The Baltimore Ravens were unceremoniously booted from the playoffs earlier in 2020, and there’s been an internal debate about why the defeat played out the way it did for a team which was so heavily favored to advance.
Some, like quarterback Lamar Jackson, think the team overlooked the Tennessee Titans and were looking toward the next round of the playoffs. Others, like coach John Harbaugh, aren’t sure about that fact in the least bit.
Speaking with the media, Harbaugh explained that while he doesn’t disagree with Jackson’s ability to speak his mind, he might not be convinced his sentiments on the team’s playoff defeat are exactly right. According to Harbaugh, his Ravens just didn’t play well in the game.
John Harbaugh has no issue w Lamar Jackson saying #Ravens may have been “peeking ahead” in upset playoff loss vs Titans: “I respect his opinion on it.” But Harbaugh also disagrees: “I don’t think we took them lightly personally. We just didn’t play well.”https://t.co/jMoo89vkEb
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) June 22, 2020
The Ravens were dismantled nearly start to finish in the 28-12 defeat and it’s possible that both men could be right. Certain players on the team could have overlooked Tennessee in the heat of battle, while the team also didn’t play good at all in the game.
From the fans’ perspective, they likely want to think less about what happened earlier this year and more about what the last half of 2020 and early stages of 2021 might hold for their team.
Skip Bayless Slams Lamar Jackson’s Take on Playoff Loss
Recently, Jackson commented on the loss and said from his perspective, the Ravens didn’t take the Titans seriously and underestimated them. That comment, however, isn’t sitting well with Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless.
According to Bayless, Jackson wasn’t showing any respect for the Titans and their performance or skill with the comments, which in his words essentially dismiss the team that knocked the Ravens out of the 2020 playoffs and cut short their Super Bowl dreams.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 17, 2020
“This was the wort thing you could have said because you made an excuse that could come back to haunt you. Lamar you need to own this one. They kicked your butts. (You) were the rusty Ravens running into a buzzsaw on a Saturday night. The (Titans) punched you right in the mouth. The point was, you didn’t underestimate them Lamar, you underperformed. You were the MVP and you had a classically bad night. He’s played 2 playoff games in his life and they weren’t pretty. So he’s got that hanging over him. Again, if you say we just underestimated them, you are disrespecting, you are demeaning.”
Jackson struggled in the game and this along with the playoff game from the year before remain the blemishes on his resume moving forward. Obviously, he will have to win the next postseason matchup to keep folks from analyzing his every word.
Media Defends Lamar Jackson After Ravens Loss
In the aftermath, Jackson was being blamed for a second straight Ravens meltdown in the postseason, regardless of his stellar 2019 season on the field. In spite of that, though, not everyone was rushing to blame the team’s quarterback for being ousted from the playoffs again at the time.
In the aftermath of the 28-12 defeat to the Tennessee Titans, former quarterback Danny Kanell explained that even though Jackson had one bad night, age is still on his side, as is the fact that he recently finished off an amazing season on the field.
Just a few reminders to people taking shots at Lamar Jackson…
He just put down a season we have never seen before
He is a lock to be the second youngest MVP since Jim Brown.
He’s 23. It takes playoff experience to win. No doubt he’ll be back
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) January 12, 2020
As was also pointed out, other quarterbacks also started out with early holes in their playoff resume. The run of both those guys ended pretty good as well with a bunch of Lombardi Trophies.
Eli Manning lost the first two playoff games of his career. Peyton Manning lost the first three of his career.
But go ahead and tell me that this is a referendum on Lamar Jackson because he’s a “running QB.”
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) January 12, 2020
Obviously, there is still ample time for Jackson to turn things around and make his playoff resume better down the line. He and his teammates might simply have to play better when all is said and done when everything is on the line to make that happen.