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Lamar Jackson happy to get 'monkey off back' after inspiring Baltimore Ravens to victory over Kansas City Chiefs
Lamar Jackson orchestrated the biggest fourth-quarter comeback of his career as he overcame two early interceptions to lead the Baltimore Ravens to a 36-35 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, marking his first ever win over Patrick Mahomes
Last Updated: 20/09/21 1:53pm
'Lamar! Do you wanna go for this?' John Harbaugh asked Lamar Jackson from the sideline as the Baltimore Ravens faced a fourth-and-one with a chance to ice the game. Of course he did.
Jackson thought better than to put the ball back in the hands of Patrick Mahomes by electing to punt with a minute remaining, surging through the pile of bodies for the two yards that would earn him his first career win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
"'Do you want to go for it?' I'm like, 'Hell, yeah!' I said it again, like [in] Seattle two years ago," Jackson told reporters. "He told me the play, and I was like, 'We should spread them out.' And 'Coach Urb,' [quarterbacks coach] James Urban, my QB coach was like, 'You've got to go' I was like, 'Man, I've got to get this first down, no matter what. I've got to jump, dive through a defender,' and our O-line did a great job pushing those guys back. We got the first down for the victory."
Having previously lost three straight to Mahomes and the Chiefs, Jackson recovered from two first quarter interceptions to throw for 239 yards and a touchdown as well as rushing for 113 yards and two scores on the way to a 36-35 victory.
Both rushing touchdowns arrived in the fourth quarter as the Ravens overturned an 11-point deficit, Jackson flipping into the end zone to finish it in style with a decisive one-yard score against the team he once called his "kryptonite".
"I called them that one time. One time!," he laughed. "It feels good. It feels good to get that 'monkey off of our back.' It just feels good. We've got to move on to Detroit now. We didn't win the Super Bowl yet, it's just one game. We've got to just keep staying focused."
Jackson, who was missing All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, cut a frustrated figure early on as he threw his helmet to the ground on the sideline after seeing his second first-quarter interception returned for a touchdown by Tyrann Mathieu, who had also come away with the earlier pick.
His reduced the deficit to four points in the third quarter with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown, before delivering his biggest ever fourth-quarter comeback to earn the Ravens their first win of the season.
"I know my team is going to look at me," he said. "If I'm out there just messing up, they're going to be like, 'God damn, what are you doing?' So, I've got to do it for my guys. My guys have my back.
"The first two interceptions, they were like, 'Man, you're good; you got that out the way. Let's just play.' I was like, 'You're right, I've got to play now. That's over with.' And that's what we did."
Ravens tight end Mark Andrew also paid tribute to his quarterback's resilience following his early adversity.
"He's incredible, man," he said. "That's the guy right there. It's hard to put into words, but he put the team on his shoulders many, many times tonight.
"He's leading the offense, doing the right things, making the right reads, and that's what we need from him. Sometimes, things don't go exactly our way, but being able to push through that, that's the difference between wins and losses."
Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh meanwhile announced himself emphatically with a huge play to recover his own forced fumble on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and all-but secure the game with just over a minute remaining on the clock.
"On the play, I was supposed to jam inside the 'B guy,' which I did, but once I did that, I saw it was clear," he said. "The O-lineman was holding me a little bit, so I couldn't really get out there how I wanted to, but I got out enough - as much as I could to be able to slap the ball out. As soon as I slapped it, I saw the ball on the ground; I was like, 'Oh yeah, it's time. Get that ball. Try to win the game.'"