Does Lamar Jackson still pose a threat to the Steelers?
By Austin Lloyd
Despite the hype that still surrounds him, can it be argued that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is no longer a threat to the Steelers?
People can call him a running back all they want; it does not change the fact that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is talented. But while he can be a nightmare for defenses, is he a true threat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the grand scheme of things?
Such a question surely sounds ridiculous upon it first hitting ears. However, are we as NFL fans really supposed to pretend that Jackson has lived up to all of the critical acclaims that he has garnered since entering the league?
Being exciting is one thing, but this is someone who some pundits think could lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl. Yet here we are, years into his career, and he has only managed to beat the struggling Steelers once–against backup QBs, not Ben Roethlisberger–in overtime.
Beyond that, there’s been nothing but injuries and blown opportunities, and that is something that you can say about many unspectacular quarterbacks.
Combining his underwhelming accomplishments with the rising Cincinnati Bengals (who are now Super Bowl bound), the question has to be asked: are the Ravens even worth worrying about as long as they’re under Jackson’s leadership?
Again, he can certainly be a challenge for defenses, but that only seems to matter so much in the long run. Even when the Ravens managed to obtain a 14-2 record and 1st-round bye in the playoffs back in 2019, they failed to see the AFC title game. Why is this?
It most likely boils down to Jackson not being built for the big moment, as seeing him crack under pressure isn’t exactly an unfamiliar sight. However, when are folks going to begin criticizing him for that? He can’t underachieve forever, regardless of how good he sometimes looks.
Let’s apply a bit of context. Over the course of this season and the one prior, the Ravens have: lost to the Steelers four times, lost to the Bengals twice, finished last in the AFC North once, and obtained a measly 1-1 record in the playoffs. That’s not enough for their alleged superstar of a QB, who just got a 2022 Pro Bowl bid over Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
I’ll just say this one more time for those in the back: Lamar Jackson is a very admirable NFL talent, but there needs to be a bit more success to go off of before continuing to hold him in some elite light. And until it is known that the Ravens are a true candidate to derail anything that the Steelers got going on, the latter should probably focus on Cincinnati until further notice.