Lamar Jackson is stepping right into a profession defining second

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has had one heck of a season, however all he’s achieved could possibly be nothing but a memory if they stumble in opposition to the Houston Texans this week. Jackson was so good this 12 months that he may grow to be the first QB since Steve McNair in 2003 to win the MVP award with fewer than 25 landing passes. With that in thoughts, this divisional-round weekend is ready as much as be a defining second in Jackson’s younger profession.

If you play in an period the place one participant seemingly dominates the whole lot, ultimately all the person accolades fade into the background. Jackson will without end be chasing Patrick Mahomes within the eyes of many due to his and the Ravens’ lack of postseason success. Jackson has competed in 4 playoff video games since 2018 and has only one victory.

Falling to 1-4 and never taking part in as much as par within the course of would reignite all of Jackson’s detractors whom he silenced all 12 months. Profitable a second MVP will be amazing, however legends are conceived within the postseason. That’s the place athletes actually cement their legacy: Profitable and advancing within the playoffs. Mahomes may retire tomorrow and he’d be a Corridor of Famer largely primarily based on having gained two Tremendous Bowls and being named MVP in each.

Most individuals are choosing the Ravens to win this sport pretty simply. Whereas Houston is scrappy with a younger QB who is probably going taking house Rookie of the Yr honors, the general scope of the scenario is that Baltimore is the more complete team. Nevertheless, we’ve seen Jackson and the Ravens in an identical spot previously.

Throughout the 2019-20 postseason, the identical marketing campaign that noticed Jackson take house his first MVP, the top-seeded Ravens had been ousted within the divisional spherical by the No. 6 seed Tennessee Titans. Positive, that was a number of years in the past and Motion Jackson was a first-year starter, however none of that is even considered if he’d had main playoff success since then. One win in 4 postseason contests is sufficient to make critics query whether or not he can get them over the hump.

So, we all know all too effectively the story of Jackson within the postseason. However that may rapidly be rotated and your entire notion may change seemingly in a single day. The latest instance of a QB altering his legacy in a single playoff run occurred a few years in the past with Matthew Stafford. When arriving in Los Angeles to the Rams, Stafford was 0 for 3 within the playoffs as a Detroit Lion. Stafford and the Rams went on to win 4 playoff video games in his first 12 months in LA, culminating in a Tremendous Bowl triumph.

Stafford went from a perceived big-game bust to a Tremendous Bowl-winning QB in a matter of weeks. In a single run, all of the previous failures in Detroit had been forgotten and are hardly ever talked about anymore when discussing Stafford. Jackson has the chance to do the identical this 12 months, however it begins Saturday at house in opposition to the upstart Texans. First, he and this Ravens squad must get previous that psychological block of the divisional spherical.