Rookie Lamar Jackson received congratulatory text messages from Randall Cunningham and Doug Williams after leading the Ravens to a victory in his first start.
It was a humbling experience for Jackson, who said those two former quarterbacks “paved the way” for him to get an opportunity in the NFL.
Jackson will get the start again Week 12 against Oakland with Joe Flacco still battling a hip injury, coach John Harbaugh confirmed Friday.
This time, he might take a different approach to his performance.
Jackson ran ran the ball 27 times, the most by any quarterback since 1960, in a 24-21 victory over the Bengals. There have been questions whether Jackson’s body can sustain the type of punishment over the long term with so many carries.
As a result, he might get more opportunities throw the ball against Oakland.
“I know I can throw,” said Jackson, who completed 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards with an interception against Cincinnati. “But we won the game. I ran 27 times. I didn’t try to. We did whatever it took to win. Hopefully, I’m going to start throwing the ball more. The game plan is coming up. We’re going to be throwing the ball. They’re going to see.”
The Ravens snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory over the Bengals. Baltimore also moved into the sixth and final playoff spot.
While the Ravens can now control their own destiny to snap a three-year postseason drought, a feisty Harbaugh said it’s too early to worry about those types of intangibles.
Instead, the players and coaches are focused on the game in front of them. Harbaugh also had a few strong words for the team’s critics.
“I don’t care what seed you are,” Harbaugh said. “You have a five-way tie at 5-5 for sixth place [after] Week, what, 10? There are six more games to play. It will be determined in the next six weeks. Nothing is over, so all of you guys who counted us out, we aren’t out. We’re not dead. Sorry.
“And anybody who thinks that we have it clinched, no. No way. It’s going to be the teams that play the best, the teams that play the best football the next six weeks starting this week, and that’s going to be our focus,” he said.