The Baltimore Ravens caught a horrible “L” during “Thursday Night Football.” There is no sugarcoating that fact, and the 22-10 loss was a testament to the power of the Dolphins’ defense.
The Dolphins executed 24 defensive back blitzes, which was the most that any quarterback has faced since 2015. In addition, two or more of the DBs blitzed twelve times, which is the most since 2010.
Lamar Jackson faced the most defensive back blitzes (24) of any QB since 2015 during a game in which the Ravens were held to their fewest points in a regular-season game under Jackson (10).
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 12, 2021
Still Coming For Lamar
The Ravens were also held to their fewest points in a regular-season game with Lamar Jackson at the helm with ten points. Ok, now that we’ve gone through the Thursday night train wreck of a game, why are the pundits challenging Jackson’s football IQ yet again?
He already took shots to his MVP chances via Caesar’s Sportsbook, which listed him 7th and Tom Brady No. 1 during Brady’s bye week.
However, Jackson’s narrative isn’t dependable or can’t handle pressurized game situations is plain false. However, the reality for Lamar Jackson is that as a Black athletic quarterback who subscribes to his own culture outwardly, he is not treated as the football great that he is.
You're never out of a game if Lamar Jackson is your quarterback. pic.twitter.com/M3ewXr0IWq
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 8, 2021
Keep That Same Energy
This season, Patrick Mahomes has not dazzled the Kansas City Chiefs into the top slots of the AFC. Currently, sitting at No. 8 in the conference and just above the bottom of the AFC West division, the Chiefs and Mahomes specifically look nothing like their 2019 Super Bowl-winning ways.
Lamar Jackson will out-pass your QB and out-run your RB.
There’s no one like him 🏆 @brgridiron
(h/t @ChuckModi1) pic.twitter.com/7n5DzSX8OH
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 8, 2021
However, through the Chiefs’ four losses this season Mahomes’ ability to handle pressure or acumen was never tested. Mahomes is also lighter than Jackson, with a more traditional NFL leading man style to Jackson’s brown-skinned South Florida Black cultural aesthetic.
Jackson’s has been tested, and the criticisms went through the roof with a loss to the Dolphins, who near the bottom of the AFC Conference at number thirteen.
.@Realrclark25 has some WORDS for the Ravens and Lamar Jackson 😳
“If Lamar Jackson isn’t excellent, this team doesn’t win football games. … Lamar wasn’t excellent last night. Lamar wasn’t even good.” pic.twitter.com/wilzp4IIS1
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 12, 2021
“We’ve seen this from the Ravens all year, and it’s taken excellent finished by Lamar Jackson and huge kicks by Justin Tucker to win football games,” said Ryan Clark on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “I said it on Monday if Lamar Jackson isn’t excellent, this team doesn’t win football teams, and quite frankly, Lamar wasn’t excellent last night; Lamar wasn’t even good.
“This is not just a microcosm of what the Baltimore Ravens have been this year; this is all the top teams in the AFC. All of those teams are efficient or inefficient in some way. But if you’re the Baltimore Ravens, you have to stop walking this tightrope of asking Lamar Jackson to pull you out of everything. Last night, Lamar Jackson wasn’t good, and you saw what that meant for this Baltimore Ravens offense.”
Jackson is considered by many to be the top contender, next to Tom Brady, for the MVP award based on his ability to will his team to victory. He is why the team wins and cannot afford to have a stormy night or face a result like Thursday nights.
Still In Control
However, one bad night does not denote a flaw in his overall understanding.
.@TimTebow comes out STRONG in defense of Lamar Jackson.
"To say he's not one or two right now, him or Brady for the MVP … if [the Ravens] get back on track, he still controls it." pic.twitter.com/QhbKOUmdL9
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 12, 2021
“They’re not going to point back to this game because if you point to this game, then when you bring up (Matthew) Stafford, you can point to the last game against the Titans where he threw several picks and the pick-six that lost the game,” said NFL analyst Tim Tebow on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“If you want to bring up other people, you can bring up Dak Prescott against the Broncos (although) he’s had an unbelievable season,” Tebow continued.
“But every one of the players has had a bad game so if you want to say he’s out of the picture because of this game, you have to bring that up for the rest of the players. Lamar is sixth in passing; he’s fourth in rushing in the NFL; he’s doing it both ways in the NFL. To say he’s not one and two right now, him and Brady for the MVP, I just don’t think this game mattered that much.
“He’s in a great position for the MVP. He’s dominated this entire year. Did he take a step back? Absolutely. Will people remember it? I don’t think so. Every other MVP candidate has had a step back; this is really one of the first for Lamar. He’s dominated every other game; if he gets back on track, I think he controls it.”
Approval Ratings, Though?
Jackson perpetually suffers from a week-to-week approval rating gain and dip like he’s an elected official. He is the victim of doubt by perception with box braids, a Southern drawl, and brown skin.
No matter how amazing he is, one game decides his chances to be considered one of the best players in the NFL when others receive the benefit of the doubt for an off day.