It’s interesting to watch the debates on Twitter that take place between Ravens fans who support Joe Flacco and those who support Lamar Jackson. The fans firmly entrenched in the Flacco camp will point out Jackson’s flaws – his accuracy issues, struggles with ball security and the potential for injury given his affinity to run the football.
All criticisms are legit.
Those in Jackson’s camp will point out that Flacco has been mediocre for a measurable amount of time – since Super Bowl 47 in fact; that he predetermines where he’s going with the football based upon the defense’s initial look, and that the Ravens struggle to run the football with Flacco under center.
Difficult to argue these points as well.
[Press play to listen or continue reading below]
But the last knock on Flacco – that the Ravens have struggled to run the ball under his guidance, may be the most compelling and needs to be heavily considered when deciding who gets the starting nod as the team’s signal caller moving forward.
The Ravens ability to possess the ball with Jackson at the offensive controls cannot be overstated. The Ravens have a time of possession advantage of nearly 15 minutes per game during Jackson’s 3 starts, while averaging 22 offensive plays more than their opponents during the winning streak. This helps to keep the defense fresh as they’ve been able to finish games strong. Offenses have averaged just 212 yards per game with Lamar calling signals. Comparatively speaking opposing defenses have averaged 305 YPG when Flacco starts.
The best defense against high-powered offenses, particularly on the road, is a strong rushing offense. The league’s best rushing offense over the course of the full season is Seattle who comes in at 148.8 yards per game – 90 fewer YPG than the Ravens with Jackson.
It might not be pretty at times. The fumbles and the wildly off-target throws are maddening. But so far, the Lamar formula is a winner and it will be critical to winning in either Kansas City or Los Angeles. And at the end of the day, whether you are pro-Joe or pro-Lamar, winning is the only thing that matters.
Pro-Ravens is the only thing that matters.