Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson gets 1st playoff win, credits God as he stays humble in the Lord

Led by 2019 NFL MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens overcame a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to down the Tennessee Titans on the road Sunday, 20-13, in the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs.

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Jackson completed 17 of 24 passes for 179 yards and an interception, yet most of his damage came on the ground with 136 yards on 16 carries. With 2:32 left in the second quarter, Jackson escaped the pocket and scampered 48 yards down the right side for the game-tying score.

Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins‘ four-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Ravens a lead they would not relinquish.

The playoff win was the first of Jackson’s three-year NFL career after previously being 0-2, including a surprising 28-12 loss a year ago as the AFC’s top seed to the No. 6-seeded Titans.

“I appreciate the win, a hard-fought team victory,” Jackson said in his postgame press conference. “They played great as well. Tennessee played a pretty good game on both sides of the ball, but I’m grateful for the win. That’s all God.”

Giving credit to God is something that has become common for the 24-year-old. Jackson’s faith was instilled in him at a young age by his mother, Felicia Jones, and he wears No. 8 because of his eight core values: God, prayer, faith, family, education, sacrifice, character and discipline. When he was presented with the Heisman Trophy after an incredible sophomore year in 2016 at Louisville, Jackson made sure to give thanks to God.

“First and foremost, before I go further along in my speech, I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Jackson said. “Without Him, none of us would be here right now.”

 

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Jackson was the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy and the second-youngest player to ever win the NFL MVP. With so much success so early in his football career, Jackson was asked in December 2019 how he’s been able to stay humble.

“The Lord,” he said. “I give Him all His praise, the glory, the honor, because of what I am. I could have been doing anything, it’s crazy. I’ll be thinking about it, talking to Him throughout the day, like, ‘Man, I appreciate You, I thank You.’ Because if you feel like you’re bigger than the Lord, that’s when all that success die, it goes away.

“You got to let Him know He’s the reason you [have had] that much success. So I appreciate that from Him. And I’ve got my family around me, my teammates, great teammates, coaching staff. We’ve just got to keep it going and let the Lord know He’s No. 1.”

Jackson will aim to keep that humility as he and his Ravens teammates travel to Buffalo for the divisional round this weekend, with the No. 2-seeded Bills coming off their first playoff win since 1995. The game is set for Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET on NBC.

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