All is not well for the reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson has questioned the Baltimore Ravens’ effort after losing an 11-point lead in an overtime 30-24 defeat to the Tennessee Titans.
“It looked like that team wanted it more than us,” Jackson said. “They were playing physical. When we went up, I felt like we just took our foot off the gas. But we have to keep it going for the team.”
Jackson and the Ravens were once the best closing players in the NFL, winning his first 21 starts when they were leading by 10 or more points ahead. Now, Baltimore has lost two of their last three games in which they had a two-digit lead.
The Ravens took an impressive 21-10 advantage early in the third quarter last Sunday, before paving at the end of the fourth quarter and after overtime. Baltimore was suddenly down 24-21 with 2:18 left in the settlement when three defensemen (Chuck Clark, Marcus Peters, and Marlon Humphrey) missed tackles on A.J. 14 yard touchdown catch by Brown. The Ravens then had lost in overtime when Derrick Henry ran 29 yards into their touchdown defense center.
Asked about Jackson’s sudden comment that the Titans wanted to bring home the bacon more than the Ravens, Baltimore rookie returning J.K. Dobbins said: “We always give a good effort, but today was … They just gave more effort than us. We have to fix that.”
Frustrations continue to draw on a team that was once among the Super Bowl preseason favorites. After last week’s loss of 23-17 in New England, Jackson said the group was “ticked,” and the other players acknowledged that the Patriots were more physical than them. The ravens wore the pads on Wednesday to give a more physical tone, but Sunday’s results were all too known.
Baltimore lost three of four games under Jackson for the first time, dropping consecutive games under Jackson for the first time since September 2019. The Ravens (6-4), two-time defending champions AFC North, dropped to third in the division.
The difference is significant and the last season and this season are games against the best teams in the NFL. In 2019, Jackson was 6-1 against winning teams. This year he faces 1-3 against them.
What can Jackson say to his teammates?
“Just focus and keep your head up,” said Jackson, who completed 17 of 29 passes for 186 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “We were in worse situations in my rookie year [when the Ravens started 4-5 in 2018]. We turned the season around, and people were down on us then. I feel like people want us to lose.”
On the other hand, the Ravens have a quick turnaround of four days, playing to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) on Thanksgiving night. Ravens (6-4) also wasted an excellent opportunity after leading the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter before being defeated over time. Even on a slide with two games, Baltimore has temporarily fallen out of the playoffs now that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are leading the AFC North.
Each team has its own unique set of fights, as do quarterbacks. Wentz has fans clamoring for his work. While firmly entrenched as the Baltimore starter, Jackson faces questions about his ability to beat elite teams just a year after winning the MVP.
The Eagles and Ravens are both in big holes. Their ability to claw out will depend on their quarterback’s ability to rediscover the magic they once showed.
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.