Is Lamar Jackson Trying to Do Too Much to Lift Ravens?
There are plenty of instances of Lamar Jackson putting the Ravens on his back and carrying them to victory. But occasionally there are instances when Jackson's heroic efforts do not pay off.
Such was the case late in this past Sunday's frustrating loss to the New York Giants. After retrieving an errant shotgun snap, Jackson launched an ill-advised pass intended for Patrick Ricard that was intercepted by Julian Love, whose 27-yard return set up the Giants' go-ahead touchdown.
There's no denying that Jackson is an elite playmaker, but when things aren't going well for the Ravens, does he sometimes try to do too much? ESPN’s Jamison Hensley posed the question to Head Coach John Harbaugh on Monday.
"You can describe it that way probably, and in that situation it's probably a really apt description," Harbaugh said.
While Harbaugh made it clear that you never want to make a bad situation worse, he recognized that Jackson has the ability to make spectacular, improbable plays that only elite players can pull off.
"Many times you see Lamar come out of that and he'll go make a play," Harbaugh said. "I have to balance that a little bit because of the unique quarterback that we have. But that's definitely one he's going to want back, there's no doubt about it."
It sounds cliche to say that as Jackson goes, so go the Ravens, but the numbers back up the statement.
"Jackson can offset a lot of mistakes when he's on top of his game. The Ravens just don't usually overcome errors when he isn't sharp," Hensley wrote. "Baltimore is 22-1 when Jackson has a QBR over 70. The Ravens are 18-14 when his QBR is below 70."
Most of Jackson's mistakes this season have occurred in the fourth quarter. Not coincidentally, the Ravens have been outscored 64-22 and have just two touchdowns in the quarter.
"In the first three quarters this season, Jackson's QBR (72) is the fourth-best in the league. In the fourth quarter, Jackson's QBR (28) is 29th in the league," Hensley wrote. "Of Jackson's 13 touchdown passes, 12 have come in the first three quarters. But four of Jackson's six interceptions have occurred in the fourth quarter."
Hensley pointed out that Jackson's fourth-quarter struggles this season are atypical for him.
"Jackson just has to get back to playing like himself," Hensley wrote. "He's already thrown two interceptions outside the pocket this season — including Sunday's haphazard one — after only getting picked off once outside the pocket in his first four seasons. His fumble on Baltimore's final drive was the first time he lost the ball with under two minutes in a game in which the Ravens were trailing."
Ed Reed Is Excited About Ravens Reportedly Agreeing to Terms With DeSean Jackson
Immediately after the news broke that the Ravens reportedly had agreed to terms with veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson after he visited the team yesterday, Hall of Famer Ed Reed expressed his excitement about his former team acquiring the three-time Pro Bowler.
"Isn't this exciting?" Reed said in a video posted on Twitter via The 33rd Team. "As I'm doing The 33rd right now, as we speak, DeSean Jackson is with the Baltimore Ravens. I'm excited. You know why am I excited? Because Baltimore gets an explosive receiver who can stretch the field. And I don't care what DB you have, he is going to have to have his Lamborghini shoes on that day because DeSean Jackson, he's a beast.
"I hope that everything is well with him physically. He's been taking care of himself. I'm sure Baltimore did their homework and due diligence. I'm sure DeSean is excited, and Lamar is excited because he gets another weapon. You get somebody on the other side; you get a vet in the locker room, somebody who's played before, who's been there, and been through some things who can help some people."
Judging by the hype video DeSean Jackson posted on Instagram yesterday, he's excited to be playing with Jackson as well.
On a side note, the Ravens also reportedly worked out veteran wide receiver and Baltimore native Tavon Austin yesterday.
Former NFL Executive Says Jets GM Joe Douglas Learned Lessons Well From Ozzie Newsome
The New York Jets (4-2) have emerged as one of the biggest surprise teams in the NFL through the first six weeks of the season. They're riding a three-game winning streak, including a statement-making, 27-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field this past Sunday.
That's quite a turnaround for a team that only won four games all of last season and six games combined over the past two seasons. General Manager Joe Douglas is rightfully being given a significant amount of credit for the Jets' newfound success.
Douglas began his NFL career with the Ravens in their personnel department in 2000 and worked for the organization until 2015. Former NFL executive Scott Pioli said it's not surprising to see the Jets' hiring of Douglas in 2019 starting to bear fruit considering Douglas sat under the learning tree of Ravens Executive Vice President and former General Manager Ozzie Newsome.
"Joe was mentored by Ozzie Newsome, and he understands the importance of draft picks and developing draft picks, about taking time, making sure that he has a good coaching staff that's going to develop players that they bring in that are identified as having the skills and tools that they need," Pioli said on "Good Morning Football." "One of Ozzie Newsome's sayings was: 'You better know what you're looking for and you better know what you're looking at.' Joe Douglas knows both those things."
Pioli worked alongside Newsome for several years with the Cleveland Browns and Ravens before eventually becoming general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs from 2009-2012.