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Ravens 2021 Position Review: Quarterbacks

The consistently poor performance from the offensive line prevented this position group from reaching its full potential.

Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

After a turbulent 2021 season that was ravaged and ultimately derailed by injuries, the Baltimore Ravens are fully focused on moving forward. Before we completely turn the page to the 2022 offseason, let’s look back at the overall performance of their quarterback position group from this last year.

Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

2021 stats: 12 games, 12 starts, 2,882 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 64.4 completion percentage, 87 quarterback rating, 767 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Injuries to the running back position and along the offensive line forced the former league MVP to put the entire team on his back in a way that he hadn’t before up to this point in his career. Through the first eight games of the season, he not only answered the call and rose to the occasion but he was both the catalyst and driving force behind their hot 6-2 start. At one point, Jackson was firmly one of the leading candidates in the MVP race and had the Ravens sitting atop the AFC North and overall AFC conference standings.

Lack of consistent pass protection began to affect his play and decision-making prior to suffering the ankle injury that knocked him out of commission down the stretch. Before that setback, Jackson was silencing doubters and dispelling negative narratives seemingly every week. He attacked and carved up opposing defenses with arm, showed extraordinary aggressiveness and improved accuracy throwing the ball downfield, and led the team back from double digits deficits on multiple occasions. The offense and team as a whole missed the presence of their best player for the final five and three-quarters games of the season as they missed the playoffs for the first time in the Jackson era.

Tyler Huntley

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

2021 stats: 16 games, four starts, 1,081 passing yards, three touchdowns, four interceptions, 64.9 completion percentage, 76.6 quarterback rating, 294 rushing yards and two touchdowns

In just his second season in the league, the 2020 undrafted free agent was able to establish himself as one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league and certainly an ideal fit to serve in that role for the style of offense that the Ravens’ run. His first career start and only win as a starter thus far came in Week 11 in a last-minute comeback over the Chicago Bears. He nearly did the same in relief duty three weeks later in the team’s second matchup with the Cleveland Browns and lost his other three starts by a combined five points.

While Huntley proved that he could step in and win a game for the Ravens, and keep them extremely competitive in others, the game plans seemed to be somewhat watered down due to his lack of experience and pocket awareness. Roman dialed up plays to get the ball out of his hands quickly and give him easier reads to make. The difference between the way that the offense operates with Huntley under center as opposed to Jackson’s isn’t stark but it is noticeable and showed up in crucial moments during their losing streak to close out the season.

Josh Johnson

NFL: DEC 26 Ravens at Bengals Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: three games, one starts, 304 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 70 completion percentage, 98.3 quarterback rating, and 10 rushing yards.

The veteran journeyman only saw action in one game and severed as the primary backup to Huntley in the last two games of the season. In his lone start, Johnson played well and much better than many expected after being on the team for less than two weeks. Had the Ravens not gotten carved up on defense to the tune of record-setting performance for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, maybe he could’ve kept pace or even pulled off an upset. While his veteran savvy and knowledge of various offensive systems make him an ideal backup quarterback for some teams, lack of mobility and ability to contribute in the ground game will likely prevent any potential return to the Ravens, barring another in-season injury.