The fleet-footed, strong-armed dual-threat was torching teams with his arm and his legs. In fact, through the first three games Jackson passed for ten touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also rushed for over 250 yards and two more touchdowns. In Week 2 he became the first player in NFL history with a 75-yard touchdown pass and run in the same game.
Jackson was so good after three weeks of football, he’d accounted for more touchdowns than 30 of the remaining 31 teams in the league. At that time only the Detroit Lions had more total paydirt touches than the 2019 unanimous NFL MVP.
But since then it’s been a struggle for Jackson, as he’s tossed just three touchdowns and four interceptions the past three weeks, culminating with Jackson’s terrible decision in a 24-20 loss to the Giants.
Leading 20-17 and facing a third-and 6, after a bad snap Jackson just picked the ball up and threw it up for grabs. It was intercepted by Giants defensive back Julian Love and returned 22 yards to the Ravens 5-yard line, setting up their game-winning touchdown. Giants players couldn’t believe he threw it.
— Overtime (@overtime) October 16, 2022
Defensive lineman Nick Williams couldn’t believe what he was seeing saying this.
“Oh s—t, he might throw it to us.”
Which he did, pretty much costing his team the game.
Jackson then fumbled the next possession, after showing no pocket awareness and holding the football like a load of bread.
Lamar Jackson had NEVER lost (12-0) a game against an NFC opponent… until today. pic.twitter.com/yhWEMeSRtf
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 16, 2022
Ravens Were Skeptical For Various Reasons
All offseason Jackson and the Ravens danced around him getting a new lucrative long-term extension. While Jackson reportedly wanted the entire thing guaranteed, the Ravens balked at the notion. In the last three weeks you can see why, and in the team’s three losses they held double-digit leads at one point, and while the defense wasn’t very good, neither was the offense under Jackson’s direction with those big blown leads. That’s a recipe for concern and a huge reason why Ravens team brass won’t budge on a fully guaranteed deal.
Jackson has said all the right things, but his play needs to match his bark if he wants to see anything close to that type of deal. And right now he ain’t cutting it.
Jackson told reporters this following Sunday’s loss:
“We’re stopping ourselves a lot.”
That they are, and most of it stems from his erratic passing. His aerial skills have tapered off dramatically since the first few weeks of the season.
Can Jackson Get His Groove Back?
While Jackson has struggled a bit lately, offensive coordinator Greg Roman could do some things schematically to help his quarterback. How about more routes to get him going and not so many long, developing deep shots? Those downfield plays aren’t working.
Kyler Murray recorded his second career 100 yard rushing game.
The complete list of QBs to record a 100 yard rushing game since 2017:
Lamar Jackson – 13
Josh Allen – 3
Kyler Murray – 2
Jalen Hurts – 1
Justin Fields – 1
— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) October 17, 2022
And the running game isn’t nearly as feared as in years past, and that’s a direct result of a new and struggling offensive line. That’s what Roman’s scheme is predicated on, running the football, as it opens up the passing game and creative designed runs for Jackson, which seem to be few and far between lately.
Jackson must play better, no doubt, but the Ravens coaches can help their franchise player a bit as well. That aside, he’s not exactly making a great case for demands to receive highest guaranteed contract in NFL history.