It was only a matter of time before there would be a quarterback controversy with the Baltimore Ravens. You pretty much commit to that as an inevitability when you are a team with a franchise quarterback who drafts a quarterback in the first round, which is exactly what the Ravens have done.
With Joe Flacco having missed the past two games due to a hip injury, rookie Lamar Jackson has been in the driver’s seat, and Baltimore has won those two games, ending a three-game losing streak, pulling themselves back over .500 (now 6-5), and in control of the sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture.
At one point during his press conference yesterday, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked about whether or not he believes in the fairness of a player losing a starting job due to injury. He referred to it as a junior high cliché and said, “we’ll do what gives us the best chance to win. Period. End of conversation”.
Flacco was scheduled to see a doctor yesterday as well regarding his hip. While Harbaugh said that “there is no big tear in there”, he stressed that “the hip has to be strong and not agitated for Joe to be able to protect himself. That’s the concern. It’s Joe’s safety”.
While it was made unclear if there is a belief that Flacco would be returning to practice shortly, Harbaugh stated his belief that he is in the best position to make the decision about the starting quarterback spot, and that “everything is on the table” going forward.
In nine games, Flacco has completed 232 of 379 pass attempts for 2465 yards, averaging just 6.5 yards per pass attempt (though that does represent a three-year high). He has tossed 12 touchdowns to six interceptions and lost one of three fumbles.
Over the past two games, Jackson has completed 27 of 44 pass attempts for 328 yards, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. He has only thrown one touchdown, however, compared to three interceptions. But he also has 190 rushing yards and a touchdown on 37 carries.
Part of the reason the offense has been effective under Jackson is because rookie running back Gus Edwards has been performing. He has recorded 233 of his 297 rushing yards over the past two games on 40 rushing attempts, including a touchdown.
The Ravens were also the beneficiary of help from the defense and special teams in their last game, both units scoring a touchdown. Kicker Justin Tucker added five field goals over the past two games as well.