During the Ravens’ wild-card matchup against the Chargers, fans began booing rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson as he struggled in his postseason debut.
Despite Jackson finishing with more passing yards (194) than opposing play-caller Philip Rivers (160), he wasn’t able to complete the comeback and Baltimore fell 23-17.
A day removed from their postseason loss, those boos are leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of Jackson’s teammates.
“It definitely did bother me,” left tackle Ronnie Stanley said after the final team meeting of the year, via ESPN. “As a football player, an athlete, a competitor, [we] sacrifice our whole lives to be in this position. We love our fans and everything they’ve done for us, but there are going to be good times and there are going to be bad times, and we expect your support in all of those times. If you’re not going to support us, then you’ve really got to question yourself on that one.”
The boos, which started in the third quarter as Baltimore trailed 12-0, angered cornerback Jimmy Smith.
“Was I surprised? I wasn’t surprised. I was more just a little pissed,” Smith said. “We fought and this guy fought and was 6-1 as the starter. It got a little bit rough at the end and people were booing. Come on. Why would you do that? It was the same guy that helped us get here. Now, you’re booing him. I just thought it was a little foul.”
There were also chants for Joe Flacco to line up under center. Flacco, the former Super Bowl MVP, was benched in favor of Jackson after their bye in Week 10 and on the sideline Sunday.
Robert Griffin III, the team’s third option at quarterback, was also on the bench with Flacco. He said Monday that the two were offering words of encouragement to Jackson throughout the game.
“We’re sitting there right next to him, telling him don’t worry about that,” Griffin said. “As soon as he throws a touchdown pass and runs for a 10-yard gain — when he ran for 50 yards in the backfield — everyone’s going to be cheering.”
Running back Kenneth Dixon tweeted his support for Jackson Monday morning.
“You either with us or against us real spill,” he wrote. “I’m ten toes behind [Jackson]. Keep ya boo’s (plain disrespectful) that man gave us life.”
You either with us or against us real spill. I’m ten toes behind @Lj_era8. Keep ya boo’s( plain disrespectful) that man gave us life
— Kenneth M Dixon (@_BONEHEAD_tez_) January 7, 2019
Jackson struggled in his playoff debut. He only had 25 yards and was 3-for-10 passing midway through the fourth quarter, and at this point his quarterback rating was zero.
Jackson, a first round pick out of Louisville, finished 14-for-29 passing for 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.