Lamar Jackson furious over costly fumbles

Almost immediately after Zay Jones hauled in a 31-yard Derek Carr heave untouched for the game-winning touchdown on Monday, broadcast cameras panned to Lamar Jackson.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback had watched the score helplessly from the sideline as it sealed his team’s 0-1 start to the season. “That’s on me,” Jackson appeared to say as he pointed to his chest. 

Jackson didn’t allow Jones to beat him off the line of scrimmage. He didn’t call the defense that let Jones roam free through the Ravens secondary. But he did lose the fumble that set up the overtime score. And another one that help ensure the game got to overtime to begin with. 

For that, he is furious. 

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is seen on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for NFL)

Lamar Jackson took accountability after a pair of critical late fumbles. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for NFL)

“That ticked me off,” Jackson told reporters after the game. “I hate fumbles. I hate any type of turnover. Two hands on the ball. I just could’ve taken a sack, if anything.”

He’s right. Other than allowing the Raiders defense to score, Jackson’s fumble in overtime pretty much amounted to a worst-case scenario. Granted, he didn’t have much chance to make anything happen on the third-and-7 play. He was immediately surrounded by Las Vegas Raiders defenders as a five-man blitz collapsed the pocket at the snap. Even a magician as adept as Jackson couldn’t escape that rush. 

At that point, his only job was to protect the ball. And he didn’t. The Raiders recovered his fumble at Baltimore’s 27-yard line. Two plays later, the game was over. Raiders 33, Ravens 27.

Jackson didn’t save his lament strictly for the sideline and the postgame news conference. He was still steaming when he logged onto Twitter, where he used some notably saltier language. 

Jackson’s not only upset about his overtime turnover. He also lost a fumble early in the fourth quarter that set the Raiders up to tie the game. 

With Baltimore leading 17-10, Jackson scrambled under pressure on second-and-6. He didn’t get the first down. He lost the ball for the first turnover of the game, setting the Raiders up with first down at Baltimore’s 41-yard line. 

Five plays later, the Raiders scored the game-tying touchdown. 

A lot of swings added up to the Raiders’ wild win as they finally opened up Allegiant Stadium in front of fans. It’s safe to say they probably wouldn’t have walked away victorious without Jackson’s mistakes. He knows it. And he’s taking accountability. 

It’s a tough way for a Super Bowl hopeful and a former league MVP to open the season. But it’s one game in a season that’s been expanded to 17. Here’s guessing Jackson accounts for considerably more game winners than losers moving forward. 

In the meantime, he and the Ravens are going to have to sit with this one. But they can’t steam too long. The Kansas City Chiefs are coming to town on Sunday.  

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