Gannon: Lamar Jackson Might Not Have 10-Year Career

The Ravens are on a roll, but questions about Lamar Jackson's longevity persist

The DA Show
January 04, 2019 - 12:11 pm

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The Baltimore Ravens (10-6) beat the Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) on the road, 22-10, in Week 16. Now they have to beat them again this Sunday in the playoffs, albeit at home.

Are Lamar Jackson’s legs enough to lead Baltimore to victory?

“I think his legs are dangerous enough, and I think it’s the way they’re playing right now as a football team,” NFL on CBS analyst Rich Gannon said on The DA Show. “I think the defense has been one of the best and most consistent defenses all year. They create turnovers and field position and short fields. They also can stop the run, so they make it difficult for you.”

The Ravens have won six of seven games since turning to Jackson at quarterback, with the only loss coming at Kansas City in overtime.

Jackson, a rookie out of Louisville, and Gus Edwards, a rookie out of Rutgers, have combined for 284 carries for 1,413 yards and seven rushing touchdowns this season.

“You’ve got two rookies back there that are just pounding the rock at you and a pretty good offensive line,” Gannon said. “Marty Mornhinweg has done a really nice job in midseason of really dramatically changing their approach offensively.”

While the Ravens have been on a roll for the last two months, Gannon has concerns about Jackson long-term.

“My concern with Lamar Jackson is two-fold,” he said. “One, is he ever going to be able to be a really accurate passer from a pocket? And two, with his playing style right now, can he stay healthy for 16 games? Because he takes a lot of vicious hits. He’s going to have to learn to get down and not do that, but when you run the ball as much as he does and you look at his frame and his body type, I just don’t know that he’s going to be able to be durable and be able to have a 10-year career if he continues what he’s doing.”

As for this Sunday, the Ravens can certainly beat the Chargers again, but they have to start fast.

“If they fall behind by a couple scores early, they’re not built to come from behind by throwing the ball a bunch,” Gannon said. “(Jackson has) been in the 20s when you look at the pass attempts. That’s the key. If he gets up into the mid-30s, something tells you that they’re out of sync. That’s not what they need, and that’s not what they want. They want to control the tempo of the game, they want to dominate time of possession, and they want to minimize his pass attempts.”