The Ravens ran the ball with Lamar Jackson 27 times for 117 yards in their 27-24 victory against the Bengals. While electric, is Jackson’s style of play conducive to a playoff run?
Lamar Jackson was supposed to make an impact for the Ravens, but not this early in his career.
Jackson, who started in place of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, made his first career start a memorable one. He was 13-of-19 for 150 yards and an interception, but it were his legs that helped make his performance stand out, gaining 117 yards on the ground on 27 carries — a Ravens record for quarterbacks.
While Jackson had an NFL start to remember, Jackson and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is on the fence about the workload of Jackson. Jackson took the line of thinking of caution while Lewis pointed out the beatings running quarterbacks take, and how this usually results in injury.
“I didn’t think I would run the ball that much,” Jackson said. “But whatever it takes to win.”
That’s going to be a big question moving forward. Jackson got the win on Sunday, but can he keep playing like that – taking that many hits – and keep on ticking?
“Quarterbacks don’t run forever in the NFL,” Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis said. “Sooner or later, they get hurt, and they don’t run the same. But, today, he could run, and he did a good job.”
While Jackson certainly showcases a flashy style of play that will fill up the seats, it will be interesting to see if it’s enough to sustain a true playoff push. The NFL is filled with grown men who have the ability to catch on to a new wrinkle.
What will benefit Jackson is that one game of tape isn’t enough for defenses to accurately game plan against him. So while he has the talent to make the run, it will all depend on how he adjusts week-by-week to defenses aiming to stop him.
Again, time is on Jackson’s side. He must take advantage of the opportunity given for him to start. Maybe, he can have Flacco’s job for good.