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Ronnie Stanley, Kenneth Dixon Call out Ravens Fans for Booing Lamar Jackson

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram (54) sacks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Lamar Jackson struggled for a large portion of his first NFL playoff game, a 23-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, to the point that Baltimore fans booed him during the game.

And those boos didn't sit well with his teammates, as offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley told ESPN's Jamison Hensley on Monday:

"It definitely did bother me. As a football player, an athlete, a competitor, [we] sacrifice our whole lives to be in this position. We love our fans and everything they've done for us, but there are going to be good times and there are going to be bad times, and we expect your support in all of those times. If you're not going to support us, then you've really got to question yourself on that one."

Running back Kenneth Dixon concurred:

Kenneth M Dixon @_BONEHEAD_tez_

You either with us or against us real spill. I’m ten toes behind @Lj_era8. Keep ya boo’s( plain disrespectful) that man gave us life

Jackson, 21, finished his first playoff game 14-of-29 through the air for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, though he completed just 48.3 percent of his passes and most of his production came on the team's last two touchdown drives.

As Hensley noted, Jackson had just three completions for 25 yards midway through the fourth quarter and the Ravens trailed 23-3, before leading the team on 75- and 80-yard touchdown drives to make things interesting.

It was too little, too late, however, and Jackson himself seemed to understand the backlash.

"They were looking for better in us," he said of the booing fans. "We didn't perform well. It happens sometimes."

Backup Robert Griffin III also tried to keep the moment in perspective:

"You have to understand that when you have a guy who's been here for 11 years, won a Super Bowl, been a Super Bowl MVP, and things aren't going too great early on in the game or in the third quarter, yeah, maybe some fans might chant for that guy. I've had it happen for a guy who wasn't a Super Bowl MVP. So it's something you can't take personally, and we're sitting there right next to him, telling him don't worry about that."

But other Ravens were less inclined to give Ravens fans the benefit of the doubt. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey implied there was a level of hypocrisy in Ravens fans hoping to see Joe Flacco get inserted into the game in place of Jackson, per Hensley.

"All year, you hear something about Joe, 'Oh, boo, take Joe out.' Then, yesterday, it seemed like you were hearing Joe chants," he noted. "It's pretty interesting to me how the narrative switched pretty quickly."

And fellow corner Jimmy Smith even spoke to some fans behind the team's bench who were booing Jackson.

"Was I surprised? I wasn't surprised. I was more just a little pissed," he said. "We fought and this guy fought and was 6-1 as the starter. It got a little bit rough at the end and people were booing. Come on. Why would you do that? It was the same guy that helped us get here. Now, you're booing him. I just thought it was a little foul."

Jackson's future appears to be bright. The rookie quarterback helped change Baltimore's season when he took over for an injured Flacco, throwing for 1,201 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions while also adding a brand new dimension to the team's run attack, rushing for 695 yards and two scores. 

Given how the season ended, Jackson is undoubtedly the starter going forward and Flacco is likely on his way out, whether the fans were happy with that fact Sunday or not. Jackson's first playoff game was hardly his best performance, but his teammates clearly have his back.

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