Lamar Jackson made a name for himself in his NFL starting debut against the Bengals. He had 150 passing yards, and 117 rushing yards. With Joe Flacco’s injury, he started again against the Oakland Raiders. Some fans are thinking the Lamar Jackson era is here. It eventually will be, but the Lamar Jackson era isn’t here yet. There are things he needs to improve on before he takes over the starting QB helm. That’s what we are going to talk about today.
The most obvious, yet glaring issue for Lamar Jackson is passing the ball. Against the Bengals, he ran over 20 times. He cannot keep doing that, or else he’ll get eaten up alive. We all know how good of a runner he can be. If he wants to excel at quarterback, he’s got to be able to throw. He did it at times on against the Bengals, but he was benefitting from arguable the worst defense in the league. He made one great throw while on the run, but the rest were almost given to him. Same case against bad the Raiders. If the throw wasn’t guaranteed, he wasn’t doing to make the throw. He’s not a solid thrower yet, and he needs to become one before he takes over at QB. Teams will catch onto his running, and once they do, he will really struggle if he can’t throw. Ravens are playing to win now, and having a quarterback who can’t throw consistently doesn’t help them win now. They want to develop Lamar.
Kind of going with passing the ball issues, another issue is that the Ravens plays are pretty predictable. I don’t mean “Oh, Lamar is in! It’s a run!” Often times against the Bengals AND Raiders, you had a good idea where the ball was going. You could tell if it was a pass often or not. If it was a pass, he wouldn’t even try and sell the run. That is something that defenses will catch onto. Now, the Ravens could use that to their advantage in the future, but they don’t want to put too much on Lamar Jacksons mind right now. But defenses knowing if it’s a run or pass makes it easier for them to make stops. Bengals didn’t do that because they’re not very good. He often got away with it against the Raiders, because they are really bad too. But good defenses will catch onto that, and that will make him struggle.
To put it in terms, Joe Flacco is better than Lamar Jackson. While Joe is nowhere near as fun or energetic as Lamar, he helps the Ravens win now. Lamar can get away with a very small passing attack against the bad defenses, but it will catch up to him. The Ravens need to be 2-dimensional or they want to make the playoffs. Lamar isn’t there yet. Because of that, the Ravens are better off with going with Joe Flacco.