BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens season could not have gotten off to a much better start. The team dominated their AFC North rival, the Cleveland Browns, 38-6 on Sunday with quarterback Lamar Jackson looking every bit the reigning MVP in throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns.
But, despite the convincing win, some parts of the fan base had a bone to pick with Harbaugh for his decision to leave Jackson in the game late into the fourth quarter despite being up by 30-plus points. Jackson avoided any serious harm and eventually came out of the game to be replaced by backup Robert Griffin III, but a few hits he took late did have fans wondering why the coach left his QB out there.
Harbaugh responded to those criticisms at today’s press conference saying that in the NFL, there aren’t many teams that take their starting quarterback out with 10 minutes left.
John Harbaugh said he disagrees with the suggestion that he should have taken Lamar Jackson out earlier in the 4th quarter: "This is the National Football League." He said not too many teams are taking their starting QBs out with 10 minutes to play.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) September 14, 2020
John Harbaugh said not many NFL teams take out their starting QB with 10 minutes left in the game.
"That's historically true," Harbaugh said.
That's why Lamar Jackson remained until being pulled with 4 minutes remaining.
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) September 14, 2020
Overall, Jackson appeared to be fine after the game, so no harm done by leaving him in during the fourth quarter.
As a whole, the game marked the third time in Jackson’s career in which he posted a quarterback rating above 150 which set another record.
Yesterday was Lamar Jackson's 3rd game with a passer rating over 150, the most by a QB thru his first 3 seasons in the NFL pic.twitter.com/teRuBqhHir
— ProFootballReference (@pfref) September 14, 2020
Jackson’s performance Sunday was all the more impressive for the accuracy he showed on several deep throws an area that he was said to be working on this offseason. Now, a highlight matchup looms for the team in Week 2 with a road trip to Houston to play the Texans.