On Sunday, Lamar Jackson had one of the worst three quarters you’re ever going to see from an NFL quarterback, especially one starting a playoff game.
The rookie, who was also the youngest starting quarterback ever in a playoff game, had just 25 yards on 3-of-10 passing through three quarters. He also threw a ghastly interception, fumbled twice and took so many sacks he netted minus-two yards before finally catching fire in the fourth quarter.
As his horrific afternoon unfolded, Baltimore Ravens fans loudly booed Jackson, called for Joe Flacco and some even left the game way too early. After the game, head coach John Harbaugh admitted he thought about replacing the rookie with Flacco, as well.
Well, Flacco was asked if he thought he could have made a difference in the game. His response was pure class.
“No, no, you can’t even go there, man. I thought Lamar did a great job of just hanging in there,” Flacco said, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “You know, he gave us a chance at the end.”
That’s a pro’s pro talking right there. During the game it was evident that Flacco was pining to get his shot and lead his team. There was palpable tension on the sideline as Jackson sat next to the veteran on the bench.
Yet when it came time to speak up, Flacco did the only thing a teammate should do — he backed his guy.
Jackson did nearly lead Baltimore back. He exploded in the fourth quarter, throwing a couple of touchdown passes before the Los Angeles Chargers iced the game with a forced fumble. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.
And when he looks back he’ll be able to say he had a great role model in Flacco, who went to bat for him when he could have gone another way.