What Would Another Playoff Loss Mean for Lamar Jackson and His Reputation in the NFL

Published 01/06/2021, 4:40 AM EST
Nov 1, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates after a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports


In the Playoffs, every team has all to play for. The stakes are high and there’s little room for error. But few players have more on the line than Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson.

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The 2019 MVP has revolutionized the role of the quarterback. Few in the league can replicate his style of play, and even fewer can do it with as much efficiency as he does.

But Jackson seems to have one chink in his armor. One stumbling block which he has failed to cross not once but twice. That little hindrance seems to be the Playoffs.

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Third time’s the charm for Lamar Jackson?

Lamar Jackson has played 2 playoff games in his career so far and both have ended in defeat. Even at his prime, during the 2019 season, Lamar failed to clear the one obstacle that is stopping him from being mentioned among the greats.

Jackson’s 0-2 postseason record has raised several eyebrows. The quarterback who is into his 3rd season in the league has been stellar across most regular season games, but his inability to win a playoff game means many view him as a choker.

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His latest playoff loss came at the hands of the Tennessee Titans in 2019. In that game Lamar Jackson became the first player in NFL history to record 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a playoff game.

But at the end of the day, his efforts weren’t enough to get his side to the Conference championship game.

And despite his stellar outing, many pin the loss on the quarterback. His 3 turnovers which included 2 interceptions, and a fumble were key turning points in the game; key moments where the game slipped away from the Ravens.

Redemption awaits or more playoff misery?

Lamar has repeatedly struggled against zone defenses. Even in the tie against the Titans, Lamar struggled to get going in the early stages of the game. Most of his yardage only ended up coming when the Ravens were playing catch up.

But Lamar has a shot at redemption yet again. Back in the Playoffs, the Ravens take on the Titans yet again. And while his performances haven’t been as consistent as they were in 2019, he’s shown glimpses of his former MVP self.

The greats of the game are often eulogized not by the number of yards or touchdowns they have, but by their will and grit to dig deep and get the wins when they matter the most.

Oct 11, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws during the second half Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar, so far, has failed to to reproduce that mettle in the Playoffs, the stage where it matters the most. One often tends to forget that Lamar Jackson is only 23. Losing 2 games in the Playoffs in no way suggests that he is a bad player.

But it’s one statistic that springs to mind whenever one thinks of Lamar Jackson and the Playoffs. A statistic that hinges on the back of his mind as well. One that he’ll be desperate to undo heading into the game against the Titans.

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Another loss, however, will only ingrain in the mind of many that Lamar Jackson is a choker. An MVP quarterback in the regular season, but a bit-part player in the postseason.

A win dispels that belief. It silences the haters and makes the team believe that they have a QB who can lead them to Super Bowl success.

Thus, for Lamar Jackson, it’s either time to be a hero or go down as a regular season wonder, who fails to deliver when it matters the most.

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Shivayan Roy

778 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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