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February 23, 2024

Lamar Jackson, Ravens aiming to rewrite playoff narrative vs Texans

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Jan 20, 2024

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens enter Saturday’s AFC Divisional playoff matchup against the Houston Texans looking to flip the script on their recent postseason struggles.

Jackson focused on first playoff win since rookie year

The Ravens’ star quarterback has put together another MVP-caliber regular season, throwing for over 4,000 yards with 40 touchdowns while adding over 1,100 rushing yards. However, Jackson has endured criticism for his playoff resume, which includes just one win – back in 2018 as a rookie – across four appearances [1].

Jackson acknowledged those struggles this week but said his focus remains on the task at hand:

“I’ve got to get it done. I’ve got to win in the playoffs. I’ve got to put the team in a great position to succeed and try to win these games. That’s what I got to do – that’s what I’m focused on.” [2]

The quarterback did not seem fazed by the 20-day layoff for the Ravens, saying he has been “antsy” to take the field amid a frustrating wait for Saturday’s matchup [3].

Jackson 2024 Playoffs
Completion % TBD
Passing Yards TBD
Passing TD TBD
Interceptions TBD
Rushing Yards TBD
Rushing TD TBD

Table shows Jackson’s 2024 playoff stats which he will look to improve on Saturday

Jackson will lean on new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to rewrite the narrative, after the two developed an impressive rapport in Monken’s first season calling plays [4]. The Ravens boast a dynamic attack with Jackson’s dual-threat ability opening up opportunities for running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards along with top receiver Zay Flowers.

Stingy Ravens defense aiming for statement

While much of the attention focuses on Jackson and the offense, Baltimore’s defense has quietly been among the league’s best. The Ravens ranked 3rd in Football Outsider’s DVOA metric and 2nd in EPA allowed per play during the regular season [5]. Veterans like Calais Campbell and rookie sensation Patrick Queen lead a versatile front seven, while Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey are still performing at a high level in the secondary.

That stingy defense will be tested by Texans rookie phenom C.J. Stroud, who lit up defenses en route to nearly 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns during an Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Stroud was sensational in his playoff debut last week, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win over the Chargers. Slowing down the Texans’ ascending star will be critical if the Ravens hope to avoid another early postseason exit.

High stakes for Ravens’ Super Bowl hopes

Despite boasting one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, the Ravens have not reached the AFC Championship Game since 2012. Continued playoff failures have put pressure on John Harbaugh’s job security in Baltimore after a stellar regular season record but just a 2-4 playoff mark since their last Super Bowl win [6].

Jackson has made clear his motivation goes beyond just one playoff win. When asked this week about the importance of postseason success before turning 30 years old, Jackson responded bluntly:

“It’s time. No more waiting around. We have to get it done now.” [7]

Veteran defenders like Campbell and Peters have also conveyed the urgency to make a run before the championship window closes [8].

A loss on Saturday would mark three straight one-and-done postseason exits for Jackson and the Ravens. But a win could spark a January run that shifts legacies and cements Jackson’s case as the league’s most dangerous quarterback.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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