Lamar Jackson had another big game against an elite opponent and the Baltimore Ravens quarterback came up short — again. Jackson’s struggles against the Pittsburgh Steelers were evident in Sunday’s 28-24 loss, as he completed just 46.8% of his passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns while fumbling three times (losing two of them). Jackson also threw the first pick-six of his career — on the third play of the game — which ultimately decided the outcome.
The Steelers’ defense revealed how to shut down Jackson again, prompting head coach Mike Tomlin to pass along this message to the NFL regarding the reigning MVP.
“We respect him but we do not fear him,” Tomlin said, via Kevin Brown of NBC Sports Washington. “We’re not surprised by anything that transpired.”
Jackson’s numbers against the Steelers are way below average compared to how he fares against the rest of the league. In four games against the Steelers, Jackson has just completed 57.9% of his passes with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s been sacked nine times while rushing for 162 yards — averaging 4.15 yards per carry — with zero touchdowns. The 59.2 passer rating is the second lowest of any opponents he’s faced.
“The turnovers, I feel, are the reason we lost the game,” Jackson said. “I put that on me. The start of the game, the first drive – a pick-six. And then we drive to the red zone – I fumbled. I’ve got to get the ball out quicker, because we know they’re dominant up front. And then that pick off the play to the flat throwing it to Mark [Andrews]. I’ve got to clean those up, and I feel like we [would’ve] won that game.”
Jackson has seven turnovers in two starts against the Steelers since the start of last season, and 15 in 27 starts against all other teams. In those two starts, he’s completed 57.1% of his passes with three touchdowns and five interceptions with two fumbles lost. In the other 20 starts, Jackson has thrown 45 touchdowns to just five interceptions and 12 fumbles.
“The turnovers, obviously, were disappointing,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “You don’t … That’s the difference in the game in some ways, obviously. And that’s part of it. We’re disappointed with that part of it. We’re very happy with other parts of it.
“I thought he competed, made a lot of great throws and runs and things like that. So, it’s a mixed bag in that sense, but of course we’re not pleased with losing the turnover battle. That’s something that we always want to win.”