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LAS VEGAS – Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson let out a sigh and knocked frustratingly on the podium when asked about his two fumbles in Monday night’s dizzying 33-27 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
“It got me started,” Jackson said. “I hate fumbles, I hate any kind of turnover.”
Jackson’s fumbles led to two late touchdowns for Las Vegas, including setting up Derek Carr’s winning 31-yard touchdown pass to Zay Jones in overtime.
In his first two NFL openers, Jackson had been incredibly successful. This time, he started the 2021 season with a historically bad show as far as he hosted the ball. It marked only the second time in the last 40 years that an NFL quarterback fumbled in both the fourth quarter and overtime. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did it in 2018 against the Cleveland Browns.
This rare occurrence even led to a rarer — not fit for work — outburst on social media of Jackson admonishing himself when he curses in media sessions. But on Monday, Jackson tweeted a broken heart emoji with three words “F — ing a– fumbles.”
Jackson’s mistakes looked like they came from a former NFL MVP trying to create a spark for an offense who was on his third No. 1 run back in the summer and struggling heavily with pass protection. Both times he lost the ball, he tried to get yards and avoid a sack.
Jackson was under pressure on 54.5% of his dropbacks (18 out of 33), which is the highest team pressure in a game in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016). His one-touchdown pass required him to encrypt a total of 27 yards, according to data from Next Gen Stats.
The number of times Jackson had to dodge pass-rushers was similar to last season’s 17-3 AFC playoff loss in the AFC, though it shouldn’t have been. After the season, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said the team needed to upgrade pass protection, leading to free-agent signings by right-back Kevin Zeitler and tackling Alejandro Villanueva and drafting guard Ben Cleveland in the third round.
In Monday’s opener, Jackson was hit 17 times (only second after Buffalo’s Josh Allen in Week 1) because Baltimore could not slow down Las Vegas pass-rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. Villanueva had the fifth-worst pass-block victory rate (71%) out of 65 offensive tackles, and Stanley (80.6%) ranked 44th among tackles.
In Jackson’s last game of the game, he was pressured after driving back, Ty’Son Williams whispered on a block, and Jackson got the ball knocked out on the Baltimore 27-yard line. The ravens’ probability of winning fell from 50% to 14% on this turnover. The Raiders reached the end zone two games later.
“The last [fumble] … Just have two hands on the ball and I could have just taken a sack, if anything, ”Jackson said. “It happens. [It’s] football. “
Jackson announced a perfect fit rating (158.3) in leading the Ravens to Week 1 victories in 2019 and 2020. This year, he was far from perfect in his second career game with two lost fumbles.
“We got Lamars back,” linebacker Patrick Queen said. “He had some fumbles, but it’s up to us. We have to stop after that. We have to get the ball back to him. You’ve seen what he can do.”