Lamar Jackson completely took the NFL by storm in 2019 and looked like the face of a football revolution after the Baltimore Ravens cruised to a league-best 14-2 record.
Baltimore, led by Jackson, set the single-season rushing record by a team, literally and figuratively running all over its opponents.
After throwing for 36 touchdowns against six interceptions, to go along with 1,206 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, Jackson won NFL MVP by unanimous selection. Unfortunately for Jackson and the Ravens, they were stunned by the Tennessee Titans in one of the biggest upsets of the past decade, and the 23-year-old is still reckoning with the loss nearly two months later.
“I [still am] puzzled, like, just looking at highlights and stuff,” Jackson said recently to Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt of SiriusXM NFL Radio via Pro Football Talk.
“I’m like, ‘I don’t know what happened.’ Like, we had good plays. We had good drives. We’ll hit a hump one play. They steal the momentum, and it’s, you know, the NFL is like a momentum game. Like, whoever’s got momentum, they’re going to score points. They might come out with a victory, and that’s what it was. We was flat the whole night. That game was not on our defense. I feel like we just didn’t execute on offense.”
Jackson went 31-of-59 for 365 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while adding 143 rushing yards and a lost fumble during the 28-12 defeat to the Titans, far from the stratospheric level of play he submitted throughout the regular season.
It’s hard to envision an individual season better than Jackson’s 2019 campaign but after the year ended prematurely, the Ravens’ star is looking to make specific improvements as a passer.
“I want to work on my timing, getting the ball out even faster, you know, because those guys in the league, they’re coming,” Jackson said. “Defensive guys, they’re running 4.4s, 4.5s. It’s like, ‘Man, we’ve got to get this ball out of your hand and put it in a dynamic playmaker’s hands faster.’ I want to work on everything, though, even the running. I just want to be a great player.”
Jackson, along with Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes are at the forefront of the NFL’s next wave of superstars and though it’s hard to imagine him getting significantly better, the Ravens’ early loss to the Titans could be the catalyst for another leap from the 2019 MVP.
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