Sports

Lamar on 4-INT game: ‘I looked like a rookie’

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t hold back Wednesday in providing a scathing assessment of his four-interception performance in Sunday night’s 16-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

“Bad passes, inaccurate, underthrown passes. That’s all I seen. Bad reads,” Jackson said. “I looked like a rookie.”

Jackson, who is in his fourth NFL season, was still clearly upset about throwing four interceptions for the first time in his career. While he took some consolation in becoming the first quarterback in eight years to win when getting picked off that many times, Jackson said he couldn’t believe when watching the film how he repeatedly gave the ball back to the Browns after the Baltimore defense had made a stop.

This uncharacteristic performance will linger for a couple of days.

“I let it fester. I need to feel that pain,” Jackson said. “That’s pain right there.”

Jackson and the Ravens (8-3) are atop the AFC heading into Sunday’s game at the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Jackson is in the worst rut of his career.

Baltimore has been held under 20 points in three of Jackson’s past four starts. Before this, the Ravens had scored over 20 points in 50 of Jackson’s first 52 starts.

Jackson also has been picked off five times in his past nine games, which matches his interception total for his entire 2019 NFL MVP season. His 12 interceptions this season are the second-most in the league behind Ryan Tannehill (13).

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said there are “no macro-adjustment that you make” with Jackson, who has typically not thrown many interceptions.

“Every week is a different week,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not trying to look at some grand answer or some psychological diagnosis about one thing or another. It’s not about all of that. It’s about playing a very competitive game for three-and-a-half hours, preparing for the week to do it, and doing the best you can [to] play your best game. That’s really all you can do.”

Jackson refused to blame a recent illness, which forced him to miss practice time and a Nov. 21 game, on his struggles. He said he’s supposed to play “Lamar ball” and he didn’t.

“No excuses,” he said. “That was just a bad performance. Four interceptions. Hope that never, ever happens again. Not ever.”

Jackson is heading into the part of the season where he has flourished. He has won 12 straight games as a starter in December and January. The only starting QBs with longer winning streaks in December/January regular-season games since the start of 1950 are Philip Rivers (19 in a row) and Daryle Lamonica (14), according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

The Ravens are feeling a sense of urgency on offense. When asked what it’s going to take for the offense to play more consistently, Jackson apologized to a reporter for not letting him finish his question, saying, “We just need to do us. It’ll start back soon. We need to right away. Hopefully this week, it’ll start.”

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