Lamar Jackson On Wildcard Loss Last Year: ‘That Game Still Motivates Me’

Lamar Jackson doesn’t like to lose. Fortunately for him, he hasn’t done it much, and not in a while. To date, he has only lost five games as a starter in his career. That includes the postseason. He has made 23 starts in total, posting six wins as a rookie and 13 this season, for an overall 18-4 record over the course of his first two seasons as a first-round pick in 2018 by the Baltimore Ravens.

Jackson replaced Joe Flacco in the starting lineup for the final seven games of the 2018 season. They were 4-5 at the time, and he was able to take them to 10-6, securing a playoff berth in Week 17. They would ultimately lose to the Los Angeles Chargers despite making a late push in that game. The Chargers were the only team that Jackson had started against for a second time.

This past season, the Ravens started 2-2 but won their final 12, with Jackson resting in the regular season finale. They secured the number one seed, so it will be three weeks between games for him. So this week, he’s spending his time thinking about…the wildcard round of a year ago.

That game still motivates me”, he told reporters after practice yesterday. “I still haven’t played my second playoff game yet. … That game is over with. We’ve been having a great year this year. We just got to keep it going. I want a Super Bowl. I’m not worried about that. That was my rookie season”.

Jackson did have an ugly game that day, and his final stat line doesn’t do it justice. He finished that game completing just 14 of 29 pass attempts for 194 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, taking seven sacks and fumbling three times, losing one. he gained 54 rushing yards on nine carries.

But through three quarters, Jackson had completed just three of nine pass attempts for 25 yards with the one interception, with three sacks and 40 rushing yards on seven attempts. The Ravens were already trailing by a significant amount before Los Angeles eased up and allowed them back into the game with two touchdown drives. It was 23-3 with under seven minutes to go, but they did make it interesting, cutting the lead to six with 1:59 to play. They would even get the ball back, but the game ended with Jackson’s third fumble on his seventh sack, this one recovered by Melvin Ingram to seal the win.

Excluding that postseason game, Jackson is winning six out of seven games he plays over the course of his first 22 games—actually slightly better than that—which is obviously an impressive feat. But the greatest players carve out their legacy in the postseason. He’ll have his chance to begin doing that next week. He was already the youngest quarterback to ever start a postseason game. If the Ravens do somehow win the Super Bowl this season, he will just edge out Ben Roethlisberger as the youngest quarterback to win the title game.

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