John Harbaugh Said 7 Words to Lamar Jackson That Allowed the Baltimore Ravens to Shock the Kansas City Chiefs
The Baltimore Ravens were trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 10-0 in the second quarter of their AFC Divisional Playoff game when Lamar Jackson entered the game. In just a few minutes, Jackson led his team to a 14-10 victory and set up a date with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.
The john harbaugh is a football coach who has been with the Baltimore Ravens for many years. He said 7 words to Lamar Jackson that allowed the Baltimore Ravens to shock the Kansas City Chiefs.
In the heavyweight Sunday Night Football battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson went 0-3 versus his opponent, Patrick Mahomes, since joining the league in 2018. All of that changed in Week 2 when the Ravens defeated the Chiefs in a 36-35 thriller. When coach John Harbaugh uttered seven words to Jackson, the quarterback replied, “Hell yes!” and the home team sealed the victory against their AFC rivals.
Patrick Mahomes was ultimately defeated by Lamar Jackson.
Head coach John Harbaugh (L) and quarterback Lamar Jackson (R) of the Baltimore Ravens | Both images by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images.
Lamar Jackson’s rookie season and Patrick Mahomes’ first year as a full-time starter were both in 2018. That year, and every season since, the two rising stars have squared off. Mahomes, on the other hand, has never lost to his younger opponent until Sunday night.
Against time, Mahomes’ domination over Jackson became more apparent as well. The first meeting was a 27-24 overtime thriller in which Mahomes came out on top. However, as the years passed, the margins of victory became wider. In 2019, the Chiefs defeated the Ravens 33-28, and in 2020, the Chiefs defeated the Ravens 34-20.
Most people anticipated the quarterback rivalry to resume in 2021. Baltimore was a 3.5-point home favorite going into the game after a hard-fought overtime defeat to the Raiders in Week 1.
The prime-time matchup was exactly what you’d expect from two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. After tossing a pick-six on the first drive, Jackson and the Ravens ran all over the Chiefs defense for the rest of the game.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, had their way via the air, with Mahomes throwing for 343 yards despite the Ravens defense shutting down WR Tyreek Hill.
Jackson flipped (literally) into the endzone with just over three minutes remaining to grab the lead after trailing for the most of the game. Then, with fewer than 90 seconds remaining in the game, Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbled, and Baltimore recovered.
With 1:05 left on the clock, the Ravens grabbed the ball back and gained almost nine yards, giving them a 4th-and-1 situation.
That’s when coach John Harbaugh asked his star quarterback the all-important seven-word question.
After getting the go-ahead from Jackson, John Harbaugh took a risky decision to win the game.
The NBC broadcast cameras cut to John Harbaugh on the sideline after the Baltimore Ravens completed a 3rd-and-7 throw to Sammy Watkins to make it 4th-and-1. Viewers could see Baltimore’s 14-year head coach screaming out to his quarterback, and his lips were plain to read.
“Lamar! Lamar! “Would you want to go for it?” From the sidelines, Harbaugh screamed. After the game, Jackson told sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya, “Hell yes,” and you can see Harbaugh mumble, “Let’s go,” on television.
With announcers Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels worrying in the background about the daring choice, the Ravens made the play, and Jackson grabbed the ball alone and picked his way through the center of the line for the first down.
After one kneel-down, the Ravens eventually beat Mahomes for the first time in the Lamar Jackson era.
The Ravens appeared to discover something that the Chiefs defense couldn’t stop throughout the game: the run game. It took a daring choice at the end, but the Ravens seemed to find something that the Chiefs defense couldn’t stop throughout the game: the run game.
Is it possible that the Ravens have discovered the Chiefs’ Achilles heel?
The Ravens had the ball for 11:10 in the fourth quarter and outscored the Chiefs 14-0 in that time. On the night, they ran 68 plays, compared to 49 for Kansas City, for a total of 481 yards, including 251 on the run. What a spectacle. It came down to a risky 4th down decision.
20 September 2021 — Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora)
In 2021, the NFL will be a passing league. On offensively, it’s all about quarterbacks and skill position pass receivers, while on defense, it’s all about pass rushers and cornerbacks.
After throwing an interception on the first drive, Jackson and the Ravens reverted to an old-school approach: running the ball.
On 41 carries, the Ravens racked up 251 running yards against the Chiefs. Three of Baltimore’s four touchdowns were also scored on the run. This assault may serve as a template for future attacks against the powerful Chiefs. It’s a strategy for keeping Mahomes and his explosive offense off the field. It also eliminates the team’s ball-hawking secondary.
The only issue with adopting this approach as a model is that one crucial component is absent from the other 30 NFL teams: Lamar Jackson.
The former Louisville Cardinal has just made 43 NFL starts, yet he is already on par with or better than the greatest running quarterbacks of all time, such as Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick, and Steve Young. On a team-high 16 carries, he accounted for 107 of his team’s 251 running yards on Sunday night.
The Chiefs’ defensive ends were totally flummoxed by several of Jackson’s runs, which came on read options. By analyzing their movements after the snap, he was able to gain significant yardage. While this may be the ideal play to confuse the Chiefs’ defense, only a handful NFL quarterbacks are capable of pulling it off. And it’s unlikely that anybody can do it as well as Jackson.
The Baltimore Ravens may have discovered their greatest strategy for defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, but it is unlikely to assist many other teams in the league.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
RELATED: In 2021, Lamar Jackson will earn $1.7 million, making him the NFL’s 400th highest-paid player.
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