Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson is taking his place at the throne
By Darin McCann
Lamar Jackson is quickly seizing the spotlight in Baltimore for the Ravens, and it does not look like he’s giving it up any time soon.
Has Lamar Jackson seized the moment that Baltimore Ravens fans have been waiting for? It feels like it. All of Ravensdom has been waiting on this moment since 1996 — a true iconic quarterback, leading the purple and black into battle each week, with a saunter in his step and a skillset that makes other fan-bases drool.
We’ve wanted it so badly we tried to will it into happening. We tried so hard to believe that Vinny Testaverde was that guy while he was firing passes downfield in the Ravens inaugural season, but, at the end of the day, he was still Vinny Testaverde. We loved Trent Dilfer, largely because Trent Dilfer won, but Dilfer won with the 2000 Ravens, a team that featured a historic defense that could win with, well, Trent Dilfer at quarterback. Kyle Boller?
Let’s slide past those Kyle Boller years.
The Ravens then signed a seasoned Steve McNair to lead the team, and he willed the Ravens to a 13-3 mark in 2006, but that team was really once again led by a ferocious defense, with enough big-time moments from McNair to lead them to wins more often than not. But they fell flat in the playoffs against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, and McNair’s body slowly began to break down after that.
Then, in 2008, the Ravens drafted a strapping, rifle-armed quarterback from the University of Delaware by the name of Joe Flacco. He brought stability to the position, and after a few years of being carried by that still-staunch defense while he grew into the position, Flacco became a guy who could come up big in the big moment, be it a defining drive against the Steelers in Pittsburgh that culminated with a winning pass to Torrey Smith or a legendary run through the playoffs after the 2012 season that ended with Flacco holding up the Lombardi Trophy and getting himself a new car.
Flacco will forever be admired by most of Baltimore for his tenure with the Ravens, and he should be. He was tough, classy, never intimidated by a big moment and won some huge games over the years. But, alas, he also had the ability to put up a road stinker a few times a year that made you want to wash your eyes out with sulfuric acid after watching it. There was just something there that kept him from taking that step into being a true game-changer. We wanted him to be that guy. We wanted it so badly for him — and for us.
But it just didn’t work out that way…