Lamar Jackson couldn’t hide his anger after he again failed to take his regular season form into the play-offs, contributing to the Baltimore Ravens’ 17-10 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
Over his past seven starts, the NFL MVP favourite helped Baltimore average 33.9 points per game. He seemed in the perfect place to take the Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years.
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But he finished just 20-of-37 for 272 yards against the Chiefs as Baltimore struggled to get their offense going while also committing three turnovers in an underwhelming display.
Jackson has now lost four of six play-off games and his irritation was evident after throwing an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter, taking his helmet off and throwing it to the ground.
“I’m not frustrated at all,” Jackson said. “I’m angry about losing. We are a game away from the Super Bowl. We’ve been waiting all this time, all these moments for an opportunity like this and we fell short. But I feel like our team, we are going to build this off-season, going to get right, get better grind and try to be in this position again – but on the other side of victory.
“We’re mad. Offense…we didn’t put nothing on the board. We scored once. That’s not like us. We drove the ball down the field. That’s cool. But we got to put points on the board.
“But I feel like my team [are] just angry, not frustrated, we just angry. We know how hard we worked to get here.”
Although he flopped on the biggest stage once again, Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jnr is confident Jackson will guide the franchise to the sport’s biggest prize.
He said: “There’s certain moments that define you, and this is just one that’ll be in his career.
“The greats have all been through tough times and I don’t think this is going to stop him from wanting to get to his ultimate goal. If anything, he’s going to work even harder.
“He wants it bad. I had never seen somebody so locked in and just in the flow and in that era, I just felt like it was his time. And like I say, sometimes things happen in life and it doesn’t go the way that we planned and it’s just about what do you do from here.”