Coming off the worst performance of his NFL career, Lamar Jackson is fortunate the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns in spite of his four-interception performance. To Jackson's credit, he made the two throws he had to make in order for the Ravens to remain in first place in the AFC North -- yet knows a performance like Sunday night is unacceptable if the Ravens want to win a Super Bowl.
"Bad passes and inaccurate, underthrown passes – that's all I've seen. Bad reads. I looked like a rookie. I looked like a rookie," Jackson said Wednesday. "There aren't any excuses. There aren't any excuses. I'm supposed to do what I'm supposed to do and play 'Lamar-ball', and I didn't. But we still got the 'W,' so that's what really matters."
Jackson's passing numbers are not exactly where they've been the previous two years. His 64.2% completion rate is his lowest in a full season as a starting quarterback while his touchdown rate of 4.4% is a career-low and interception rate of 3.5% is a career-high.
Jackson has averaged 261.2 passing yards per game (by far a career-high) as the Ravens have been more reliant on his arm with the season-ending injuries to their top-two running backs, but he already has 12 interceptions through 10 games -- his first double-digit interception season.
Sunday's performance was a microcosm of Jackson's struggles. He finished 20 of 32 for 165 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions for a 46.5 passer rating (season-low). Over his last three games, Jackson has completed 62.9% of his passes for 669 yards with five touchdowns to seven interceptions (67.8 rating).
Jackson knows he needs to be better if the Ravens want to remain the top seed in the conference. He's not letting the struggles throwing the football linger, just taking it game by game and working on getting things right as December begins.
"I need to feel it. I need to feel that pain. That's pain right there," Jackson said. "The defense is making great stops, and I'm putting my defense back out there right away. It was happening right away, and I'm looking at film ... It was like, they stopped them, we get back out on the field, and interception. I'm like, 'What the?' I'm watching the film like it's fate. So, yes; I let it fester for a couple days, and then I let it go and get prepared for the Steelers, for my next game, whoever it is."