Lamar Jackson: Time for Baltimore Ravens quarterback to step up and beat his Kansas City ‘Kryptonite’ | NFL News

Lamar Jackson has lost all three of his previous meetings with Patrick Mahomes; Watch Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens as part of the NFL Sunday triple-header live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.20am on Monday morning

Last Updated: 19/09/21 7:00am


As we build up to another Sunday night of NFL action on - live on Sky Sports NFL from 5pm - we look back on some of the best of the action from Week One

As we build up to another Sunday night of NFL action on – live on Sky Sports NFL from 5pm – we look back on some of the best of the action from Week One

As we build up to another Sunday night of NFL action on – live on Sky Sports NFL from 5pm – we look back on some of the best of the action from Week One

“Our Kryptonite.” That’s what a brutally honest Lamar Jackson labelled the Kansas City Chiefs after his Baltimore Ravens slipped to a 34-20 defeat to Patrick Mahomes’ men in Week Three of last season.

It was Jackson’s third defeat in as many years to Mahomes and KC, and it brought with it serious questions as to whether Jackson – the 2019 league MVP – was actually in the same stratosphere as his quarterback counterpart, fresh from winning Super Bowl LIV.

They meet again on Sunday night, one week sooner this season. And Kryptonite the Chiefs may be, this is a Baltimore team in desperate need of a Superman for Sunday’s encounter.

Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes look ahead to the big clash this Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens face the Kansas City Chiefs

Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes look ahead to the big clash this Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens face the Kansas City Chiefs

Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes look ahead to the big clash this Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens face the Kansas City Chiefs

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The Ravens are in danger of slipping to 0-2 to start a season for the first time in six years after succumbing to a 33-27 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in their season opener on Monday Night Football.

Highlights of the clash between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders in Week One of the 2021 NFL season

Highlights of the clash between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders in Week One of the 2021 NFL season

Highlights of the clash between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders in Week One of the 2021 NFL season

They’re also in the midst of a deepening injury crisis. Running back trio J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill have all been lost for the season, two-time All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters too.

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The worry is, that with defeat this Sunday, Baltimore are in danger of being left behind in their division. The Cleveland Browns pushed Kansas City mighty close in a 33-29 season-opening defeat, while the Pittsburgh Steelers downed Allen’s Bills in Week One. Heck, the Cincinnati Bengals even won, complicating the Ravens’ route out of the AFC North even further.

As the Browns prepare for their home opener in Cleveland against the Houston Texans, quarterback Baker Mayfield is still hung up over last week's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

As the Browns prepare for their home opener in Cleveland against the Houston Texans, quarterback Baker Mayfield is still hung up over last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

As the Browns prepare for their home opener in Cleveland against the Houston Texans, quarterback Baker Mayfield is still hung up over last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is a perfect 11-0 in the month of September through his career, averaging over 330 yards per game and throwing 35 touchdowns to zero interceptions.

To keep the superhero analogy going: Baltimore’s start to the season is the equivalent of a runaway train careering off the track. They need Jackson to save them and steer them back on the right path.

But, there are lingering concerns he is incapable of carrying the team on his shoulders. Following his MVP season, Jackson suffered a down year in 2020 – in all categories.

Passing yards dropped from 3,127 to 2,757 and touchdowns from 36 to 26, with only his interception tally climbing from six to nine. Jackson will always be a threat with his feet, and he again topped 1,000 rushing yards for the year, but was 201 short of his staggering 2019 tally of 1,206.

The worry is that Baltimore’s quarterback can’t win games off his arm alone. And he has since been overtaken by Buffalo’s Josh Allen as the new AFC golden boy tipped by both playing peers and commentators to be the most likely to dethrone Mahomes.

Former NFL safety Will Blackmon summed it up well on Inside The Huddle (Tuesdays, 9pm, Sky Sports NFL) this week: “He [Jackson] has to be able to close.

Inside The Huddle's Will Blackmon discusses Lamar Jackson's two fumbles in the Baltimore Ravens' season-opening defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders

Inside The Huddle’s Will Blackmon discusses Lamar Jackson’s two fumbles in the Baltimore Ravens’ season-opening defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders

Inside The Huddle’s Will Blackmon discusses Lamar Jackson’s two fumbles in the Baltimore Ravens’ season-opening defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders

“He is at the situation now where he has done everything else: he’s been MVP, he’s probably going to get the big contract soon.

“But now we’re just waiting for him to close out games, have that consistency. That’s where Patrick Mahomes separates himself, he closes when it matters.”

But Jackson isn’t alone in being shown up by Mahomes. Allen, Baker Mayfield and co too share that in common. None have yet to take down the Kansas City QB.

  • 3-0 vs Lamar Jackson (Ravens)
  • 3-0 vs Baker Mayfield (Browns)
  • 2-1 vs Deshaun Watson (Texans)
  • 2-0 vs Josh Allen (Bills)
  • 1-0 vs Justin Herbert (Chargers)
  • 1-0 vs Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins)

In 13 career starts (including playoffs) against the talented crop of AFC quarterbacks currently aged 26 and under, Mahomes is 12-1. And that sole defeat came in Week Six of the 2019 regular season against the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson – who is currently not playing, standing accused of sexual assault by 22 women who have filed lawsuits.

The point is: it’s time for one of these quarterbacks – someone other than a 44-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl winner named Tom Brady – to knock Mahomes off his perch. Or, at the very least, land a sizeable punch or two.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until he's 50 years old

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until he’s 50 years old

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until he’s 50 years old

Jackson gets that chance this weekend. “I think the Ravens need to win on Sunday night,” Peter Schrager said on Good Morning Football (weekdays, 12pm, Sky Sports NFL). “I think they need to go out there and punch back!

“The Ravens are based on grit, on being tough and on dealing with adversity. This team has got some backbone – so you can’t go 0-2.

Lamar Jackson has lost all three of his previous meetings with the Kansas City Chiefs, including a 34-20 defeat last year

Lamar Jackson has lost all three of his previous meetings with the Kansas City Chiefs, including a 34-20 defeat last year

“Not with the Steelers looking like they do and the Browns, who are going to win this weekend against the Texans at home. The Ravens need this one.

“I don’t think I can consider Jackson one of the great quarterbacks of his era, until he can beat one of the other great quarterbacks of his era. It has been so one-sided, Mahomes has owned Jackson.

“But if you win the game on Sunday night, we can talk.”

It’s time for Jackson to finally overcome his Kryptonite.

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