Lamar Jackson doesn’t get enough credit for his regular season record

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 03: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 03: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Lamar Jackson has won a lot of football games, something that doesn’t always get brought up in the debates about the former Heisman and MVP winner. Wins are a team stat, but Jackson is clearly the biggest reason the Ravens win totals have gone up.

In his first seven regular-season starts Jackson led the Ravens to six wins. He followed it up by winning 14 games the next year. 11 wins in 2020 were looked at as a disappointment because he helped raise the expectations in Baltimore. Jackson literally set a bar for himself that was too high to reach in consecutive years.

From 2015-2017 the Ravens won a total of 22 games. This isn’t an article pinning Jackson against Joe Flacco. The one thing you will note though is that the Ravens got hot when Jackson took over in 2018. From 2018 to the present day the Ravens have had a lot of success. Jackson was the spark plug and he became the engine of the car. This team will go as far as Jackson will take them.

The entire team is energized by Jackson. The Ravens have had great chemistry in the last few years. One reason for that is that Jackson is such a team-first player. He owns up to his mistakes and he never points the finger. Jackson is beloved by the team and that matters a great deal. If Jackson is this fun to watch, can you imagine how fun he is to play with?

The lack of a Super Bowl ring on Jackson’s finger shouldn’t matter to the conversation of his worth as a franchise quarterback. Jackson got his first playoff win in the 2020 season and is now 1-3 in postseason games. That’s the record that people stick to.

Jackson was always going to be the most polarizing quarterback in the NFL. People who don’t follow much more than the box score are never going to be impressed by his passing numbers. For much of the national audience, the “Lamar Jackson is a running back” thing rings at least partially true.

Most Ravens fans appreciate Jackson in a way most NFL fans won’t. At this point, most Ravens fans are tired of defending Jackson and just enjoy how special of a quarterback he is. Polarizing or not though, the playoff argument is just dumb. Peyton Manning took a while to win a Super Bowl, it even took him years to get his first playoff win.

There are a lot of quarterbacks who didn’t have success right away in the playoffs, I don’t really need to run through the list. The point is that Jackson has proven the Ravens can win with him as their quarterback.

If the playoff loss to the Bills proves anything, it’s that Jackson needs help. If the Super Bowl loss of the Chiefs proves anything, it’s that every quarterback, even Patrick Mahomes, needs help. The struggles of Jackson in the playoffs prove just how much heavy lifting he has done in the regular season.

Jackson has never had a great group of wide receivers. Jackson’s offensive line has been inconsistent to this point in his tenure. Jackson’s first offensive coordinator was Marty Mornhinweg. Mornhinweg was replaced by Greg Roman, who is now on the hot seat (at least with the fans and the media).

The Ravens missed the playoffs from 2015-2017. They missed the playoffs in 2013. For a while, the Ravens were too good to get a top 10 pick and not good enough to compete in the playoffs. The Ravens should appreciate where they are. They’re a relevant team, not just in their division but in their conference.

The Bottom Line:

The first five years of Flacco’s career are looked at with the rose-colored glasses of the past. It took a lot of heartbreak in the postseason before the Ravens won it all. The Ravens won the Super Bowl on their fifth consecutive playoff trip. Sure, Flacco won a playoff game or two each year, but the heartbreak still came five out of six times he took Baltimore to the playoffs.

If the Ravens win a Super Bowl in the next two seasons, this will be looked at the same way as the first five years of the Flacco era is. What the conversation will leave out though is how much fun being a Ravens fan has been in the past two and a half seasons. Jackson has led the way to a lot of fun Sundays.

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Jackson makes a difference in every game he plays. The struggles of Jackson and the team don’t take away from their successes. Would a few more playoff wins be nice? Sure. People wouldn’t give him credit until he won it all.

Why does that have to be the standard? If you can’t appreciate how great the Jackson era has been in the big picture and how great it could become, this article is just wasted words. If you don’t appreciate Jackson now, you probably never will.