The Houston Texans are a few days away from an AFC Divisional Round match. An impressive win against the Cleveland Browns displayed glimpses of greatness on both sides of the football. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are the first seed in the Conference. They are eager to return to the Super Bowl stage. DeMeco Ryans’ unit must handle business to continue their playoff journey.
How much of a threat will Lamar Jackson be on Saturday?
Lamar Jackson has a poor track record in the post-season
Dual-threat quarterbacks are doubled-edged swords for offensive coordinators. Their athletic abilities grant game-changers special skills. They keep disciplined defenses on edge and put inconsistent units on highlight reels. We’ve seen a handful of quarterbacks who fit this archetype, but none like Lamar Jackson. The former first-round pick is known for scoring touchdowns and extending plays. His ingenuity between the numbers leads to big plays and more wins for the franchise.
Achieving success in the post-season has not been easy for the multi-dimensional gunslinger. Lamar Jackson has played in four playoff games throughout his career. He has little success to show for it. A victory against the Tennessee Titans in the 2021 Wild Card round is the only victory on his playoff resume. Jackson finished the game without a touchdown pass and got sacked five times. He managed to lead his team to the next round despite the challenges. A loss to the Buffalo Bills sent Harbaugh’s team home int he divisional round. Sean McDermott’s defense kept Jackson out of the end-zone for a consecutive week and held the All-Pro to 162 passing yards.
The Houston Texans need to keep Lamar Jackson under pressure
Blunders in previous trips to the playoffs will not hinder Lamar Jackson from preparing for Saturday. The sixth-year gunslinger is anxious to establish a new identity. This season, No.8 finished with his second-highest offensive rating (90.4) and highest snap count (1,039). He tied sixth in pass grading (85.1) and 13th in touchdown passes (24). Lamar is determined to succeed, but how will he fair against a confident Texans’ defense?
Momentum from a stout performance against the Cleveland Browns will keep Matt Burke’s unit focused this weekend. They solidified a post-season victory and sent a message to the remaining franchise. Two interception returns helped Houston earn the highest defensive grade (82.5) during the wild card round. Will Anderson Jr. (73.8), Christian Harris (91.0) and Kurt Hinish earned three of the Texans' four sacks on the afternoon. It was a solid performance from an underrated group. We expect the Texans to duplicate their results against a quarterback desperate for a playoff win.
Defeating the first seed in the Divisional Round of the playoffs will be a challenge for DeMeco Ryan’s’ team. They are youthful and determined to show the world what they are capable of. Lamar Jackson is a noteworthy opponent, but the Houston Texans have enough defensive firepower to achieve victory. They must keep him the pocket and limit big plays down the feild.
All statistics courtesy of pff.com