Ravens’ Lamar Jackson considered one of the worst deep passers in the NFL
2021 was a career-worst season for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the statistics further reinforce Jackson’s disappointing performance.
Jackson and the Ravens notably missed out on the postseason last year, bottoming out at the end of the regular season and finishing last in the AFC North.
The franchise quarterback broke his share of records and enjoyed a stretch of MVP-caliber performances early in the season, but Jackson also underperformed in crucial games, notching way too many interceptions as he tried to scramble out of the pocket.
This year, the Ravens’ revamped offensive line should protect Jackson a little better, so fans can expect Jackson to experience at the very least a slight improvement from 2021.
Going back to last year’s stats, however, will reveal just how abysmal Jackson was in multiple statistical categories, one of which was deep passing.
Pro Football Focus’ Bryant Horn graded every NFL team’s starting quarterback from last year on his deep passing performance and ranked Jackson at 28th overall:
"“Jackson completed just 33.3% of his 20-plus-yard throws at 11.5 yards per attempt. He was dead last in accuracy rate, as only 22.6% of his deep balls were thrown accurately.”"
Ravens’ Lamar Jackson was ranked 28th in the league in deep passing in 2021
PFF used eight different deep-passing metrics to rank each quarterback which included passing yards, yards per pass attempt, turnover-worthy play rate, and accuracy percentage, and by those metrics, Jackson placed near the bottom of the league.
In fact, Jackson’s deep-passing performance sandwiches him between Jacksonville Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence (27th overall) and New York Jets’ Zach Wilson (29th overall), two then-rookie quarterbacks who were just getting accustomed to the NFL.
In 12 games played, Jackson passed for 2,882 yards and threw 16 touchdowns against a career-high 13 interceptions, though he did earn Pro Bowl honors.
Jackson also suffered illness and an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final stretch of the Ravens’ season, effectively prohibiting him from making any kind of comeback, and Baltimore had to deal with an injury plague that wiped out most of their starting roster.
All that said, expectations are sky-high for Lamar Jackson in 2022 when he and the Ravens are looking to make a tremendous comeback and potentially contend for a Super Bowl.
Compared to last year, Jackson’s receiver room arguably got worse and lacks experience, yet it seems Eric DeCosta and the front office is so far comfortable with betting on young talents like James Proche and Devin Duvernay.
The biggest name to watch? Rashod Bateman, especially when it comes to generating chemistry with Jackson on deep passes.
The future of the Ravens’ passing offense may indeed lie in Jackson’s and Bateman’s hands, for better or for worse, and we for one can’t wait to see the two of them on the field in 2022.