Has Ravens QB Lamar Jackson destroyed the blitz narrative?

Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens boast a new and improved offense in 2022 with one notable difference: quarterback Lamar Jackson is performing exceptionally well against the blitz.

Last year, the Ravens’ offense broke down once the Miami Dolphins seemingly “figured” Lamar Jackson out: in Week 10 of 2021, the Dolphins utilized multiple cover-zero packages against the Ravens, limiting Baltimore to just 10 points.

Other NFL defenses started to heavily blitz Jackson after that, and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman had no answer at the time. In Jackson’s last three full games of 2021, he threw six interceptions and got sacked 13 times.

This season, Jackson has turned over a new leaf and has seemingly overcome last year’s blitz dilemma — in fact, he has dominated against the blitz and currently ranks as the NFL’s best passer when blitzed in 2022.

In Week 2 against the Dolphins, Baltimore was defeated by Miami but it was poor pass coverage, rather than the blitz, that led to the team’s downfall.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has found his answer against the blitz in 2022

The Dolphins came prepared to blitz Jackson yet again, but Jackson still threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 119 yards including a record-breaking 79-yard touchdown run.

In Week 3 against the Patriots, Jackson coolly absorbed pressure once more to go 11-for-12 with four touchdowns against the blitz. Fox Sports’ Warren Sharp noted that in that game, the Pats’ defense recorded pressure at a 56 percent rate on early-down dropbacks in the first three quarters, the highest rate of any defense in the NFL.

Even as opponents are blitzing Jackson at an above-average rate, the 2022 MVP favorite has displayed immense improvement from last season, proving he can not only survive the blitz but exploit it as well.

Per Sharp’s analysis, no quarterback in the past 10 years has been as efficient against the blitz as Jackson has been so far this season.

Of course, two games is a small sample size and Jackson needs to show he can consistently maintain composure in the pocket for the rest of the year.

The numbers are already looking much better than they did in 2021, though, and Jackson deserves much of the credit for his superior game management and ability to read and dissect defenses.

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Is there anything that can stop Lamar Jackson and the high-scoring Ravens offense this season?