Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens were the hottest team in the NFL heading into the playoffs but were one-and-done in a disappointing postseason showing.
Jackson did rack up some serious yardage, and he made NFL history even in defeat. Ultimately, though, the Ravens’ high-powered offense was held in check for most of the game, and until garbage time Jackson had a rough game passing the ball.
Speaking to the media as he heads into the offseason, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made it clear the team is excited about the future with Jackson and that he’s confident this year’s postseason letdown won’t define the 23-year-old superstar.
Per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Harbaugh “ticked off the names of numerous celebrated quarterbacks and how long it took them to win their first playoff game. He pointed out that Peyton and Eli Manning were winless in their first five playoff games. Joe Montana, Steve Young and Brett Favre didn’t start a playoff game until their third season. Drew Brees, Troy Aikman and Aaron Rodgers waited even longer.”
Then Harbaugh said that Jackson was very astute about what he needs to work on during the offseason, noting, “I’m really confident in Lamar and he understands the things he needs to do to get better, and that he’s going to work really hard to keep building himself up as a player.”
For what it’s worth, we recently opined that the criticism Jackson received for his playoff performance against the Titans was way overboard. The young man grew leaps and bounds this past season compared to his rookie campaign, setting NFL records left and right while cementing himself as the MVP of the league.
So, while this year’s finish was a bitter disappointment for Jackson, the Ravens and their fans, there’s so much to be excited about looking ahead to the future.