Baltimore Ravens’ second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson is in the midst of a breakout campaign that has thrust his team into possible Super Bowl contention. Jackson has continued to rack up record-breaking performances, including moving past the San Francisco 49ers last week. Following the game, 49ers analyst Tim Ryan made some foolish comments about why the former Heisman award winner was finding much success running the ball. It didn’t take long for Jackson to respond to those comments in a unique way.
Tim Ryan’s insensitive comments about Lamar Jackson
In the days following the Ravens win over the 49ers in Week 13 action, there was much chatter around Jackson’s strong performance against one of the top defenses in the league.
The 49ers’ radio color analyst Tim Ryan quickly found himself in hot water after his comments made on a Bay Area sports talk radio show on Monday in which he stated that Jackson’s skin color was helping him out on faking handoffs on run plays. (H/T San Francisco Chronicle)
“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan said on air. “I mean, you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point, and if you’re a half step slow on him in terms of your vision, forget about it, he’s out of the gate.”
It didn’t take long for the team to punish Ryan by suspending him for Week 14 action against the New Orleans Saints. The organization also released a statement where they voiced their disappointment in his comments.
In the wake of all that, Ryan has received support from 49ers players such as Richard Sherman and Dee Ford, who believe he didn’t make those with any racial intentions.
Lamar Jackson’s response
Jackson hasn’t been one to shy away from any criticism or slights against him throughout his brief NFL career, as he has used that as extra motivation.
The 22-year-old proved that once again as he took the field for Week 14 action against the Bills, donning a white long-sleeved shirt along with a white glove on his left hand. Jackson used that to push him to put up another strong outing, tallying three touchdown passes with 145 passing yards along with a 102.5 passer rating and 40 rushing yards.
It also marked him setting another NFL record as he surpassed Aaron Rodgers for his fifth game this season with at least three touchdown passes and 30 rushing yards. On top of that, he joined Michael Vick as only the second quarterback to record 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
The contest also featured Jackson faking out an opposing defender on a fake handoff while wearing the white glove and white long-sleeved shirt.
Ravens looking like Super Bowl favorites
The Ravens grabbed their ninth straight win after toppling the Bills on the road in Week 14. That has put Baltimore in full control of earning the top overall seed in the AFC playoff picture.
They have continued to cruise through their schedule with notable wins over the Bills, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Los Angeles Rams. The Ravens’ remaining schedule looks to be quite favorable with games against the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Baltimore has hit its stride with some tremendous balance on both sides of the ball that has them in a promising spot. Beyond that, Jackson is in the prime position to run away with the MVP award in what could be a historic run to the Super Bowl next February.