Jackson has struggled at times and the offense has plodded along. As a result, the Ravens haven’t been blowing teams out nearly as much as they were in 2019. Even such, a chance exists for the Ravens to get back on the right track in a big way this week, and Jackson will have to be the player driving the bus toward that change according to many in the media.
This week, Good Morning Football host Peter Schrager called Jackson out ahead of the contest with the first place Steelers, and said that as the reigning MVP, it’s on Jackson to show up and show out on the biggest of stages no matter what else has been going on around him through the first half of the season.
"10-0 Steelers. On the road. Yanda's not coming back. No Stanley. No Ingram. No Dobbins. No Campbell. No Williams. Travel decisions. One L after another. Few believers. If ever there was a game for Lamar Jackson to have a 'Herculean effort' & shut people up, it's now."-@PSchrags pic.twitter.com/WzUHnmIdAd
— GMFB (@gmfb) November 25, 2020
“I feel like Lamar is now on the island. This is what a lot of young players go through the year after the big break, when people start picking you apart and say can you do it. Truth of the matter is, (Marshal) Yanda’s no longer there, he’s not walking in that door, he’s retired. Ronnie Stanley, he’s done for the season. The receivers, they’ve not been great. Hayden Hurst isn’t there anymore. You also have a defensive coordinator set around the league that seems to know what your offensive coordinator has designed. Lamar has a lot going against him. Just to face in Pittsburgh the 10-0 Steelers with that defense swarming seems like it’s a mountain. You add in the COVID stuff where he doesn’t have Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, this is where the MVP needs to step up. This was the most valuable player and the number one player on the NFL 100 last year. I know it’s hard. I know there’s a lot going against you. Just show us. Find a way to win. You were the best player in football last year. Herculean effort. Find a way on national TV.”
That sentiment would be the biggest rallying point for the Ravens right now, who need all the motivation they can get after a pair of losses and a team that suddenly feels as if its on the brink of collapse rather than looking like the Super Bowl contender that they were hyped up to be in the offseason. The reason this has happened according to many? Baltimore is being bullied at times.
The hope is that Jackson is listening and can conjure up one of his big moments on the holiday that have come so easily at times early in his career.
Lamar Jackson 2020 Stats
Jackson would be the first to admit a lot of the Ravens’ problems fall on him. He’s been far from the dominating presence he was in 2019 when he claimed the MVP award. Through Week 11, Jackson has just 1,948 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Jackson has rushed for 575 yards and 3 touchdowns, but hasn’t made the big plays he was accustomed to making last season. It’s been a far different year for Jackson than in 2019 when he ran away with the MVP considering his elite play.
Ravens Standings Within AFC Playoff Race
The Ravens at 6-4 are far from dead in the playoff race even with everything that’s happened over the last month. They’ve now fallen behind in terms of the AFC North race, but can take a step toward climbing back for that with a victory on Thursday night. Right now, the Ravens are trailing teams like the Titans and are neck and neck with the Browns, Colts and Raiders for playoff inclusion.
It’s likely to be a battle down the stretch, so the Ravens will have to hope Jackson can suddenly put on the cape he seems to have been missing much of this year. If he can, they will be a team to remember in the playoff push the rest of the way.
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