“Lamar Jackson folds in the playoffs.”
“The way that the Ravens play won’t work in the playoffs.”
“Great regular-season team, can’t produce when the defenses tighten up in the playoffs.”
It’s true that the Ravens have lost their first postseason game in each of the last two seasons and that this season’s loss was tougher to swallow given just how dominant they were over their 12-game winning streak heading into the game against Tennessee. And yes, Jackson didn’t look like the MVP-caliber quarterback who tore through defenses at will during the regular season. The flashes were there, sure, but too many mistakes and inaccurate passes came along with them. More importantly, the Ravens were on the losing end of several high-leverage turnovers and fourth-down plays, which put them on the path toward their first loss since September.
That doesn’t mean that there is a fundamental problem with this Ravens team that will prevent them from winning in the future, though. They built the team to suit their strengths, and they led it with one of the most forward-thinking coaching staffs in the NFL; they were willing to make decisions that went against the grain of conventional thinking to give their team a better chance to win football games. That was a winning strategy in 2019, and it will be a winning strategy again in 2020, postseason included.