The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season is officially in the books, and the team has to now watch as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens host the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs this weekend.
Not making the playoffs is one thing, but having to watch your rivals have such success with their new offensive toy in Jackson, and a brilliant scheme around him, makes missing out on the postseason dance even more frustrating.
With that said, it begs the question whether or not Jackson’s success/style of play is sustainable in today’s NFL. You hear it all the time, “Just wait till he takes a big shot!” Yet that hasn’t really happened throughout the course of the regular season.
Jackson isn’t the first mobile quarterback to grace the NFL landscape. Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III or even go back to Fran Tarkenton. The list of mobile quarterbacks is long, but how many of them have not only lasted, but been successful?
This question was posed in an ESPN+ article recently, and one anonymous AFC coach absolutely thinks Jackson’s play is sustainable.
Most evaluators are convinced that running quarterbacks slow eventually. It might take 10 years or it might take two, but injuries or durability or defensive scheme always end the party.
The consensus is that won’t happen in 2020 -- not even close. The Ravens haven’t lost a game since September, and Jackson’s MVP-caliber season is far from the only reason.
“I believe the versatility keeps expanding in those types of offenses that allows them to do so many different things in how they go about attacking the defense,” one AFC coach said. “Situationally and on possession downs, they have so many different looks they can throw at you, and when the quarterback is the best athlete on the field, it’s just really hard to stop in the open field. You have to win up front, but Baltimore is really stout there.”
The Ravens already have the multilayered running game with Jackson, Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, and this offseason they can add outside receiving help opposite Marquise Brown. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has a good chance to return to Baltimore in 2020.
As Steelers fans, it is our natural reaction to immediately think there is no way Jackson, and by proxy the Ravens, can continue this style of play for the long term. After all, the Ravens misfortune could be construed as the Steelers good fortune. But if you take the black-and-gold glasses off, answer the question...
Is Jackson’s style of play sustainable in today’s NFL?
There has been plenty of tape out of Jackson, but will it be sustainable is the question here. Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they embark on yet another lengthy offseason heading into 2020.