The Baltimore Ravens have been under fire week in and week out. It seems that no matter the outcome, people find ways to discredit them. When will it stop?
Want to see how easy it was to beat the best defense in the league? Take a look at our quarterback, Lamar Jackson, and the way that he toasted the New England Patriots defense on Sunday Night Football. He and the Baltimore Ravens made it look too easy:
Boy, was that fun to watch. I wanted to write a two-word article that simply just said “Lamar Jackson” but I figured I could squeeze out a couple more words from this brain of mine.
I don’t like to gloat, but I am enjoying this win more than normal. For 2 weeks all I heard about was how great this Patriots defense was and how the Ravens would get brought back to reality. Instead, we exposed the “best defense of all time” and pulled everyone up into our reality. But for some reason, people are reaching to find ways to discredit the Ravens.
Before Sunday, no team had scored more than 14 points on New England’s defense. The Ravens put up 37. Baltimore ran for over 200 yards and forced 2 more turnovers, one of which being another Marlon Humphrey scoop n’ score. They bodied them upfront, controlled the ball, and didn’t let untimely turnovers cost them the game. The Ravens checked all the boxes of being a good team. But people would rather question whether the Patriots had an off night than give Baltimore due credit.
The Baltimore Ravens didn’t just beat the New England Patriots. They played an undefeated AFC front-runner and Super Bowl favorite and beat them by 3 scores. And still, Patriots fans and doubters are trying to spin this loss.
Michael Vick—who is unaware that John Brown currently plays for the Buffalo Bills—has adopted this outrageous belief that the Patriots lost the game on purpose. He is not alone in doing so either. But to believe that Bill Belichick would intentionally let the Patriot’s current biggest threat win so that he doesn’t “show his hand” is absolutely preposterous. Sheer lunacy.
Lamar Jackson—who, by the way, is virtually perfect when dealing with the media—talked about the varied looks the Patriots D threw at him in his post-game presser (skip ahead to 5:15). Not only was Belichick cycling through concepts to try and stifle Jackson and the offense, but it also wasn’t working.
Jackson completed 73 percent of his passes, threw 1 touchdown and no interceptions on his way to a 107.7 rating, and a victory. Tom Brady had a lower completion percentage (65), threw an interception, and had an 80.4 rating Sunday night. On top of that, Jackson added 61 yards and 2 more touchdowns on the ground. He outperformed the GOAT in prime time and still, people question whether Lamar Jackson can keep winning and doubt his ability as a QB.
Rather than simply giving credit, the story remains the same. There’s always the “but”. There are always questions about remaining healthy. There’s always baseless concerns over his throwing ability. These notions always follow dual-threat QBs, no matter how much is done to dispel them.
But when does it stop? What does this team have to do? What does Lamar have to do?
Logically, beating the unquestioned best team in the league would change a lot of minds. In a way, it has, but not entirely. Not for the Ravens, not for Lamar Jackson. I’m not sure this will ever go away and, at this point, I hope it keeps coming. Nobody likes being the underdog and thrives from it as the Ravens do.
I know the typical response to the Ravens praise is to reference the 40-25 loss to the Browns. Not only have the Browns struggled to look like a professional football team since that day, the Ravens turned the loss into fuel. Both teams have done everything in their power to prove that game was a fluke. And, by the same token of the Patriots’ argument, Harbaugh obviously didn’t want to show his hand that early in the season.
MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and his Ravens have been systematically proving everyone wrong week in and week out. And I’m confident that they will continue this trend. After passing their toughest test with flying colors, the Ravens are entering the back half—and tougher part—of their schedule with a full head of steam and a growing chip on their shoulder.