Baltimore Ravens: Our thoughts on Jason La Canfora’s Lamar Jackson comments

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Lamar Jackson has received more than his fair share of criticism in 2020, but NFL analyst Jason La Canfora brilliantly assessed the narrative around him.

We’ve all seen the criticisms that Lamar Jackson receives. It can be completely toxic at times if we’re being honest. Outside of a few media members and Ravens Flock, it seems like everyone has a target painted on Jackson’s back and we’re nitpicking every single tiny slip-up he has. One analyst, Jason La Canfora of, has had enough of the slander and spoke out about it on The Rich Eisen Show.

La Canfora came to the aid of Lamar Jackson and gave one of the most well-spoken and well-thought-out analyses of Jackson in his young career. In case you missed his comments, check out the tweet linked below:

If you don’t feel like listening to the whole bit, I’m here to break it all down for you.

Starting with the most basic analysis, La Canfora goes straight to the most common complaint about Lamar Jackson:

"“So much is thrown at this kid and it’s always “Well what more should Lamar be doing?” and “What more could Lamar do?” and “What more can they get out of Lamar?”…” — Jason La Canfora"

People are seemingly never satisfied when it comes to Lamar Jackson’s play. As La Canfora points out, it’s always this narrative that he should be even better and do more than he’s already putting out. The most common comparison is to Patrick Mahomes, who has recently won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes is now the gold standard for quarterbacks and anything short of his level is seen as mediocre.

This is where much of Jackson’s criticisms are born, as both Ravens fans and the media are guilty of pitting the two against one another. The fact of the matter is that Mahomes is a better player than Jackson and the latter needs to do more to catch up. But is there really that big a gap between the two? Honestly, it depends on who you ask.

Right now the biggest thing separating these two are head-to-head matchups and post-season success. Mahomes is 3-0 vs. Jackson and, like we previously mentioned, the former has won a championship. The latter has yet to win a playoff game.

So yes, by those two incredibly important standards Lamar Jackson is behind Patrick Mahomes. Regardless of this, both have had historically successful starts to their respective careers. We somehow forget both won league MVP honors in their first season as full-time starters. For what it’s worth, Jackson was actually just the second-ever unanimous MVP winner. The two may not be as far apart as we think, but haters would have you thinking otherwise.

La Canfora also talked about the things that are perhaps holding Lamar Jackson back, namely the playcalling:

"“Greg Roman ain’t winning no coordinator of the year awards, either.” –Jason La Canfora"

La Canfora noted that Jackson has dropped back 41 times on play-action plays through eight games. To put that in perspective, Dak Prescott had 40 such dropbacks in five games prior to injury. La Canfora also points out that Kyler Murray and Josh Allen both have had 70+ play-action dropbacks this year. It’s not a surprise that these three guys all enjoyed a lot of success this year thanks to playcalling surrounding their strengths. Perhaps Roman needs to take some notes.

"“There’s things this kid can do. He’s a top-ten quarterback on play action but he’s 23rd in attempts.” — Jason La Canfora"

The most frustrating thing is that the Ravens’ offense has become predictable and now feels as though it’s trying to overthink everything. Roman is getting away from what made Baltimore’s offense so dynamic a year ago. Worse yet, opposing defenses are getting ahead of the curve. Lamar Jackson actually noted that defenses were calling out plays. That’s far from ideal.

Simply put, Roman needs to do a better job putting his quarterback in a position to succeed. Roman, right now, is holding Lamar Jackson back for some reason. We all know how good Jackson can be when used properly, so why is he being pigeonholed?

Not enough credit is being given to Lamar Jackson for the Ravens’ success, either.

"“I just think that we have to have a little context here… He’s the single most prevelant, dominant reason that they are 6-2 is this kid.” — Jason La Canfora"

Baltimore’s defense has been lights out in 2020, ranking first in PPG at a measly 17.8. That’s a huge reason why the Ravens are winning football games and has made life much easier on an offense with an identity crisis. Thankfully, they have one constant: Lamar Jackson.

If you take away Jackson from the equation, there’s no telling the kind of mess this team would be in. Jackson is what makes this offense click. Jackson is the key to the run game most importantly, thanks to his legs and ability to manipulate defenses with them. La Canfora agrees:

"“He opens up all the stuff in the run game that very few people can… They’re still an elite rushing unit because of this man.” — Jason La Canfora"

It’s no coincidence that the Ravens rushed for the most yards in NFL history a year ago (3,296) with Jackson leading the way with a single-season quarterback record 1,206-yards. The rushing attack was beyond prolific and was a sight to behold. The run game has taken a step back this year, as no running back is projected with more than 700-yards. Nonetheless, Jackson is carrying the unit and is set to eclipse the 900-yard mark. Without Jackson, this run game would be taken apart. Jackson truly is the glue that holds us together.

So then what’s left now? La Canfora puts his rant to bed with this:

"“”What more should Lamar do?” Just let Lamar play. Lamar is the least of any problems here. How about people do more for Lamar.” — Jason La Canfora"

It’s as simple as that. Stop pinning all the Baltimore Ravens shortcomings on Lamar Jackson. For crying out loud, the Ravens are 6-2 on the year with two losses to playoff-caliber teams! Give the kid a break.

Take Jackson off this team and you have a .500 level team. With Jackson, they’re Super Bowl contenders.

Next. Thump, Throw, Throttle: How the Ravens can beat the Patriots. dark

Hopefully, La Canfora’s comments can open up people’s eyes a little bit more to Lamar Jackson’s perceived “struggles” right now. Make no mistake, however, what Jackson has accomplished in his young NFL career is nothing short of astounding and we need to be a little less critical of his shortcomings and praise his greatness.