BALTIMORE (WJZ) — To the dismay of Ravens fans, the Steelers remained undefeated on Sunday, beating Baltimore 28-24. In the win, Pittsburgh forced quarterback Lamar Jackson into four turnovers, turning one into a defensive touchdown and another into points just two plays later. After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said his team was not surprised by anything Jackson did and that his team is not scared of the reigning MVP.
“We respect him, but we do not fear him,” Tomlin said. “We’re not surprised by anything that transpired.”
Fear is an emotion that you won’t hear many football players admit to no matter who the opponent is. So, it’s not necessarily surprising to hear the Steelers coach say that.
But, with the vast difference in Jackson’s stats in Steelers games versus everyone else, there is certainly something different about the way Pittsburgh handles the young QB. Jackson’s big-play ability on the ground and through the air drover teams nuts all last season and has at times this year as well.
But, the Steelers have had success in slowing Jackson down, forcing him into seven turnovers in just two career meetings. Throughout Sunday’s game, Steelers defensive ends crashed hard on Ravens running plays looking to get a hit on Jackson on every play whether he handed the ball off or not. And, following the injury to left tackle Ronnie Stanley, the pressure amped up leading to more hits and a total of four sacks on the day.
Tomlin’s comments are certain to get back to Jackson this week. That makes the Thanksgiving night rematch, a game already circled on the calendar, all the more interesting to watch to see how Jackson responds.