Ravens Coach John Harbaugh, Backup Quarterback Joe Flacco Defend Sticking With Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore coach and backup quarterback were not trying to entertain the idea of what would have happened if Lamar Jackson was benched.
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After the Ravens fell to the Chargers 23-17 Sunday at home in the wild card round of the playoffs, there was a lot of talk about whether or not Baltimore should have benched quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The rookie signal caller struggled for most of the first half of Sunday's matchup. He finished the game by going 14-for-29 for 194 yards with two touchdowns and an interception along with nine rushes for 54 yards. He also had the game-sealing fumble in the final minute of the contest.

Coach John Harbaugh explained after the game how he didn't think backup quarterback Joe Flacco could not have done more for the team that Jackson provided.

"In the end—talk about the fourth quarter—Lamar played really well in two-minute," Harbaugh said according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. "I don't think Joe would have played any better in two-minute. You have to say, based on that part of it [and] at that point in time in the game, it was the right decision."

Prior to Sunday's game, reports surfaced saying the Ravens were planning to either trade former Super Bowl MVP Flacco or release him during the offseason. Harbaugh, whose future in Baltimore has also been put into question at points this season, explained how Jackson is the quarterback the team is riding with going forward.

"Lamar is our quarterback going forward—no question about that," Harbaugh said. "Joe Flacco is going to play really well in this league. Joe can still play, and I think we saw that, first half of the season. Joe is going to have a market. A lot of teams are going to want Joe. I'll be in Joe's corner, wherever he's at, unless we play him."

When confronted about whether or not he thinks he could have led the Ravens to a win, Flacco brushed the question aside and offered his support of Jackson.

Similar to cornerback Jimmy Smith, who chastised booing fans during the game, Flacco gave little merit to the idea he should have been under center at some point during this matchup.

"No, no, you can't even go there, man," Flacco said. "I thought Lamar did a great job of just hanging in there. You know, he gave us a chance at the end."

The Ravens went 10-6 this season and won the AFC North for the first time since 2012 with Jackson going 6-1 as the starter down the stretch.