After Jackson put up his second perfect passer rating of the season in Week 10, it’s clear the QB and the Ravens are changing the way we think about NFL offenses—just like John Harbaugh promised this preseason.
After the Ravens’ final game of the 2018 season, coach John Harbaugh talked about how the team was going to spend the offseason doubling down on the type of fundamental minutiae that would strengthen the core of Baltimore’s downhill running game piloted by Lamar Jackson (mostly ball security).
The team had just lost to the Chargers in the playoffs, and more of the discussion centered around the brilliant defensive game plan by Gus Bradley to stop Jackson, holding him to 14-of-29 passing for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, plus nine carries for 54 yards. There was also that whole deal about Harbaugh admitting that the team considered replacing Jackson with Joe Flacco at the most critical point in the season. Jackson was roundly booed by Baltimore’s fans for a majority of the game.
That game felt like an ending because the NFL machine tends to operate in a very particular way when it comes to players like Jackson, who represent an outlier to the painfully conventional thinkers that lead most NFL personnel departments or analyze the game as a supposed professional. Couldn’t you just see any other milquetoast coaching staff in the league throwing their hands up after that Chargers game? Well, we tried. It was so easy to predict a future where Jackson was replaced in Week 8 of the 2019 season by some journeyman backup avatar (think Jimmy Clausen) because he gives the team the best chance to win.