Ravens must provide more help for Lamar Jackson, according to NFL insiders

Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Lamar Jackson has been called every name in the book: a running back, a lousy quarterback, a player who can be “figured out.” After his Week 13 performance, the Baltimore Ravens star took on a wholly new title, one that can be best described as a micromanager.

Part of Jackson’s need to do everything may stem from Baltimore’s poor offensive gameplan. But part of it also has to do with Jackson’s Patrick Mahomes-complex, the superman instinct to save the team all by himself.

Whereas Mahomes can get away with it most games, no doubt helped by his uber-talented receiver room and a solid coaching plan, Jackson’s teammates don’t quite match up to Tyreek Hill-level talent.

FanSided’s Matt Lombardo talked to a handful of league insiders about Jackson’s performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Renowned quarterback coach Quincy Avery, who has worked with the likes of Deshaun Watson and Jalen Hurts, addressed Jackson’s reluctance to let go of the football.

"“One of the leading factors in quarterbacks not being successful is them trying to do more than is necessary…The more you have to play hero-ball, the harder it is. It’s going to be very difficult for [Jackson].”"

Avery believes the key to Jackson’s improvement — and that of the Ravens team as a whole — lies in tinkering with Baltimore’s passing offense.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson gets critiqued by NFL insiders after Week 13

"“Lamar’s receivers are tasked with the ability to win when they get zero-blitzed, and he doesn’t have a great group of receivers. The [coaching staff] has to create natural picks and natural rubs to get these guys open, when they do see pressure. Once that happens, we’ll see a better version of the Ravens. I don’t think this is who they’re going to be throughout the conclusion of the season.”"

Another NFL insider similarly believes the Ravens’ offense isn’t clicking with Jackson, leading Jackson to often improvise on his own.

Sage Rosenfels, who played quarterback from 2001 to 2012 with five NFL teams, pointed out how opponents may be defending Jackson a little differently than before.

"“I see a lot of teams calling Cover 0 blitzes in obvious passing situations. And it doesn’t seem like Baltimore has audibles or quick answers for their quarterback.”"

It’s not quite as technical an explanation as, say, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s response in a post-game interview, but the point perhaps comes across clearer.

The Steelers threw a sizable wrench in the Ravens’ offense, and currently, Baltimore seems incapable of finding creative solutions to adapt to new challenges.

In Week 13, Jackson was pressured by Pittsburgh on 14.9 percent of his dropbacks. Steelers’ menace T.J. Watt totaled 11 pressures when rushing Jackson and finished the game with 3.5 sacks and six quarterback hits.

When playing Pittsburgh all-time, Jackson has recorded some of his worst career numbers, throwing for four touchdowns and six interceptions for a 67.4 average passer rating.

Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman will need to create better opportunities for Jackson to stop playing turnover-prone football and develop some consistent rhythm with his receiver unit.

Roman’s next obstacle will be thwarting the Cleveland Browns’ defense in another decisive division matchup in Week 14.

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Lamar Jackson’s superman heroics have saved the Ravens plenty of times this season, but the less the former MVP does that in this upcoming game, the better.