Ravens' Lamar Jackson Must 'Tighten Up His Game,' John Harbaugh Says

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 6, 2020

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Baltimore. Steelers' linebacker Robert Spillane intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke about third-year quarterback Lamar Jackson's development Friday amid some midseason struggles, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley:

"He still has a lot to learn, but the great thing about Lamar is he recognizes that. He understands that people are making him the focus. He has got to find a way to tighten up his game and beat those things with precision and accuracy and his mind. They're doing everything they can with a lot of smart and talented people to stop Lamar Jackson the week that they play him." 

The Ravens finished an NFL-best 14-2 last season, with Jackson earning the NFL MVP award in his first full year as the starter. He completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 36 touchdowns and 7.8 yards per pass attempt in addition to 1,206 rushing yards and seven more scores.

However, the 2020 season has not been as kind to Jackson and the Ravens, who are doing well at 5-2 but looking up at the 7-0 Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North race.

Jackson's numbers have dipped in 2020, with a 60.5 completion rate and 7.1 yards per pass attempt. He's on pace for 32 total touchdowns, or 11 fewer than last year.

He's particularly struggled in his last three games, completing 52.17 percent of his passes for 574 total passing yards, six total touchdowns and three interceptions. Jackson committed four turnovers in a 28-24 loss to the Steelers last Sunday.

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Ultimately, Jackson may be going through a rough patch, but the Ravens are still well-positioned to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Jackson also showed he's capable of being among the NFL's best players, so a rebound would not be a surprise as the Ravens pass the midpoint of their schedule.

The Ravens will now visit the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.