Lamar Jackson made comments last week about how he was looking ahead to seeing the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game when he should have been focusing on the Titans.
The Kansas City Chiefs have faced Lamar Jackson twice since the Baltimore Ravens spent the 32nd overall pick on him in the 2018 NFL Draft. Both times have seen the Chiefs winning the ball game and they’ve handed Jackson two of his three regular season losses through his two seasons an an NFL quarterback.
Jackson made some comments last week about the Ravens’ loss against the Titans in the AFC Divisional Round and how he and his teammates were looking ahead to the AFC Championship Game.
"“That’s what happened in the playoffs, and we end up losing to the team people had us favored over,” Jackson said during an appearance on Complex’s Load Management podcast. “It’s any given Sunday. You can’t underestimate no team, no opponent and that’s what we did.Quote courtesy of Nick Shook’s article on NFL.com"
Let’s rewind a bit to get the full picture.
The Ravens finished the regular season with a 14-2 record and held the number one seed in the AFC playoffs while the Chiefs finished with a 12-4 record and narrowly grabbed the second seed over the Patriots.
Both the Ravens and Chiefs had first round byes, where their Divisional Round opponents would be determined. The Titans steamrolled over the Patriots in surprising fashion and that paved the way for them to face the Ravens in Baltimore.
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As Jackson noted in that quote above, the Ravens were heavy favorites, but it was pretty clear early on that it wasn’t Baltimore’s night. Instead of doing what had gotten them to that point (running the ball down the opposition’s throat), Jackson and the rest of the Ravens offense panicked and tried to become a throwing team.
It makes sense that the Ravens would look past Tennessee and start game planning for their date with the Chiefs in the AFC title game. The Titans had come out of nowhere late in the season and didn’t seem like a very threatening team, but they deserved more respect considering they knocked off the Patriots.
With Baltimore though, their two game losing streak against the Kansas City Chiefs was obviously in their heads as they entered the playoffs. They were looking forward to their showdown with the Chiefs, which if the Ravens had won the game would have been in Baltimore this time, so much that they forgot the task at hand – They had to beat the Titans to get to that pinnacle.
The Kansas City Chiefs travel to Baltimore in week three of the 2020 regular season and it’ll be interesting to see if they’re truly in Jackson’s head.