Lamar Jackson In Good Company with Early Playoff Disappointment

Todd Karpovich

Lamar Jackson is not the only quarterback to experience disappointment in the playoffs as a young quarterback. 

Ravens coach John Harbaugh pointed out that Jackson is actually in some good company. 

“The Manning brothers combined to, they had five losses in their first five playoff games before they won one,” Harbaugh said. “[Joe] Montana, [Steve] Young and [Brett] Favre didn’t start a playoff game until their third season, [Drew] Brees and [Troy] Aikman, until their fourth season, and [Aaron] Rodgers until his fifth season.

“Interesting. So, everybody is different, right? But I’m really confident in Lamar and his understanding the things he needs to do to get better, and that he’s going to work really hard to keep building himself up as a player.” 

Jackson has lost both of his playoff appearances in his young career. The Ravens fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 23-17 in last year's wild-card round. Baltimore lost to Tennessee 28-12 in this season's divisional round.

This has prompted some criticism for Jackson, who had one of the most successful regular of any quarterback in NFL history. There's no reason why that success can't translate to the playoffs, according to Harbaugh.  

"He really understands where he needs to improve in order for us to keep making steps as an offense. It’s really interesting to look at Lamar Jackson, because look at the progress he made in the last year. Because the same question, I think you might have asked it last year, how is he going to get better going forward? And he did a good job, right? He’s 23 years old. He’s younger than Joe Burrow. So, he has a pretty good head start right now. He’s along the way."

Jackson is not worried about his detractors and vowed to get even better this offseason.

"I don't really care about what they say," Jackson said. "This is my second year in the league. Many people aren't able to bring it to the playoffs. I've got a great team with me. I don't really worry about what people say. We're just going to keep going ... and get ready for next year."