Lamar Jackson Will Get His Toughest Test Yet Against Fast Chargers Defense


Each week has presented a new set of challenges for Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Can he complete passes when he needs to? Can he endure playing on the road? Can he handle the cold and rain? Each time, Jackson has passed the test.

The next test, however, will be his greatest yet. The Los Angeles Chargers have the best defense that Jackson will have played thus far, and Jackson said it's the fastest he's seen on film all season.

"All 11 to the ball at all times," Jackson said. "They're flying around, making plays, making turnovers. A good defense."

Jackson has started against the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are all ranked among the bottom nine defenses in the NFL, with the Chiefs and Bengals at the bottom of the list.

The Chargers, however, sit at No. 8 in yards allowed per game (329.1) and No. 9 in rushing (103.7).

They have two Pro Bowlers in defensive end Melvin Ingram and rookie safety Derwin James. That's not counting Joey Bosa, who is one of the best pass rushers in the league and now back to being healthy and dominant.

Asked what he sees in the Chargers defense, Head Coach John Harbaugh said, "Speed, play really hard, excellent pass rushers, strong front."

The question is whether the Chargers are fast enough to keep up even with the fastest quarterback in the NFL, and strong enough to stop a smash mouth Ravens rushing attack that has posted at least 190 yards in five straight contests.

Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn expressed some confidence in being able to solve the Ravens' rushing puzzle.

"I've worked with [Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends] Greg Roman before," Lynn said Tuesday. "A lot of the stuff I've seen before, I've used. So, they're executing very well."

Jackson has a knack for not making things too complicated, which has served him well.

When asked about whether he measures his speed against the Chargers', he said "No, I just better be on my A-game. Whatever they give us, take advantage of it."

What about checking off another big challenge? Jackson responded, "I just play my game. We just go out there and try to win the game, that's all. Just play football."

And what are his feelings getting ready for his first primetime NFL game? "I'm not worried about primetime. Primetime is after the game with a W. That'll be primetime."

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