The Baltimore Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson with a clear plan in mind. He was both competition and insurance against longtime starter Joe Flacco.
It turns out their decision was the right one. After a strong start, Flacco has regressed back to his form the past few years and now all of that is compounded by a hip injury that will likely leave him out of the critical divisional showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals. This situation is all but certain to thrust Jackson into the starting lineup for the first time in his career.
It’s an exciting moment. Not just for him, but also his teammates and fans. A lot of people are anxious to see what the first round pick can do. He has the athletic traits to open up the offense in ways Flacco never could, especially with his legs. The question becomes just how far advanced has his pocket passing come since training camp and is the coaching staff prepared to gear an effective game plan around his strengths?
Lamar Jackson could keep Flacco benched if he plays well
One must understand everything that is at stake here. Baltimore already lost to the Bengals earlier this year. If they lose here, they not only drop to 4-6 they also lose any hope of securing a wild card spot in the event of a tiebreaker. Then there is also the situation with John Harbaugh. If Jackson plays well, it’s likely the team may decide to move forward with him as starter. Getting him to play well and win some games is what the team brass is looking for.
By showing them that this is possible under his guidance, Harbaugh may yet be able to save his job which has appeared on a lifeline for the past month. It’s a lot to put on Jackson’s shoulders but if he’s going to be a starter in the NFL, these are the type of moments he’s supposed to live for. The Bengals defense is ripe for the picking. It’s at home and he’ll have the element of surprise on his side. This could be his time to seize the moment.