Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger Start Against Each Other for the 1st Time

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images & Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

By: G.Stryker, Twitter @SNStryker and Instagram @SNStryker
SteelerNation.com

Lamar Jackson was drafted in 2018 by the Baltimore Ravens. He had 4 rushes for 17 yards in the 26-14 victory in Pittsburgh that year, but Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback. Flacco also started the 16-23 defeat in Baltimore later that season, but it would be his last start as a Raven, and the Lamar Jackson era officially began the week after with a 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 2019, Ben Roethlisberger would injure his elbow halfway through his second game versus the Seattle Seahawks. He would miss the next two rivalry games, a 26-23 overtime loss in Pittsburgh and a 28-10 demolishing in Baltimore. Jackson was rested for that 2nd game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, so Robert Griffin III got to enjoy that win as the starter. Jackson would be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for 2019, but would not be able to win their playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.

So fast forward to 2020. Roethlisberger is back and commanding the only undefeated team in the league. The Ravens are flying high with Jackson and only have one home loss against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. That is what makes this matchup so interesting, because it marks the first time both quarterbacks will be facing off against each other.

The only time Jackson played the Steelers defense, he enjoyed his worst performance of his MVP season. He was sacked 5 times, had 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, and a putrid 54.9 quarterback rating. The league has followed Pittsburgh’s blueprint of stopping the run and forcing Jackson to throw. Not only are the Steelers one of the best teams in stopping the run, they are the best team at putting quarterbacks on the ground. The Ravens will have to scheme very hard to help their young franchise quarterback stay upright.

The Ravens are no slouch on defense as well; they are 2nd in the NFL at pressuring and sacking the quarterback. The pressure will have to fall on Roethlisberger’s tremendous shoulders to get the ball out quickly with his league leading 2.31 sec time before throwing the football. Long gone are the days when Big Ben would wait in the pocket and extend time for a big play to break open. This new pinpoint fast attack Ben is a quarterback the Ravens haven’t ever prepared for.

No matter what the outcome, these quarterbacks will be ready to lead their teams, and utilize all of their talents to find a way to end Sunday on top of the AFC North.

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