Only three teams in the NFL have a better record than the Baltimore Ravens, but after all the success they had last year, even a 6-2 mark seems like somewhat of a disappointment.
The Ravens offense — which finished second in the league with an average of 407.6 yards per game in 2019 — ranks 23rd this season at 347.0 yards per game.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson explained the discrepancy by saying he believes opponents seem to know what's coming.
"We're going against defenses, they're calling out our plays. Stuff like that. They know what we're doing," Jackson said Wednesday on the Rich Eisen Show. "Sometimes, stuff won't go our way if they're beating us to the punch."
We had to make sure we heard #RavensFlock QB @lj_era8 correctly when he told us why his offense is having a tougher time this year compared to 2019:#NFLpic.twitter.com/s9G7JgtmEA
Jackson, who last year set the NFL's single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206), hasn't found the same level of success on the ground this year, with only 469 yards on 79 attempt through eight games. Eisen asked Jackson what the difference was between his 2019 campaign and his current one.
"The play-calling," Jackson answered. "I won't say I'm running less or I'm running more. I'm trying to do whatever it takes to win."
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Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn't had as much success running the ball as he did last season, when he sent an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206). (Photo: Gail Burton, AP)
Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, said he would rather attack defenses with his arm than with his legs. But this season, opponents have been more successful stopping him than they were a year ago, when he threw for 36 touchdowns and ran for seven more.
At the halfway point of the season, Jackson has 12 TD passes and three rushing scores. His passer rating has gone from 113.3 (third among qualified quarterbacks) to 95.1 (17th).
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