Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the single most crucial piece to a successful Ravens season. Baltimore goes as Jackson goes. After missing time in both of the last two seasons, it is evident what the Ravens are without him. Every team in the NFL needs an effective quarterback, so it’s no revelation that the Ravens are bad without Jackson. Jackson has missed 10 games over the previous two seasons and must once again prove his reliability.
The Ravens signed Jackson to a five-year $260M contract in April. Jackson missed the final six games of the 2022 season with a PCL injury and was replaced by quarterback Tyler Huntley. Although Huntley is serviceable, he is no Lamar Jackson. As a player, Jackson has reached the summit of personal success, winning the 2019 NFL MVP award. Since winning the award, Jackson has not been able to match his own success, but as of late, it looks like Jackson is back in MVP form.
Ravens’ Lamar Jackson Looks Back to MVP Form
Lamar Jackson Keys Ravens’ Week 2 Win Over Bengals
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens began their 2023 season against the Houston Texans. In week 1, Jackson had a below-average performance, opening up questions about his new contract and offseason recovery regimen. Jackson looked rusty, to say the least. Against the Texans, Jackson completed 17 of 22 pass attempts, compiling 169 passing yards, and rushed for 38 yards on six attempts. Jackson also turned the ball over twice, throwing one interception and fumbling twice (one lost). The Ravens offense was able to post only 207 total yards of offense, which would not have been good enough to beat most teams in the league. Luckily, the Ravens played one of the worst teams on their schedule at the perfect time. Some would call it a ‘tune-up game’. Although Baltimore won the game 25-9, Jackson’s performance left much to be desired.
Jackson heard the noise and responded. In week 2, the Ravens faced off against division rival Cincinnati Bengals, a big game for both teams. The Ravens came into the game undermanned, missing starting center Tyler Linderbaum, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, and defensive stalwarts Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Williams. Although short-handed, Baltimore showed resilience and was able to come away victorious. Lamar Jackson completed 24 of 33 passes, amassing 237 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Jackson also posted 54 yards on the ground. During the game, wide receiver Odell Beckham exited with an ankle injury, adding to the list of injuries. The Ravens won the nail-biter by a score of 27-24 and Jackson was named Player of the Game.
HC Jim Harbaugh on Ravens’ Close Win
Baltimore Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh was glee in his postgame interviews, expressing pleasure with the performance of his team, especially Lamar Jackson. “I’m just really proud of those guys,” said Harbaugh. In the Locker room, Harbaugh handed out a game ball to safety Geno Stone, who caught a crucial red zone interception and returned it 36 yards, and linebacker Patrick Queen, who he praised for “flying around and making key tackles”.
On offense, Harbaugh handed out game balls to running back Gus Edwards and quarterback Lamar Jackson. Edwards finished the game with 62 yards and a touchdown, and Jackson was the star of the game. Harbaugh commended Jackson, who he said “Played winning football” against the Bengals. When asked about Jackson’s presence on the field, Harbaugh responded “He just wants to win, Lamar wants to win..that’s what Lamar is all about..he wants to help his teammates win” If Jackson can continue this high level of play, another MVP award is incoming.
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