Mark Zaleski / Associated Press
Lamar Jackson wants his respect.
You may have heard the story that the Baltimore Ravens quarterback has never won a playoff game in his short career and therefore cannot be considered an elite. Or something like that.
Well, Jackson quashed that argument on Sunday by leading the Ravens to a 20-13 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round.
“It feels good”, Jackson told reporters after the game. “There will always be naysayers. I’m grateful.”
But the victory meant more to Jackson and the Ravens after the Titans won the last two meetings between the teams, including in last year’s divisional playoff round. After Sunday’s game, Jackson left without shaking hands with the Titans’ players and said he did so because he felt the Titans were disrespectful in their November game:
Jackson was also excited during his post-game interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters immediately following the victory:
He played well, finishing 17 of 24 for 179 yards and an interception while rushing 16 times for 136 yards and a touchdown. But despite his impressive numbers, Jackson was not happy with his only blunder.
“We stayed focused. We weren’t shaken. My coaches weren’t shaken,” Jackson said Salters. “I threw a stupid interception – I’m sorry – stupid. But we kept on fighting and we succeeded.
Baltimore’s next opponent will depend on the outcome of the Pittsburgh Steelers game against Cleveland Browns on Sunday night. If Pittsburgh wins, Baltimore will face defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. If Cleveland wins, Baltimore gets the Buffalo Bills.
Jackson has his playoff victory. Regardless of the opponent, he’ll face a team with an elite quarterback on the other side as he tries to get his second.