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Lamar Jackson QB1


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P decent video. Specifically calls out our passing to the RB game being poor which most of us would agree with. It's a weapon that worked well when we used it last year, but it wasn't often we used it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29371903/could-lamar-jackson-repeat-mvp-progress-report-ravens-star-expect-2020

Don't think the question itself here is that important (in regards to whether he'll repeat as MVP), but thought this was a fair and interesting look at Lamar going into 2020.

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Is there any evidence that defenses figure out Jackson and this offense with more reps?

I'm skeptical. By win-loss record, you might be able to make a case, given that Jackson is 16-2 when he plays an opposing defense for the first time and 3-3 in his rematches, but the offense isn't the problem. Baltimore has averaged 30 points per game in Jackson's first start against opponents and 29 points per game in rematches.

 

Thankfully this meme has mostly died down to begin with (though it's cousin 'now everyone's gonna have tape on him' has replaced it), but it's interesting to see the numbers on Lamar in 'rematches,' though it's still a small sample size. That whole idea was, like everything else, premised on the idea that only defenses can learn things from playing Lamar and get better, and not the other way around. 

In any case, the teams that limited Lamar the best last year were all teams facing him for the first time: Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Tennessee. Barnwell sort of gets at it when he talks about the Titans safeties and the ability to play Invert 2, but really the common denominator in all of those defenses is just that they were good and athletic defenses that both executed well and rode their luck at the right moments. 

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Tennessee was also able to make its defense look like Cover 3 before the snap before moving to Invert 2 after the snap, and while it didn't really confuse Jackson on a regular basis, the Ravens weren't able to take consistent advantage of the weaker spots in that coverage. The Titans didn't use Invert 2 a ton, but they were brave enough to use man coverage more frequently than most teams did against Baltimore. The goal was to flood the box with defenders and take away both the numbers advantage in the running game and the middle of the field for Jackson as a passer.

The Titans' safeties played a huge role in the win, and there aren't many teams that have the sort of safety combination capable of doing what Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro did. They were viable, meaningful members of Tennessee's run fits on the interior and were able to reliably track down Baltimore's ball carriers and tackle them without much wasted motion. With only a couple of exceptions, the Titans didn't run themselves into mistakes by leaving a gap uncovered, a problem even the Patriots ran into when they faced Baltimore during the regular season. Byard and Vaccaro each had an interception. 

 

Similar to the 'blueprint' the Chargers laid out after Lamar's first playoff loss, I suspect if teams try to rely too much on this approach against us we'll be prepared next time to deal with it. Harbaugh's already alluded to it this offseason in talking about getting better at our perimeter passing game. 

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1 hour ago, BaltimoreTerp said:

 

Similar to the 'blueprint' the Chargers laid out after Lamar's first playoff loss, I suspect if teams try to rely too much on this approach against us we'll be prepared next time to deal with it. Harbaugh's already alluded to it this offseason in talking about getting better at our perimeter passing game. 

Maybe a little more of a screen game as well 

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I finally watched the Titans game yesterday in full, and while the feeling was not as bad as the first game, it is just so damn clear, that we killed ourselves in that one and the Titans capitalized on it with excellent execution.

In retrospect, the coaching team should have realized how much the Titans clumped up in the middle of the field and called more runs outside or swingpasses to runningbacks.

Anyways, we had a bad game and the Titans a good game. I don't think they came up with a blueprint to stop us.

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