Current ESPN NFL analyst Robert Griffin III recently noted how Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson, Griffin’s former teammate, is chasing his first Super Bowl ring as part of Jackson’s overall goal of becoming “the greatest of all time.”
Fellow ESPN analyst and retired signal-caller Dan Orlovsky revealed why he’s convinced Jackson is “as ready or more ready than he has ever been” to guide Baltimore to a championship this winter.
“You’ve seen the football intellect be at the forefront more, getting out of bad plays, getting into good plays, changing protections,” Orlovsky said about Jackson’s performances this season during a chat with Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. “Number two, I think he’s much more consistent mechanically. I think he gets his hips into throws more and not just relying on natural talent. He has raised his elbow a little bit when it comes to his throwing motion. It used to be low at times and that would force misses. And I think that he has much more patience in the pocket now as a passer.”
ESPN stats show that Jackson, likely the unnamed 2023 NFL Most Valuable Player, finished the regular season ranked fourth among qualified quarterbacks with a 64.6 adjusted QBR, fourth with a 102.7 passer rating, tied for eighth with a 67.2% completion percentage and tied for 11th with 24 touchdown passes. He also led the league among quarterbacks with 821 rushing yards.
Opinions on what Jackson is and/or isn’t as a passer aside, it can’t be debated that he’s thus far gone 1-3 as a starter in postseason play.
Hall of Famer Kurt Warner mentioned that Jackson needs to improve upon that record beginning with Saturday’s home divisional playoff game versus the Houston Texans for multiple reasons.
“I think it’s safe to say that Lamar hasn’t done great, or the team hasn’t done great with him as the quarterback in the playoffs,” Warner told Zrebiec. “When you’ve got the No. 1 seed and things laid out in front of you, I think there’s some expectations there, without a doubt.”
As of Friday afternoon, DraftKings Sportsbook listed the Ravens as massive 9.5-point favorites against the Texans. DraftKings also had Baltimore as a +115 betting favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LVIII.
“You have to perform well in the playoffs,” Warner added about Jackson and the Ravens. “I think that expectation is definitely there. If they don’t, I think that storyline will obviously continue.”