The Kansas City Chiefs must contain Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson and keep him immobile and in the pocket in order to have a chance to win the AFC Championship Game and advance to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Jackson rushed for 851 yards on 148 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He also scored five touchdowns on the ground. He is as dangerous a weapon as there is the National Football League.
Kansas City has found a way this postseason to keep Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen from extending plays in previous playoff wins and they must do that to the elusive Jackson who not only extends plays with his legs, allowing his receivers to get out of their breaks, he calls his own number and rushes the ball with tremendous authority.
In Todd Monken's offense he has improved his game as a quarterback. He has taken his rushing attack to new heights and has become more of a dual-threat quarterback. This season Jackson became the fastest quarterback to reach 5,000 yards as he has done so in 82 games. The next fastest quarterbacks were Michael Vick, who needed 104 games and Cam Newton who took 129 games to reach the milestone.
NFL commentator and Super Bowl Champion Mark Schlereth said that the to the game is to make the Ravens and Jackson a drop-back passing team and keep his leg movements to a minimum.
“If you can make the Ravens have to be a drop-back passing team, I think that gives you at least an opportunity to win that game,” Schlereth said. “You’ve got to shut down that run, which is hard with the quarterback design stuff, the RPO stuff and then the zone-read stuff where Lamar can choose to hand it off or take off outside. It’s so hard to defend. If you can make them a drop back team, that’s not their forte. You can win a football game by doing that. Disrupt routes. Don’t let Lamar escape.”
The Chiefs need to rattle Jackson early, who readily admits that he gets nervous before big games. It was only during this season with Monken, that he learned to control his emotions and play his best football.
"I've been in games where it's one of the games of the week and I'm hyped, everyone else is hyped, and when I get on the field, I'm tired," Jackson said. "I'm pretty much being cool, calm and collect until the ball is snapped and the whistle is blown."