ESPN analyst believes Ravens’ organization has ‘failed’ Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s season isn’t over yet, but it’s worth taking a look at how he’s fared over the last 13 weeks.
After starting the 2022 season in MVP-caliber form, Jackson has admittedly floundered after the bye week: he threw 10 touchdowns in his first three games but has only recorded one in his last three games.
Jackson has been heavily impacted by the loss of Rashod Bateman, who underwent season-ending surgery after Week 8, and the running game has come screeching to a halt with no clear solution in sight.
To make matters worse, Jackson is currently dealing with an injury that could affect his rushing abilities if he returns in time for the playoffs (assuming the Ravens go through).
Regarding the Bateman news, some may point fingers at the Ravens’ organization for placing too much faith in one receiver to sustain the passing game.
After Bateman’s injury, the Ravens picked up veteran DeSean Jackson out of desperation more than desire, and he has served as more or less an unimpressive addition in the team’s wideout corps.
Out of all the receivers, Demarcus Robinson has arguably made the biggest impact in recent weeks, but even his usage remains inconsistent and he’s posted just one 100-plus yard game all season.
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg gave his hot take on the Ravens’ 2022 season and believes the franchise has “failed” around Jackson far more than Jackson himself has failed.
Have the Ravens set Lamar Jackson up for failure in 2022?
Greenberg points out a few of Baltimore’s perceived “failures” this season: one, the Ravens traded away Marquise Brown during the NFL Draft, which seemed like a win at the time since the franchise got a first-round pick in return.
Yet Baltimore didn’t draft a skill position until the fourth round, opting for a safety and offensive lineman in the first round instead. The organization entered September basing their entire season on the hope that Rashod Bateman, their first-round pick from 2021, would stay healthy, which is a huge gamble in itself.
Rather than seek elite free agents at the position, the Ravens stuck with their receiver group of Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and Robinson, neither of whom have enjoyed fruitful seasons this year — those three have combined for fewer than 800 total receiving yards in 2022.
Compare the Ravens’ offseason acquisitions to those of the Cincinnati Bengals, who identified their offense’s most concerning problem last year and immediately rectified it. After Joe Burrow got sacked 70 times, the team revamped its offensive line, adding three seasoned free agents in 2022 to protect their franchise quarterback. Burrow is currently reaping the benefits of those changes and came off two decisive wins against the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.
Jackson’s quarterback play has been solid though not excellent in 2022, and until the Ravens address their biggest offensive weakness that is their receiver group, Jackson simply may not be able to shine as much as his peers.