Why Lamar Jackson Struggling Against the Titans Wasn’t Surprising
The Baltimore Ravens had entered the playoffs as the clear-cut favorites to win the Super Bowl with likely MVP Lamar Jackson leading the charge. However, things fell apart before they had a chance to begin as the Ravens’ offense, led by Jackson, struggled to get their footing against the Tennessee Titans in the divisional, ending their playoff run before they could make some noise in the playoffs. However, there is a more significant growing trend involving Jackson that some have taken notice of that.
Ravens fall short against Titans
The Ravens entered the divisional round matchup as the overwhelming favorites to move past the Titans, but it was anything but that on Saturday night.
Tennessee controlled the pace of the game as they got ahead early 14-0, which pushed Baltimore off track with their game plan. That needed a shift over to the passing game, in which Jackson had his struggles throwing the ball a career-high 59 times while being picked off twice.
Although Jackson statistically had a big night in the running game with 143 rushing yards, it was the Titans’ defensive game plan that kept the Ravens off-kilter for much of the game. Baltimore never truly got things going offensively.
Tennessee controlled the pace of the game that was seemingly always in their favor, moving them to a huge road win. However, there was an intriguing fact involving Jackson that emerged following the game.
Lamar Jackson’s performance in big games
The Ravens experienced a tremendous amount of success in the 2019 campaign that saw them finish with the best mark in the league. However, things didn’t translate to them making a deep run in the playoffs towards the Super Bowl.
Instead, it was a one-and-out that has drawn some criticism towards their rising star quarterback. According to NFL Research, Jackson has notably struggled in the NFL playoffs and college bowl games with a 1-4 record while recording 10 touchdowns to 10 turnovers.
Although it’s quite easy to point to Jackson’s shortcomings as he had three turnovers against the Titans, it just adds to that building trending. In last year’s wildcard round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, he had two turnovers with an interception while he fumbled three times losing one of them. The big stage is something that many struggle with early on in their careers, and the 23-year-old is one of them.
At the same time, it’s an area that Jackson will need to improve in his development as a quarterback moving forward in his career. In the meantime, it’s a glaring slight on his resume that will only attract further attention the longer that trend persists.
Lamar Jackson will continue to have doubters
The Ravens’ shortcomings in the playoffs have added another layer of criticism toward Jackson. His success in the 2019 season, with a first individual campaign of its own, has been dwarfed by those looking to voice that his style of play won’t win Super Bowls.
The criticism will ultimately come down to the team’s ultimate success when it comes to crunch time in must-win games. Until Jackson can breakthrough on that end, he will continue to be doubted as a quarterback that can lead a franchise to a Super Bowl.
The Ravens’ collapse in the playoffs this year could be a chance for self-reflection so that he can find other areas to improve, such as his passing, so that he can become a more well-rounded factor under center. It could be a blessing disguise for him to take another significant step forward in his development to become a better player and move towards the one real goal of winning a Super Bowl.