Ravens QB Lamar Jackson under ‘pressure’ to bounce back in 2022

Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

It’s hard to describe the Baltimore Ravens‘ 2021 season as anything other than a massive disappointment. That includes the performance of quarterback Lamar Jackson as well.

Jackson entered the year with legitimate MVP aspirations and was playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL early in the year. The Ravens held the top seed in the AFC and sat at 8-3 with just six games to play.

Unfortunately, both Jackson and the Ravens experienced a bit of a late-season collapse, spurred on by a slew of major injuries. Jackson wasn’t immune to the injury bug either as an ankle injury kept him sidelined for the final four games of the season.

Now looking to bounce back in 2022, some believe that Jackson is under significant pressure to perform. That was the sentiment shared by NFL announcer Joe Buck who broke down why this upcoming season is a “big year” for Jackson.

"“This is a big year for [Jackson]. It’s obviously a big year for the Ravens. They’re a really good team, and by all accounts, time will tell. They had a great draft and have added a lot of talent. They did lose [wide receiver Marquise Brown], so we’ll see how that all shakes out. But I think there’s a bit of pressure on him to kind of erase what happened in the second half of last year, and who knows how healthy he was.”"

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are hoping to rebound in 2022

Jackson’s late-season struggles in 2021 have been well-documented to this point. The former MVP finished with the worst statistical season of his NFL career throwing 16 touchdowns against 13 interceptions earning a career-worst 50.7 QBR (ESPN) in the process.

This was in stark contrast to the Lamar Jackson we saw earlier in the year, a player who quite literally carried a broken-down Ravens team on his back on numerous occasions.

Still, there are those who believe Jackson is under immense pressure to succeed this season. Without a doubt, his pending contract situation certainly plays a role in that ideology.

Jackson hasn’t shown any urgency to sign an extension this offseason, and although there’s still time, he appears set to enter his fourth NFL season still under his rookie contract.

He’s betting on himself and he’s betting on the market. His contract will be directly tied to how he plays in 2022, so it’s fair to say that he is under some pressure to perform.

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The Ravens need to see a healthy and motivated Lamar Jackson this season. With a clean bill of health and a resurgent Jackson, they should be considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender.