BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the beginning of a new era for the Baltimore Ravens.
For the first time in a decade, quarterback Joe Flacco will not be under center. Instead, the offense will be led by second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Last season, Jackson started in seven games for the Ravens. In those games, Jackson had a Total QBR of 42.6. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,201 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions.
One of Jackson’s biggest problems last year, however, was ball security.
Jackson led the league in fumbles with 12. He even set a single-season record for consecutive games with a fumble.
Jackson’s style is unique, which has led many to question: Is the former Heisman Trophy winner going to be able to lead the Ravens to success this season?
Head football Coach John Harbaugh believes so.
In an interview with Sports Radio WIP, Harbaugh said that “[Haters] are going to have to eat their words soon enough.
“Joe was great, we had a lot of great years together, and a lot of great moments together, but nothing lasts forever,” Harbaugh said. “I’m excited for the next thing. It’s been great with Lamar, and nothing but a pleasure. Nothing but exciting. Every single day it’s a young guy who wants to learn, he wants to work, he’s talented. He eats, drinks, sleeps football 24/7. That’s who he is. One of the best competitors I’ve ever been around. I’m not afraid to stand up and say, and all the haters can say what they want, and they can smirk, they can be snarky, and they can say whatever they want, but they’re all going to be proven wrong. They’re going to have to eat their words soon enough.”
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) August 20, 2019
Harbaugh could be giving a typical coach’s response to a question that he has faced all offseason, or just maybe, Jackson will be the franchise quarterback that the Ravens need him to be.
Last year, Jackson was inserted into the starting quarterback position midway through the season, after Flacco suffered a hip injury.
In his first career start, Jackson became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to record at least 100 rushing yards. He led the Ravens to a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson went on to win the next two games he started. His winning streak as starting quarterback was snapped in Kansas City against the Chiefs, however, it was a game that the Ravens easily could have won if not for blown defensive coverage in overtime against a red hot Patrick Mahomes.
After that loss against the Chiefs, Jackson went on to win the final three games of the regular season, and led the team into the playoffs.
Ultimately, the Ravens’ magical run led by Jackson came to an end against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the playoffs. But that magical run may not have been so magical after all.
Jackson may just have all the tools he needs to be a star quarterback in the NFL.
Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman has had an entire offseason to plan an offensive scheme based around Jackson’s skills and talents. The team also added some weapons for Jackson.
Running back Mark Ingram — who the Ravens signed this offseason — will complement Jackson’s speed very well with a tough, smashmouth style of football.
The team also drafted two very talented wide receivers- Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, and Miles Boykin. The combination of Jackson and Boykin’s speed has the ability to tire out an opposing defense relatively quick.
There are just three Sunday’s left before the Ravens kickoff their season in Miami against the Dolphins, and just three Sunday’s before Jackson will make his haters, “eat their words.”