The Bills, in a losing effort, contained Lamar Jackson's running during Buffalo's loss to Baltimore in Week 14 of the 2019 season. The league's MVP that season, Jackson rushed for just 40 yards on 11 carries. But he also threw three touchdowns while helping the Ravens leave Buffalo with a 24-17 victory.
Jackson will look to lead his teammates to another win in Bills Stadium in Saturday's AFC divisional round playoff game. Standing in Jackson's way is a defense that is confident in its ability to contain his playmaking as far as running is concerned.
"We're pretty confident in being able to contain him," Bills linebacker Matt Milano said earlier this week, via Matt Parrino of New York Upstate. "You gotta be ready to rock, you know? He can make anything happen at any time. Being aware of him at all times is gonna be key for us," Milano said. "We just gotta be sound tacklers. A lot of other quarterbacks could just run it up and they're gonna slide or be one cut. With Lamar, he's a very shifty guy. ... You just gotta make a play. That's what it really comes down to."
Milano and his teammates will face a quarterback that is hungry for more playoff success following last Sunday's win over the Titans -- the first postseason win of Jackson's career. While he was sacked five times, Jackson rushed for 136 yards that included his 48-yard, game-tying touchdown run. He also completed nearly 71% of his passes in Baltimore's 20-13 win.
While he struggled during the season's first 10 games (particularly on his deep passes), Jackson recently explained what he has changed while leading the Ravens to six straight victories.
"I'm just attacking the game more, being more aggressive," Jackson said, via ESPN. "I'll say, in the beginning of the season, I was conservative a lot; just staying back and getting sacked a lot more. But as the season went on, [when] things break down, my first read is not there, second read is not there, I take advantage of what the defense gives me."
Weather could be on Milano and his teammates' side on Saturday. The temperature at kickoff is expected to be at 33 degrees without much change during the game. There is currently a 53% chance of rain throughout the game, with winds expected to reach 13 miles per hour.
"We do things with the balls and that kind of stuff," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about preparing for adverse conditions. "We were outside Wednesday and Thursday, which was good. It doesn't really matter. Whatever we get we're going to go play in. The weather is not going to be a factor, I don't believe. It's going to be whoever plays the best football in the weather. I don't think we're expecting any kind of blizzard or anything crazy. It should be fine."