Although the record of rookie QB’s in playoffs since AFL-NFL merger are 8-16, the Lamar Jackson led Ravens can make a run to the super bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens open their postseason at home against the Los Angeles Chargers and are a 2.5 point favorite.
The furthest a rookie quarterback has gone in the playoffs is Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco, who both went to the AFC Championship.
This Ravens team can make a super bowl run because of their ground and pound offense along side their elite defense.
The Ravens average 25 points per game under Jackson. The Ravens have the NFL’s top rushing attack since Lamar Jackson became the starting quarterback, averaging 229.5 yards rushing per game and going 6-1 in the those games.
In the 2017 NFL playoffs, teams who out gained their opposition in rushing yards were 9-2 in those games. This is an alarming stat that tremendously favors the Ravens.
The passing game isn’t as prolific but the offense isn’t turning the ball over. The Ravens only average one turnover per game under Jackson.
The Ravens’ defense is second in the NFL in points allowed per game at 17.9 per game.
The Ravens are first in total defense , second in yards per play at 4.8, and teams only convert 34 percent of their third downs against the Ravens.
Baltimore holds opponents to 210 yards passing per game and only allow 82 yards per game which ranks 4th and 5th respectively in the NFL.
Quarterbacks average a passer rating of 80.6 against Baltimore’s defense while holding quarterbacks to a 58% completion percent. The Ravens’ defense only allowed 1.3 passing touchdowns per game.
Raven’s rush defense only allows 82 yards per game and only allows five first downs per game on the ground. Opponents only average 3.7 yards per rush.
The Jackson led ravens are built in a similar mold as the Colin Kaepernick led San Francisco 49ers that went to the super bowl in 2012 against the Ravens.
Kaepernick took over the 49ers for an incumbent starter QB in Alex Smith who got injured. Kapernick also started seven games under Jim Harbaugh prior to the playoffs.
That 49ers team averaged 155 yards per game rushing and scored 26 points per game with a dynamic run first quarterback.
Their defense allowed 18 points per game and allowed 92 yards per game while holding quarterback’s passer rating to 81.
When Flacco led the Ravens to the AFC Championship game as a rookie, the team averaged 140 yards rushing per game and only allowed 15 points per game.
That system translated into the playoffs as the Ravens defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-9 and the Tennessee Titans 13-10 before falling short eventual super bowl champs in the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-13.
In 2009, the New York Jets to AFC championship game with Sanchez as a rookie. Their defense was first in points allowed per game at 14.8.
The Jets also had a ground and pound attack. The Jets led the NFL in rushing as they averaged 167 yards per game.
That also led to success in the playoffs as the Jets defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 24-14 then the San Diego Chargers 17-14 before losing to Indianapolis Colts 17-30 in the AFC Championship game.
Even though rookie quarterback have a win percentage of 33%, this Ravens team is a dark horse super bowl contender and the history proves why.<