It was that type of day, wasn't it?
Lamar Jackson started a matchup against the Steelers for the first time since 2021. He was on his way to leading the Flock to a very solid victory over their fierce AFC North rivals. He could have put the Baltimore Ravens up 14-0 barely into the second quarter...
But Rashod Bateman dropped a glaringly open and fairly easy-to-catch pass thrown his way, and that was it.
The statline for Lamar Jackson on Sunday: 22-of-38 passes completed for 236 yards and no touchdowns against one interception. Jackson also rushed for 45 yards on six carries. He was stripped of the ball in what counted as a fumble.
Errors or not by Jackson, it is unarguable that by the time Bateman dropped that pass the quarterback was simply doing everything right. Thus, his frustration, as captured by Sarah Ellison. Here is a little clip of Jackson smashing his helmet in that action.
"We had (the Steelers) beat," Jackson said after the game. "(On) offense, we had to find our groove; we didn’t find it. The defense played a great game — kept stopping, and kept giving us opportunities. We’ve just got to do what we do (and) finish drives."
Just in case you don't believe he's right, here's a smooth compilation of all passes dropped by the Ravens in their Week 5 loss to Pittsburgh, courtesy of the great Kevin Oestreicher.
Can we entirely forgive Jackson for his own errors? Definitely not, but they shouldn't have even happened on a day that looked so bright yet ended so darkly.
Jackson had to endure seven or more drops by his receivers, and he made his feelings about that very clear at the podium.
"We don't expect our guys to drop passes. It happens in NFL football," said Jackson. "It just happened at the wrong time."
Zay Flowers dropped a pass in the first drive. Mark Andrews dropped what looked like a sure-thing touchdown. One play later, Rashod Bateman missed on grabbing the most open touchdown in the history of the free world. Nelson Agholor had another touchdown-bound pass dropped later. On and on it went...
Jackson also explained his nonsensical decision to throw a lob to Odell Beckham Jr. late in the game trying to pull off the comeback victory. He said he was "just trying to get my boy a shot," adding that "we've just got to get in syn."
Beckham was coming off missing two games while rehabbing from an ankle injury and he looked far from ready to play. That doesn't mean he couldn't have done much more to help Jackson in that play, which only added more frustration to Lamar's already-filled tank.
The Ravens spent a lot of money in singing a bunch of veteran wide receivers and a rookie to bolster their pass-catching unit but so far the production has been subpar.
Jackson only pointed the obvious and he was right about it. Here's to hoping someone was listening.