing the perfect comeback, the Ravens turned the ball over and lost the game 23-17. And who was the culprit behind this game-sealing turnover? None other than rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Naturally, Ravens fans blew their lids and began exchanging horrible words to about Jackson, the team, and even each other in Ravens Flock. It was a disgusting affair that broke the fan-base and divided us all. While half of the fans argued that Baltimore was right to leave Jackson in the game, the rest demanded that Joe Flacco should’ve entered the game.
It makes perfect sense (in theory) considering Flacco’s successes in the post-season. We’ll never forget his Super Bowl XLVII run, and even before and after that Flacco was terrific in the playoffs. Alas, Baltimore has struggled to get back to January football in recent years, and it is unknown how good Flacco would be in the playoffs; not to mention Flacco hadn’t played any football since early November for the Ravens.
However, none of this stopped fans from fighting through words, computers, and even physically over the quarterback debate. Could Joe Flacco have won the game? Sure, but I wouldn’t have bet my playoff hopes on a quarterback who missed nearly half the season with a hip injury. Flacco also doesn’t make the Ravens offensive line suddenly perform at an All-Pro level. Jackson was pressured all day long and received little-to-no help from his supporting cast. Simply put, the Chargers defense had Baltimore’s number on Sunday.
But with all that being said, it’s clear to me (and hopefully others) that the Baltimore Ravens did, in fact, make the correct assessment to leave Lamar Jackson in the game despite the offense’s struggles. Like I previously mentioned, the Ravens did make a rally attempt very late in the game. It seemed like garbage time points at first, but suddenly the team was nearly on the verge of a comeback. Unfortunately, a turnover filled day for Jackson was ultimately the team’s downfall, and now we will sit tight on our couch and wait for the 2019 NFL regular season to start up.
The Baltimore Ravens have made it clear that they plan to role with Lamar Jackson for the unforeseeable future, and that means letting him take his licks in the playoffs. Losses only make an individual stronger, and there should be no doubt that this will help Jackson to become a better quarterback and player.
2019 will be a fresh start for the 22-year old, and hopefully this playoff loss will be a catalyst for his progression. But at the end of the day, the Baltimore Ravens made a business decision to keep Lamar Jackson in the game, and it truly was the correct choice.