We will forgive the Jaguars fans if they are unable or unwilling to watch the Baltimore Ravens play the L.A. Chargers in the AFC wildcard game Sunday afternoon
There are two reasons for this.
One, 52 weeks ago the Jaguars were playing in this Wildcard game themselves playing the Buffalo Bills. It’s a game that they eventually won despite an awful offensive day, and advanced in the AFC Divisional Playoffs the next week in Pittsburgh.
So, off a 5-11 season, where the playoff hopes were long gone in early December, it’s tough to see other teams battling for the Lombardi Trophy.
And, the other reason why Jaguar fans probably won’t want to tune in is: it’s a game in which rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson will be at the helm for the Ravens.
After all, as we have previously pointed out, Jacksonville could have just as easily drafted Jackson themselves at the end of the first round last April. And, they could have had him playing for them, once the inevitable benching of QB Blake Bortles happened back in November.
Initially, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and staff were forced to make the switch because of a hip injury to starter Joe Flacco. But, Flacco has been healthy for the last three weeks, yet, Harbaugh has decided to ride the hot hand, or should we say “Hot Wheels” of the rookie from Louisville.
Baltimore has benefited from the former Heisman Trophy winner Jackson and his ability to run the read-option utilizing his agility and flat-out speed. The Ravens are now 6 – 1 with Jackson starting, including last week’s AFC North Division clinching win against Cleveland.
You could make the argument that the Jaguars were never going to try to do with the Ravens did. That is: completely adjust their offense to the read-option and go away from pocket passing.
Still, that’s what coaching comes down to, the ability to adjust and adapt.
The Ravens have done that.
And, again the reason that they had they option to make this switch is because they had the belief in Lamar Jackson to play, and play effectively. So, went ahead and traded back into the first round of the draft to take him.
That forethought has them battling the Chargers today.
That’s while the Jaguars brass, players, and fans are watching.
If they can watch, while thinking about who their QB of the future could have been.
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