Explaining why John Harbaugh, Ravens did not bench Lamar Jackson for Joe Flacco
The Baltimore Ravens continued to stick with Lamar Jackson at quarterback during their AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday despite getting poor results from the offense. Meanwhile, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback sat on their bench.
So why did John Harbaugh keep Jackson in at quarterback despite a change seeming like the obvious move, not to mention all the fans booing? Harbaugh was looking at things from a long-term viewpoint.
In the short-run, changing things up and going to Flacco made too much sense. Baltimore’s offense had produced no points, hardly moved the chains, and looked inept for most of the game. When they were down 12-0 at halftime, that was the time to switch to Flacco. Or maybe you give Jackson one drive after the second half, and then switch things over to Flacco before it’s too late. Instead, drive after drive, Harbaugh kept Jackson in the game, even when they only had three first downs and -2 net passing yards for the game after about 50 minutes.
Harbaugh sticking with Jackson shows how committed they are to him as their quarterback of the future. They did not want to shake his confidence, create an issue, and show little faith in him by benching him when they were only down by 12 points. They wanted to show that he is their guy and they will give him opportunities to grow and fight through adversity. They were showing that their commitment to Jackson is greater than their desire to see if someone else can give them a spark.
Flacco’s future with the Ravens is over. After he got hurt and Jackson began winning, they never went back to Flacco. Not even when the offense looked terrible when the score was not out of hand in a playoff game. Baltimore made it clear they’ve already decided Jackson is their starter and Flacco’s time with the team is over. The Ravens are expected to trade or release Flacco this offseason. They weren’t going to shake the confidence of a rookie by benching him for a guy they’re getting rid of.