Lamar Jackson has led the Baltimore Ravens to a 5-1 record entering the team's bye week, but he hasn't thrown the ball as effectively as last season. The reigning MVP has seen a decline in every passing category -- completion rate, passing yards and touchdowns.
However, Jackson doesn't believe it's a cause for concern, citing a lot of tipped passes as a reason why his numbers aren't as good.
"I don't think I've slipped," Jackson said, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "There are certain situations in the game where you have to throw in certain windows, with the guys putting their arms up trying to slap the ball. There were a lot of tipped passes during our games, and I'm trying to find angles. So, that's why sometimes my elbow drops trying to get the ball out."
Entering the 2020 season, the Ravens were hoping Jackson would improve as a passer, but as mentioned above, that facet of his game has declined. The 23-year-old ranks 24th in completion percentage (63%), 25th in passing yards (1,135), 23rd in yards per attempt (7.01) and 14th in passer rating (99.2), Hensley notes. He led the NFL in touchdown passes last season, but he currently ranks 13th this year with 10 passing scores.
Jackson, as usual, has done a lot with his legs this season, rushing for 346 yards and two touchdowns.
Since taking over as Baltimore's starting quarterback midway through the 2018 campaign, Jackson is 24-4, which is the best record in the NFL in that span. If the Ravens want to reach the Super Bowl, though, they're going to need Jackson's arm to be better than it has been.
In two career playoff games, Jackson's passing numbers haven't been great. In a 2019 wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Jackson completed just 48.3% of his passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. He also fumbled three times in the 23-17 loss to L.A.
Again in 2020, Jackson's performance against the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round was less than ideal. He completed just 52.5% of his passes for 365 yards and one touchdown against two interceptions. The Ravens lost that game 28-12.