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Lamar Jackson Shakes Off Haters After Another Playoff Loss


Lamar Jackson had a record-breaking regular season. But the numbers that will stick with him this offseason will be this.


Jackson has now played in two playoff games in his career. He lost both, and they were two of his worst games as a young pro.

How long will Saturday night's 28-12 divisional playoff loss to the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans stick with him?

"I don't know. I hate losing," Jackson said. "But we've got to move on. We've got to get better for next year."

Jackson has piled up a 20-3 regular-season record, but his burning desire to bring a Super Bowl title to Baltimore will have to wait.

Until the Ravens get back to the playoffs and win, the doubters are going to have something to say. It's almost as if you can hear them coming around the corner already.

"I don't care about what they say," Jackson said. "This is my second year in the league. Many people aren't able to bring it to the playoffs."

After taking care of the football so well all year, Jackson turned the ball over three times. He threw two interceptions and fumbled once.

Jackson finished 31-of-59 for 365 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran 20 times for 143 yards. That made him the first player in NFL history with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a playoff game, but who the heck cares?

Here's just how rare those mishaps were this season. Jackson had thrown just one interception since Oct. 6. He lost just two fumbles all season.

"We just beat ourselves," Jackson said. I had a lot of mistakes on my behalf. Three turnovers. That shouldn't happen."

It's fair to wonder how the game would have turned out had Jackson not been intercepted on the Ravens' first offensive drive. Baltimore's defense got a quick stop, then the offense zoomed into scoring range. That's when Jackson fired a bit high and tight end Mark Andrews had it go off his fingertips and directly into the hands of Titans safety Kevin Byard.

Jackson was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for ripping Byard down by the side of his helmet and the game's complexion was changed. The Ravens have jumped out to early leads on just about everyone this year, but they trailed 14-0 near the start of the second quarter.

"I feel like we [were] too excited," Jackson said. "We wanted to score points, like right away, as soon as they scored. But we just got out of our element a little too fast, you know, trying to beat them to the punch."

Jackson's fumble after the Titans took a 21-6 lead in the third quarter was especially costly. He held the ball too long, enabling a sack/strip from behind. The Titans extended their lead to 28-6 six plays later to take a stranglehold on the game.

Jackson kept battling to the end, but Baltimore couldn't overcome its numerous mistakes and Tennessee capitalized on every one of them.

Though Jackson said he doesn't care about what people will say about him this offseason, that won't stop the noise. But Jackson's teammates jumped to their quarterback's defense in Saturday's postgame locker room.

"It's a team game. It's not on him," running back Mark Ingram said. "We had guys out there who didn't make plays. It's not on him; it's on all of us."

"It's one game. You're not going to depict a guy from one game," added guard Marshal Yanda. "You take his entire body of work for his 2019 season and the kid played his ass off. That's where I stand on that."

As Head Coach John Harbaugh stepped down from the postgame podium and Jackson stepped toward the mic, the two hugged and Harbaugh said in Jackson's ear, "This is our beginning."

"I know how he's going to respond," Harbaugh said. "He's going to respond by being extremely motivated and determined to improve as a football player. The strides he made between last year and this year are pretty indicative of that, and we expect him to continue to get better."

"He's going to be ready. He's going to talk about the Super Bowl next year," added wide receiver Willie Snead IV. "He just wants to win. He's a winner, and we have to match that."

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