There’s been a noticeable difference in Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s production from before and after missing a game due to COVID-19.
Baltimore was 6-4 after the season’s first 10 games, then fell to 6-5 with the Week 12 Wednesday loss to the Steelers while many players — including Jackson — were out on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
In those first 10 games, Jackson completed 63.4 percent of passes for 1,948 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had 575 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
But the Ravens haven’t lost since Jackson returned in Week 13, and Jackson is a big reason why. In the last five games of the regular season, Jackson threw for 809 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions, plus he ran for 430 yards and four touchdowns.
His passer rating over that span was at 115.8 compared to 93.4 in the first 10 weeks.
Then in last week’s wild-card victory over the Titans, Jackson was 17-of-24 passing for 179 yards with an interception, but he rushed for 136 yards, too — more than in any of his 2020 regular-season games.
During his Tuesday press conference, the quarterback acknowledged there’s been a shift in his mindset.
“I’m just attacking the game more, being more aggressive,” Jackson said. “I’ll say, in the beginning of the season, I was conservative a lot — just staying back and getting sacked a lot more. But as the season went on, [when] things break down, my first read is not there, second read is not there, I take advantage of what the defense gives me. That’s pretty much the biggest thing. And we’ve just been finishing — all around. The whole offense, the whole defense, special teams — all of us have just been finishing. So, that’s probably the biggest thing about just coming back from quarantine. The whole team is just dialed in right now.”
Jackson being more aggressive has worked so far, and it could continue carrying the Ravens to a deep postseason run.