BALTIMORE – The Ravens faced the Houston Texans in a game that could’ve gone either way or at least that’s how it started. Both teams played great defense in the first half as both teams scored just ten points in the first half. However, the Ravens continued to play great defense in the second half while the Texans struggled to contain Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. He used his dual-threat ability again as he passed for 152 yards and ran for 111 yards as well. The Texans were not able to slow down Jackson and it showed. Baltimore won against Houston 34-10.
This is exactly what Baltimore had in mind when the team drafted Jackson. Although Jackson’s ability to pass the ball seemed questionable early in his NFL career, he developed into a better and stronger passer over time. Jackson took a few big hits early in his career which made the emphasis on becoming a better pocket passer all the more vital for his career.
Jackson is making it happen. For all the criticism that he’d always be either a scrambling or improvising quarterback that wouldn’t have a hope of leading the team to a Super Bowl win, Jackson clearly understood this wouldn’t necessarily work and he’d have to do more. Everyone can clearly see the improvement now. Jackson grew beyond being a running quarterback.
Jackson didn’t necessarily take the criticism to heart or worry about what people said. He just knew what he had to do and worked hard to become the kind of quarterback he needed to be. Even so, it’s important to remember that improvising quarterbacks like Denver Broncos Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl wins. It can be done, especially, if the team is one of the top rushing units in the NFL.
Time will tell if Jackson is good enough to accomplish this.
In nine out of the 16 games played this season, Jackson completed more than 70 percent of his passes. Although there is more work for him to do in terms of overall improvement, he’s on his way. Once Baltimore assembled a better and more consistent receiving core, Jackson could become a perennial top-ten passer.
Rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers gives Jackson a top-tier passing option as he has 858 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Veteran receiver O’Dell Beckham Junior and tight end Mark Andrews have under 600 receiving yards each but Andrews and Beckham dealt with injuries. Receiver Rashod Bateman has 367 receiving yards and one touchdown. Jackson’s quarterback rating is 64.6 which is the fourth-best rating in the NFL. Jackson threw for 3,678 yards this season which includes the divisional round against Houston. This is the best passing total of Jackson’s career. Jackson passed for 24 touchdowns. He also ran for 980 yards and seven touchdowns. His dual-threat ability continues to confuse defenses. His Michael Vick style of offense will continue to give teams a challenge.
Jackson faces a great test against Kansas City in the AFC Championship as the Chiefs boast the number two defense in the NFL. It’s also a great test for the Ravens’ defense which ranks number one in the NFL as the Chiefs have the fourth-best offense in the league.
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