Lamar Jackson ends a 20-day layoff and the Ravens open the playoffs in their divisional round matchup with the Houston Texans on Saturday in Baltimore.
Baltimore and Jackson served a statement victory on New Year’s Eve, whipping the Miami Dolphins, 56-19.
Jackson was rested during the Week 18 loss to the Steelers, followed by a bye week, and spent down time looking at the first matchup with the Texans, a 25-9 win for the Ravens in Week 1.
Houston “didn’t give me a chance to run” and sacked Jackson four times in the opener. The Ravens had only 265 yards total offense, 18 first downs and averaged 3.4 yards per carry on 32 rushing attempts. That was all part of a first effort under new coordinator Todd Monken, and the lack of cohesiveness showed in the form of 13 penalties.
What did Jackson see when he reviewed recent footage of the Texans?
“They are playing lights out ball right now,” he said.
Jackson described his energy as “antsy” on Tuesday, and isn’t thinking about past postseason shortcomings.
He wasn’t available for the 2022 playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals due to a knee injury. That 24-17 defeat was started by Tyler Huntley.
And while the Ravens didn’t reach the postseason in 2021, Jackson’s two-game playoff run after the 2020 season wasn’t memorable. He had a 68.1 passer rating, zero touchdowns and two interceptions over two games: a 20-13 win at Tennessee over the Titans and a 17-3 loss to the Bills in Buffalo.
On the heels of a 14-2 regular season in 2019, Jackson threw for 365 yards but lost to the Titans (28-12) with Tennessee harassing Jackson with four sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
But Ravens coach John Harbaugh said there’s no player more prepared for these playoffs than Jackson.
“Lamar’s ready to go. The guys are ready to go,” Harbaugh said.
–Field Level Media