Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ready to face biggest test in playoffs

Photo credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson credits this past season’s success to maturity.

Now in his sixth year in the league, Jackson has developed as a passer and been smart about when to run the football.

Jackson threw for a career-high 3,678 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions, finishing with the NFL’s fourth-best rating (102.7). He added 821 yards rushing with five scores, becoming the only quarterback in NFL history with multiple seasons to reach the 3,000/800 milestone.

“I believe everything plays its part – maturity, footwork, studying – everything,” Jackson said about his success this past season. “[I’m] just trying to be a better player and just trying to be a great player at this high-level game we’re playing. [I’m] just trying to get better at everything, so I believe that’s what’s helping me out with the accuracy.” 

Jackson has thrived under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who took over for Greg Roman in the offseason. Monken has given Jackson the freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage and take more shots downfield.

Monken also has held Jackson accountable for those decisions.

“It starts with Coach Monk,” Jackson said. “He told me when he first got here, ‘I’m going to give you the keys to the offense. It’s up to you to make certain decisions at the line [of scrimmage]. If you don’t like it, put us in a better situation, but if you mess up, it’s going to be on you.’”

“I’m cool with that, because I’m seeing the field, and I’m out there. I’m the one that has to make things happen – my teammates and [me]. I can’t give you the secret on how I see the game. I’m not going to just give you that.”

Jackson is 1-3 in the postseason. He’ll have the opportunity to change that narrative over the weekend in the divisional round of the playoffs at M&T Bank Stadium.

Jackson doesn’t think he has anything to prove to anyone but himself.

“We just have to finish this season how we’re supposed to,” Jackson said.

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