Lamar Jackson: 3 bold predictions for Ravens QB in season opener vs. Jets
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens had a disappointing 2021 season. Injuries plagued the Ravens last year, and Jackson was no exception. The MVP QB played just 12 games and missed the playoffs for the first time in his career because of it. Now, Jackson is back and ready to roll in a contract year that is the most important of his career. As the Ravens get ready to take on the New York Jets to kick off the season, let’s make some Lamar Jackson Week 1 bold predictions for the season opener.
3. There will be one run that makes us say, “wow!”
Playing just 12 games last season, the Ravens QB rushed for under 1,000 yards (767) for the first time since his rookie year. As Lamar Jackson’s season opener approaches, look for the QB running game to be back in 2022.
That said, every time Jackson takes off this season, it’s a business decision (more on that below).
The Lamar Jackson prediction here is that the QB and the Ravens will be more judicious about the signal-caller running this season. Both for health and contractual reasons and because passing needs to be a focus for Jackson and the Ravens’ offense to take them both to the next level.
The Ravens should roll the Jets in Week 1, so this game won’t require double-digit carries from the QB. That said, Lamar Jackson’s season opener will include at least one exhilarating scramble down the field that will make fans sit up and say, “wow, now that’s Lamar Jackson!”
2. Tight ends are the QB’s best friends
Despite the passing game being a renewed focus this season, the Ravens got rid of wide receiver Marquis “Hollywood” Brown this offseason. That move was addition by subtraction, though.
Jettisoning Brown will give more opportunities to young wideouts Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, but the real stars of the show this season will be the tight ends.
Mark Andrews is already an All-Pro and will continue to be Jackson’s top target this season. The interesting Lamar Jackson prediction here is that the QB will find rookie TE Isaiah Likely early and often vs. the Jets as he becomes another Ravens pass-catching star in 2022.
Lamar Jackson’s Week 1 predictions when it comes to his two top tight ends are that Andrews and Likely will both catch multiple balls from the QB and both find the end zone.
1. Lamar Jackson won’t talk about his contract after the game, but the media sure will
Lamar Jackson predictions for 2022 can’t be complete without discussing his contract situation. The fifth-year signal-caller is in the final year of his rookie deal and doesn’t have an extension yet like Class of 2018 cohort Josh Allen or even 2019 draftee Kyler Murray.
Jackson is representing himself in these negotiations with the Ravens (with the help of his mom), making the situation more complicated than most. Reports are, though, that he wants a contract similar to the enormous, $230 million, fully-guaranteed deal the Cleveland browns shockingly gave Deshaun Watson.
The contract will hang over every Ravens game this year until a deal is done. Week 1 will be no exception. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to make the Lamar Jackson prediction that the media will ask him about it after the Jets game.
The bold Lamar Jackson Week 1 prediction piece is that the QB won’t take the bait.
Jackson will give some version of, “I’m just focused on the season,” “I’m taking it one game at a time,” or maybe he’ll even paraphrase Bill Belichick with a “We’re on to Miami” quote. Since Jackson is too classy and too focused to take the bait, the media will do it for him.
After an excellent Week 1, the talking-head sports shows will go into overdrive demanding the Ravens pay their superstar QB.