Lamar Jackson On Super Bowl Sense Of Urgency: “I Need To Win It. I’m Not Getting Any Younger.”


NFL quarterbacks get paid for being experts at throwing the ball and running an offense. Lamar Jackson can also run the ball.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback isn’t the only sign-caller in the NFL who possesses the skill set of two players: quarterback and running back. Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray each pass and run with remarkable talent. 

But few possess this quality in the game-changing way Jackson does. 

Jackson wants to take home a title this year. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

How many times have we seen Jackson slither in and out of defenses? Regardless of how many defenders an opponent sends his way, he finds openings that mortal quarterbacks can’t find, in order to extend drives. And just when you think you’ve found a way to limit his legs, he’ll stand in the pocket and find an open receiver. Trying to stop Jackson is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube: one part confusing, two parts frustrating.

The same can be said of Jackson’s career playoff success – or lack thereof.

Jackson Has Yet To Bring His Regular Season Success To The Playoffs

In three playoff appearances – 2018, 2019, and 2020 – Jackson has gone 1-3. One of his losses came as the No.1 seed in the 2019 season against the Tennessee Titans. He has seven turnovers in those games, a noticeable blemish on an otherwise sparkling start to his career.

This year, Baltimore again finds itself as the No. 1 seed, and will face the Houston Texans at 4:25 p.m. on Saturday. During his time, Jackson has seen many players come and go from Baltimore.

With the advantageous seeding and current team in place, he knows this might be the best chance he’ll ever get at winning a title.

“I remember coming into the building with all of those guys. Now, it’s just like me, Gus (Edwards) and Mark (Andrews). We had so many guys. It was incredible, man. They’re all around the league right now and we’re not in the same locker room anymore. It’s crazy,” Jackson said.

“It made me sit back and realize, ‘Damn, I’m getting older. I’ve got to get a championship now.’ That’s one of the reasons I’m stressing that I need to win it. I’m not getting any younger. It’s best to win it now.”

The Ravens Have What It Takes To Win It All This Year

Jackson’s desire to win is becoming rarer and rarer these days. In 2018, one agent said that only a small portion of players in the league prioritize winning.

“Fifteen to 25 percent, max,” Ben Volin said when asked how many players prioritize winning. “It depends on the players.”

Volin then said that there’s a very predictable list of what players in the NFL prioritize.

“1. Money. 2. Money. 3. Money. 4. Money. 5. Money,” Volin said. “Most players don’t like win-at-all-cost, my-way-or-the-highway places. 

Now to be fair, Jackson did get his payment, to the tune of a 5-year, $260 million contract he signed this offseason. But even so, lots of players lose some of their competitive edge once they get a massive contract. Furthermore, Volin indicated that players don’t prioritize winning to begin with.

Can Jackson get past his postseason demons? (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

All that is to say: it’s rare for an elite player to put such a high price tag on winning. But in order to win, you need a roster full of guys who are talented enough to do so. Baltimore has that in spades.

The Ravens had the best rushing attack in football, a necessity for playoff success. Throw in nasty defense led by Roquan Smith, Marlon Humphrey, and Patrick Queen, and you’ve got a roster built for a deep run.

But to advacne, Jackson and the Ravens will need to overcome some major demons to avoid becoming the first team to lose back-to-back games as a No. 1 seed in NFL history. Last time this happened, Jackson might not have been ready for the pressure of the moment. But this year, he knows what to expect and wants to be the last team standing in February.

And more importantly, he has the winning mind set to make it happen.

“It’s a different mindset. [It’s] a different group of guys,” Jackson said. “I just feel like all around, we’re different. I strongly feel like this year it’ll be different.”

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