Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson Made Major NFL History Leading Ravens’ Playoff Win vs. Texans

Lamar Jackson, who entered Saturday with a 1-3 NFL playoff record, dispelled doubts with a stellar showing in the Baltimore Ravens’ 34-10 victory against the Houston Texans.

Jackson’s outstanding play included two passing and two rushing touchdowns, amassing 152 yards in the air and 100 on the ground. This performance highlighted his skills and challenged the previous narrative surrounding his playoff record, which stood at 1-3 before this game.

“You know I heard that,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen it, I don’t even got to hear it. I see it. But it is what it is. I don’t really care about what people say. I’m trying to win. Day in, day out, every time I’m on that field, I’m trying to play to the best of my ability. Those guys just had our team’s number in the past, but it’s a different team.”

NFL NEWS & PLAYOFFS: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens Updates

Unwavering in the face of criticism about his playoff history, Jackson led a remarkable turnaround in the second half of the game. The first half ended with both teams tied at 10-10 and Jackson facing intense pressure from the Texans’ defense. However, Jackson spearheaded four consecutive scoring drives in the latter half, showcasing his resilience and determination.

This game was notable for Jackson’s achievement of a historic NFL milestone. He became the first player to record over 100 yards both rushing and passing, with at least two touchdowns in each category and a passer rating over 100 in a single game. This feat underscores his potential candidacy for the AP Most Valuable Player award.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh praised Jackson’s consistent excellence throughout the season, noting his focused approach and leadership.

“I thought Lamar was gonna play great, but he’s played great all year,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters. “Just now, it’s more important than ever. He’s been locked in from Day 1. That’s his term, and we’ve all kind of ran with that. He’s directed this whole thing.”

NFL NEWS & PLAYOFFS: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens Updates

Jackson’s dominant performance starkly contrasted the team’s previous playoff experiences, particularly the 2019 season, where they faced an early exit despite being top-seeded.

Before this game, Jackson’s playoff record as a starter was under scrutiny, highlighted by a low completion percentage and a negative touchdown to interception ratio. However, he significantly improved these statistics in this game, registering a 72.7% completion rate, no turnovers, and a 121.8 passer rating. Jackson also effectively countered Houston’s aggressive blitz strategy, demonstrating his adaptability and strategic insight.

“They were having success in the first half with blitzing us,” Jackson said. “All blitz and zero, they were doing their thing. But we watched a lot of film. We were prepared. We were making little mistakes in protecting the blitz and getting the ball out on time. But second half, I felt like we were doing what we were supposed to do.”

NFL NEWS & PLAYOFFS: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens Updates

The victory propels the Ravens into the AFC Championship Game for the first time since their 2012 Super Bowl-winning season. Jackson is the first quarterback to lead his team in rushing for a season and advance past the Divisional Round.

Despite this significant achievement, Jackson remains focused on the immediate future, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming AFC Championship Game and not getting ahead of themselves by thinking about the Super Bowl. His determination and leadership are pivotal for the Ravens as they advance in the playoffs.

“We’ve got to finish,” Jackson said. “Still in the playoffs, not in the dance yet. I’m looking forward to next week. I’m not even thinking of the Super Bowl until we handle business.”

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