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Friday, January 21, 2022

Crows Study: QB Lamar Jackson’s Ambitious Approach Creates Trouble Against Steelers

A lot went wrong with quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Sunday. Against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, they ended up with fewer passing yards per try, fewer yards per carry, and fewer points than Pittsburgh allowed on average in its first 11 games. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday it was “a tough loss.”

“But that’s the nature of the NFL now,” he said. “We’ll go to work. I think you will win or you will learn. You are losing or learning too. So we have to find a way to learn everything. … This is a journey through the season. You have to find a way to deal with adversity, deal with good things, sketch out the adjustments you need to make, keep improving, technically wise. All of these things go into this. Look to the future, but focus on next week and we will take care of that. ”

While the Ravens prepare for Sunday’s rematch with the Browns in Cleveland, they will first have to reckon with their offensive setbacks in Pittsburgh: bagging, interception in the red zone, bad two-point conversion. Coordinator Greg Roman and his attackers will need answers by the time they head to Cleveland. The Browns limited the Ravens to just 3.9 yards per game in week 12, the minimum season for the Ravens, and they should be even better prepared after their last week of goodbye.


Jackson was fired seven times on Sunday. He has been fired 37 times this season, another career record and more than any other NFL quarterback joining in week 14. Only the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks have a worse adjusted layoff rate than the Ravens, accounting for drop, distance, and adversary, according to Football Outsiders.

In this case, playing the blame game is not easy; The entrance guard is a company of 12 people. It is required that the coach makes the correct answer, the defender – in order to knock the ball in time, the blockers – to keep it upright, and the receivers – to open up. Each group of Ravens has its drawbacks, as does each Raven player on Sunday.

But Jackson was the main culprit in Pittsburgh. According to a survey of Steelers’ bags, he had at least one receiver open the last time he got to his feet to pounce on most, if not all, of his doomed scum. In some cases, it is impossible to tell where Jackson was in his progress or whether certain receivers were not visible in his field of vision. But over and over he had the opportunity to get rid of the ball, only to hide it and get into trouble.

Pittsburgh was aggressive on Sunday, but not too aggressive; None of the seven Steelers bags were covered with “Coverage 0”, which gave the defense a blitz-heavy look that allowed it to behave like a human without any help. Jackson faced five passing rushers in five of his takedowns and only four in the other two. Ravens’ problems were different. Here’s where they figured it out:

  • 1st and 10th, Steelers’ 14 (first quarter): Defender Patrick Ricard was 3 yards below the pitch and 5 yards from the nearest defender after entering the pitch. But instead, Jackson jumped out into the street, where Chris Wormley pulled him down at the end of the defensive line.
  • Second and fifth, 18 Ravens (first quarter): The wide receiver James Proche II stopped short of the golf clubs and presented an easy target in the center. With a corner-back blitz on the same side, Jackson ducked into his pocket instead and nearly fled, but was knocked down by outside midfielder T.J. Watt.
  • 1st and 10th, 49 Ravens (second quarter): Jackson had a half-field read, with two midfielders in the bottom field, and both were open: wide receiver Marquis “Hollywood” Brown was 5 yards from nearest defender when he stopped on a deep return route, and at a dead end, Mark Andrews pulled away from his man in search of a comfortable throwing window. But Jackson waited. Then Ricard flashed into the center of the field of view. Jackson waited some more. In the end, Wormley fired him.
  • Third and 9th midfielders (second quarter): Two games after the second dismissal, the Wormley Steelers played corner-back Tre Norwood. Wide receiver Devin Duvernay corrected his route, raised his hand to get Jackson’s attention, then watched Jackson grab his arm twice and try to run away. He almost did it, but couldn’t escape the defensive end of Cameron Hayward, the last line of defense on the line of battle.
  • Second and eighth, 45 Ravens (third quarter): Jackson had to scramble to the right after a strong opening pass, negating half of the field where the Ravens had three of their four lower receivers. But Brown was wide open past the first loser marker, and even though he turned around and was almost parallel to Jackson, his quarterback never seemed to see him. Soon, Wormley and Watt were pursuing Jackson.
  • 2nd & 10th, 25 Ravens (fourth quarter): Jackson did not have a large open downfield, but wide receiver Sammy Watkins found a weak spot behind the first-loser marker. The fleeing Devont Freeman was available for inspection through the middle. So did Duvernay, who had a little daylight in his apartment. However, just as Jackson tried to buy some extra time, Watt easily intercepted Tyr Phillips’ right tackle.
  • Second and tenth, 40 Ravens (fourth quarter): The Ravens drove four vertical routes, leaving Jackson without a quick hitter. But rookie receiver Rashod Bateman easily took a step on full-back Cam Sutton, while Andrews fled with in-line midfielder Devin Bush, who turned his back on the game. Instead of taking a sideline risk at Bateman or center at Andrews, Jackson pushed into the pocket, missed one sack, then Watt walked over and knocked the ball out. Luckily for the Ravens, he completely jumped to the sideline.
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After the game, Harbaugh said the Ravens coaches could do more to help Jackson get the ball out quickly. But Harbaugh also admitted that “the ball was held in his hands, at times trying to push it a little down the field.”

“We gave them enough time to get to him for sure,” added Harbo. “There were many times when he also ran away from there and made huge games, expanding them. … We talk about this quite a lot at our press conferences. So … Lamar is a unique guy in that sense. Seven bags is too many. ”

Jackson said, “We just need to get into the lab and find ways to keep our work going and try not to have bags. Try to have positives in every game. It’s all.”


Intercepting Jackson on Raven’s first possession was easy to avoid. He could have seized the opportunity in the game three and six, striking a quick blow to the running back Latavius ​​Murray, who waved his hand out of bounds and rushed into the right apartment against Bush.

He could have thrown the middle onto Brown, who was driving through a shallow intersection and had the advantage of positioning and speed over the safe Terrell Edmunds.

Or he could have kicked the ball out of bounds knowing that striker Justin Tucker would almost certainly give the Crows a 3-0 lead with a short field goal.

Instead, Jackson took advantage of the bad situation and doubled the risk. The Ravens’ outlook was dubious from the start; their five hitting linemen seemed to shift their defenses when flicked from the left, which meant Jackson was protected from a late corner-back blitz, but not from Watt, who had an unblocked path on the right side of the line.

Jackson retreated and retreated, waiting for Andrews to open up against Cover 0’s gaze. Jackson said he wanted to toss Mink Fitzpatrick, who was hiding at the goal line, over the head of the safety, perhaps wanting to undercut any shots to Andrews.

But Jackson had to kick his hind foot on the Ravens ’25-yard line, nearly 11 yards from the scrimmage line, and the pass never came close to Andrews’ catch range. Fitzpatrick lost the interception, finishing fifth for Jackson in two games.

2-point conversion

Jackson called the unsuccessful attempt at 2-point conversion of The Ravens – the playful appearance of Andrews, who went into the right apartment – “the perfect game.”

Maybe this is the only problem? The piece’s design meant Watt would remain unlocked. And he had experience with Jackson in close proximity.

“Last year in Baltimore, I replayed a game in my head where Lamar faked me and beat me 14 or 15 yards in a scrum,” Watt told NBC Sports after the game. “In this scenario, I just want [to] stand on my feet and raise my outer hand to try to influence him, change his angle. ”

If the Ravens had turned the game around, Watt (16 sacks in 10 games) would probably have been busy with a fake run, while outside midfielder Alex Highsmith (three sacks in 11 games) would have remained unblocked. Jackson also may have had to throw when he rolled to the left, which was less comfortable than throwing from the right. But Watt’s speed, size, and strategy were enough to thwart Jackson, confusing him with Andrews.

“He’s much taller than me, much wider,” Jackson said. “I just had to do something. That’s all.”

Week 14


Sunday, 13:00

TV: Ch. 13, 9 Radio: 97.9 FM, 1090 AM

Line: Brown on 2

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