Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson entered the team’s Week Four game boasting an interesting, if surprising, record. He had posted the lowest interception percentage in NFL history among qualifying quarterbacks, or those with at least 250 pass attempts.
Jackson had thrown just three interceptions over the span of his first 270 career pass attempts through 19 total games played in the regular season, translating to an interception percentage of just 1.1. But in the two games that have followed, accounting for an additional 62 pass attempts, he has added five more to his career total, rating his career interception percentage to 2.4, and at 3.1 percent for the season to date.
In 28 attempts on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jackson threw three interceptions, or the same number that he had in the 170 passes that he attempted during his rookie season. Mike Hilton, Kameron Kelly, and Devin Bush all found the ball off of one of his passes at some point over the course of the game for the defense.
The team’s website has subsequently tried to explain away the majority of the five interceptions he has thrown over the course of the past two weeks, the only one they had no argument for being the one picked off by Hilton. On the Kelly interception, Minkah Fitzpatrick had contact with the target before the ball arrived, while Bush’s interception attempt hit the ground before he actually secured it.
“One I could have helped, one I thought was PI, the other I thought was on the ground”, Jackson said of the interceptions he threw against the Steelers. “But I need to do a better job of placing the balls where my receivers can get them, and we won’t have any conflicts or results with the other defenses catching interceptions”.
Regardless of the excuses—valid or not—the interceptions still count just the same, just as balls that he has thrown that could have been picked off but were not do not count against him. it’s sort of the way things work, and they tend to even out somewhat in the end.
In addition to the five interceptions, he has also fumbled twice in the past two games, after throwing no interceptions and having no fumbles in the first three weeks. While interceptions were not an issue a year ago, he did have an astonishing 15 fumbles in 2018, including the Ravens’ one postseason game, so there is cause for concern there if ball security is creeping back into the discussion.
“Move on. I can’t get them back”, the second-year quarterback said of his recent spurt of turnovers over the past two weeks. “It’s a stat line that I don’t want to have. I just have to move on and try to score a touchdown on the next drive”.