The Baltimore Ravens‘ quarterback, Lamar Jackson, has had a tremendous season, but everything he has achieved could amount to nothing but a memory if they stumble against the Houston Texans this week. Jackson has been so good this year that he could become the first QB since Steve McNair in 2003 to win the MVP award with fewer than 25 touchdown passes. Against this backdrop, this weekend’s divisional round is set to be a pivotal moment in Jackson’s young career.
Playing in an era where one player seems to dominate everything, individual accolades eventually take a backseat. Jackson will forever be playing catch-up to Patrick Mahomes in many people’s eyes as he and the Ravens lack postseason success. Jackson has played four playoff games since 2018 and has only garnered one win.
Falling to 1-4 and not displaying prowess on par with the regular season will resurrect all of Jackson’s critics who he silenced throughout the year. Winning a second MVP will be great, but legends are made in the postseason. This is where athletes solidify their legacies: wins and advancing in the playoffs.
Most people are picking the Ravens to win this game relatively easily. While Houston has struggled with a young quarterback likely to take home „Rookie of the Year“ honors, the overall magnitude of the situation is that Baltimore is the more complete team. However, we have seen Jackson and the Ravens in a similar position in the past.
So, we know Jackson’s postseason story all too well. But that can quickly be flipped, and the entire perception could seemingly change overnight. The most recent example of a QB changing his legacy in a playoff run happened a few years ago with Matthew Stafford. When he came to Los Angeles to join the Rams, Stafford was 0-3 in the playoffs as a Detroit Lion. Stafford and the Rams won four playoff games in his first year in LA, culminating in a Super Bowl triumph.
Jackson has the opportunity to do the same this year, but it all begins at home on Saturday against the rising Texans. First, he and this Ravens squad must overcome the mental block of the divisional round.